Category Archives: Things that gladden the heart

Teachable moments in Dubai

I once had a boyfriend who said I could suck the fun out of anything. Fair warning: I am about to give this treatment to Dubai, a place I, perhaps unexpectedly, now adore. Everything you have ever heard about Dubai … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Capitalism, Cross-cultural understanding, Design, drinking, Dubai, eating out, fashion, Food, Islam, joy, Learning, life lessons, Marketing, Middle East, National pride, shopping, Things that gladden the heart, travel, UAE, Vacation spots, Women | 3 Comments

Traveling hopefully

Looking at the New Year posts of some of my Peace Corps colleagues here in Armenia I realize that they have it pretty tough. Tougher for some of them than I had realized. Reflecting on 2017, they talk about what … Continue reading

Posted in 2018, America, Armenia, Being a Grandmother, Blessings, family, fashion, friendship, gratitude, joy, know thyself, Learning, life lessons, Lonely this Christmas, Mother/daughter dynamic, New Year, Peace Corps, personal failings, resilience, social media, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, work, Writing | 1 Comment

Poetry Please

Gohar Ghazaryan’s  13-year-old students are preparing for 2018’s National Poetry Recitation Contest, reading and analyzing poems by AE Housman, Langston Hughes and Jack Prelutsky. Two of poems are copied below, so you can see just how accomplished these five students are. … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, BBC, BBC World Service, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, Language learning, Learning, National Poetry Recitation Contest, Peace Corps, Poetry, Syunik Marz, Teaching, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, Village life, Youth | Leave a comment

Light Fantastic Toe

Life can be particularly tough here in Armenia for people with disabilities. While the oft-mentioned playing field is not equal in the U.S., there is, in most cases, at least a field on which it is possible to play. Here, … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, dance, disability, International Human Rights Day, life lessons, Mihr theater, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, work | Leave a comment

Burn Baby Burn

Aleta is the only person I know who can light an Armenian match. These non-incendiary items come in sad, damp boxes, with inadequate strike pads. Attempt to grip an Armenian match firmly, and its shaft will splinter as it connects … Continue reading

Posted in accident, Armenia, Cooking, craft activities, Cross-cultural understanding, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, fear, Fire, Food, gratitude, know thyself, life lessons, personal failings, resilience, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Winter | Leave a comment

Comfort Food

When Hanna died, we crawled to Peace Corps HQ in Yerevan, and huddled together damply in a shocked and miserable heap. Olivia and Hannah, two volunteers a couple of years ahead of our cohort, made mac n’ cheese for all … Continue reading

Posted in America, American holidays, Armenia, Armenian art, Cooking, drinking, family, Food, friendship, gratitude, Gyumri, joy, Local delicacies, Moonshine, Sisters, Thanksgiving, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | Leave a comment

A Killer Recipe

Disclaimer: There follows a recipe both life-enhancing and life threatening. This blog and its author are not responsible for any injuries sustained should you make this soup. I got a bit over-excited at GUM bazar last week and so my … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Armenia, Cooking, Food, friendship, Household tips, life lessons, Peace Corps, personal failings, Things that gladden the heart, travel | 5 Comments