Category Archives: Things that gladden the heart

Just call for Superman

We’d been eyeing a table piled with box lunches, fresh fruit, and bunches of orchids and hoped this abundance was for us. A mini-bus pulled up at the turning circle and disgorged a bundle of Buddhist monks who immediately began … Continue reading

Posted in bad knees, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, Embarrassment, gratitude, Koh Chang, personal failings, snorkeling, Superheroes, Thailand, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Vacation spots | 1 Comment

Too good to be true?

I had seen the sign for Dan Mai seafood from the main road when we passed in our songtheaw the other day. Today seemed a good time to check it out. The girls had abandoned me for a much ritzier … Continue reading

Posted in Chillin', Cooking, drinking, eating out, Food, gratitude, Happiness, I don't believe it, joy, Language, Local delicacies, Thailand, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, welcome | 3 Comments

Even the monks have iphones now: a return visit to Bangkok

Soi 18. Sukhumvit 36. An unremarkable Bangkok alley that we came to believe was the magical creation of Thailand’s Lewis Carroll or CS Lewis. We’d booked a couple of nights in the Rembrandt Hotel to give our spines the chance to … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Bangkok, cocktails, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, eating out, family, fashion, Food, Local delicacies, Mother/daughter dynamic, New Year, packing, shopping, Thailand, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Vacation spots, young women | Leave a comment

On the Mistletoe trail

Mistletoe. Ara didn’t know the word until today. He’d never noticed the parasitical plant before. He’d never heard of its association both with Christmas and kissing. I had wanted to visit a church with 17th century frescoes. It’s a long … Continue reading

Posted in American holidays, Apostolic church, Archaeology, Architecture, Armenia, Armenian art, art, Beauty, Christianity, Christmas, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, Driving, gratitude, Green Armenia, Happiness, Iran, joy, Lonely this Christmas, Mistletoe, Nature, picnic, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life | 2 Comments

In the bleak mid-winter

We weren’t off to a good start, which was a shame as I had been looking forward to this day for weeks. I had imagined driving over mountains and through gorges with Ara, stopping here and there to take pictures … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Blessings, breakfast, chess, Christmas, Church, cocktails, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, Driving, eating out, Education, Food, Goris, gratitude, Happiness, Jingalov hats, joy, kindness, Lonely this Christmas, love, Moonshine, National Poetry Recitation Contest, Peace Corps, Peace Corps Armenia, picnic, singing, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, Teaching, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, visitors, Vodka, welcome, work, Youth | 5 Comments

Of Hope and Hot Water Bottles.

The twenty-somethings in the room honestly had no idea what it was. Grant pulled the owl-patterned, flannel cover away from the neck of the hot water bottle and showed its rubbery lips, and the brass thread for its plastic stopper. … Continue reading

Posted in American holidays, Armenia, Christmas, cocktails, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, family, Food, Great weekends, Homemade decorations, hot water bottle, joy, Local delicacies, New Year, Peace Corps Armenia, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, Vodka | Leave a comment

One of those days

There are days when it is tempting to hop online and book a flight home. A flight leaving tomorrow. Today was one of those days: A day when the person supposed to be my new counterpart messaged me to say … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Blessings, Chillin', clothes, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, Embarrassment, Fire, Food, gratitude, havjng a bad day, Homesickness, online friends, Peace Corps, Peace Corps Armenia, resilience, Stress management, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Underwear, Village life, wine, work | Leave a comment