Category Archives: personal failings

Packing for Peace Corps

These scissors are the single most useful thing I have in Armenia. I didn’t bring them with me in either of my two enormous bags weighing 50lbs each, but found them in my Peace Corps medical kit. These are scissors … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, clothes, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, errors of judgement, Food, Household tips, joy, know thyself, packing, Peace Corps, personal failings, shopping, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | 3 Comments

A little help from my friends. Part One

The spiced chickpeas were in one bowl and the eggplant curry in another. The rice was cooked, although not very well. It was clumpy and sticky despite having been soaked and rinsed. Why did I buy basmati? If I can't … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Armenia, Armenian art, Cooking, Duvet covers, Embarrassment, family, fear, Food, friendship, Great weekends, Illness, Peace Corps, personal failings, Sickness, Things that gladden the heart, travel | 1 Comment

Arnica in Armenia?

I was walking back to my hostel when I tripped and fell. I blame a tarpaulin trailing from building site fencing. I slipped on it and ended up splayed on the sidewalk with two torn knees, a twisted wrist, and … Continue reading

Posted in accident, Armenia, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, falling, fear, Jermuk, Language, personal failings, resilience, travel | 1 Comment

So what do you do there anyway?

I spent the 4th of July cutting out pictures of hamburger buns, cheese slices and dill pickles. Black and white pictures, because we don’t have a color printer here. I used the pictures to teach an English conversation class about … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Advice, America, Armenia, Caucausus, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, family, Food, Homebrew, Household tips, Language learning, laundry, Marketing, Moonshine, Mulberries, Peace Corps, personal failings, Press, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Vodka, Women, work, Yogurt | 4 Comments

Awkward

Are you married? No Why not? (Laugh) No one asked me. (This is not true) But you have had a boyfriend? Yes  Do you have a brother? Yes, I have a brother and a sister and I have two children.  … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, family, identity, Language, personal failings, Race, Women | Leave a comment

The language of love: meet my best friend in Armenia

Elsa got past me this morning to hang a last load of my laundry on the line by the backdoor. She is very particular about pegging out. Underwear is discretely strung next to the pear tree,  and dark or colored … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, friendship, joy, know thyself, Language, love, personal failings, Things that gladden the heart, Women | 7 Comments

Bubble Trouble

I have been trying to make the perfect bubble mix in preparation for a community event on Sunday. The recipe promises giant, long-lasting rainbowed spheres and calls for ingredients including baking powder, cornstarch and glycerine in addition to liquid detergent … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, errors of judgement, friendship, Games, Great weekends, joy, Language, Language learning, Peace Corps, personal failings, Things that gladden the heart, Village life | 3 Comments

Knickers, twisted

If there is a nuclear accident here in Armenia I could be in more trouble than most. First, I have managed to lose — or simply failed to pick up–the very expensive, giant horse pills which Peace Corps issued, and … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, clothes, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, laundry, Mother/daughter dynamic, Nuclear power, personal failings, Social niceties, straight-talking sister, travel, Underwear, Village life | 1 Comment

Lost for words. No happy endings. 

Let me start by saying that I know English is a nightmare to learn, what with all our irregular verbs and silent letters and eccentric colloquial quirks. Compared to English, Armenian is easy. Most verbs conform as though drilled by … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, Language, Language learning, Learning, personal failings | Leave a comment

From Anne Arundel County to Armenia: Week One as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

I have a view of Mount Ararat from my bedroom near Artashat in Armenia. The mountain, the national icon of Armenia, is now in territory claimed by Turkey, but the people here still consider it very much their own. The … Continue reading

Posted in America, apricots, Armenia, family, Food, friendship, Mount Ararat, Peace Corps, personal failings, travel | 4 Comments