Category Archives: life lessons

How did it change you?

If people ask questions at all, they ask ‘How did it change you?’ At first I was rather sheepish in my answer. Following two-plus years as an international aid volunteer in Armenia, I seemed to have managed re-entry to the … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, drinking, eating out, English, Food, friendship, joy, Language, Language learning, life lessons, Shakespeare, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, United Kingdom | 3 Comments

I get by…

Ara came the whole way to Yerevan to pick me up and drive me smoothly back to Goris. I was so glad to see him, I nearly wept. He opened the passenger door and once he got in his own … Continue reading

Posted in accident, Armenia, Blessings, bras, broken wrist, clothes, Cross-cultural understanding, Easter, Embarrassment, family, Food, friendship, Goris, havjng a bad day, health and safety, injury, Jingalov hats, kindness, life lessons, personal failings, resilience, shame, Sickness, Social niceties, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Underwear, You Tube | 9 Comments

Northern Ireland and Armenia: bordering on —well, what?

Above all else, politicians and peace-builders in Northern Ireland — not two completely overlapping groups— know that people find it hard to change. It is 20 years since the Good Friday agreement and many stumbling blocks to lasting peace and … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Belfast, Borders, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, fear, Learning, life lessons, Millisle, Nagorno-Karabakh, National pride, Northern Ireland, Peace Corps, Peace Corps Armenia, Terrorism, Things that make a difference, travel, velvet revolution, war, Women | 3 Comments

The real thing: not sugar that looks like salt

“Your stories matter” said the poet. “They are how you make yourself known to others. They are a way of stretching out your hand to someone else.” Damian says that the mistake most newbie poets make is that they feel … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian writers, creative writing, Cross-cultural understanding, Damian Gorman, family, Hanna Huntley, know thyself, Learning, life lessons, love of words, National pride, Poet In Residence, Poetry, public speaking, story-telling, Summer camp, Teaching, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Writing, Writing Workshop, young women, Youth | 2 Comments

Visitors

Yesterday was Merelotz in Armenia— the day when people go to graveyards to honor their dead. Merelotz happens several times a year– always on the Monday after a big public holiday. (Last week we celebrated Constitution day). Offices are closed … Continue reading

Posted in Apostolic church, Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, death, family, friendship, gratitude, grieving, Hanna Huntley, Happiness, life lessons, Mother/daughter dynamic, pagan ritual, Peace Corps Armenia, Sisters, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, visitors | Leave a comment

What kind of woman are you?

 Armine who works at SOSE sat beside me and translated in a whisper. My toddler Armenian meant I couldn’t say much and anyway a loud-mouthed American braying in her own language wasn’t really what was wanted. But the discussion about … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, family, fashion, feminism, life lessons, sexism, Weddings, Women, work, young women | 2 Comments

Armenia: it never gets old.

I saw a jackal last week. He or she also saw me and didn’t stick around. I glimpsed a woodpecker-the first I have seen here or anywhere else in the world. I picked some wildflowers that are new to me.– … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Blessings, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, Food, friendship, Games, gratitude, Great weekends, Happiness, joy, Language learning, life lessons, Nature, Peace Corps, Peace Corps Armenia, singing, Syunik Marz, Teaching, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, work, Youth | 3 Comments