Category Archives: Things that gladden the heart

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

Pure moments of bubbling joy

At the wedding, we all sang along to the music played by the DJ. The bride and groom were in their sixties, and so all the music was of a certain vintage. The only people under 40 in the room … Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, British food, British Royal Family, cocktails, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, eating out, Food, Gin, joy, love, Northern Ireland, Nostalgia, singing, The Proclaimers, Things that gladden the heart, ulster fry, United Kingdom | Leave a comment

Bari Janapar—strolling through Artsakh with Ara

In Vank village in Artsakh they built a wall with all their obsolete number plates after the war was won, and independence declared. The ‘A’ on the old tags stood for Azerbaijan. The Republic of Nagorno Karabakh issued its own … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Artsakh, Azerbaijan, Cross-cultural understanding, Environment, friendship, Nagorno-Karabakh, Soviet Union, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | 3 Comments

The Secrets of the Stones

There are 64 Graves –some of them inscribed in Hebrew. They are the only evidence of a small community of Jewish people who lived in South Armenia in the 12th and 13th centuries. Today, Armenia is 98% homogenous. Apart from … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, History, identity, Jewish, Jews in Armenia, Judaism, Karahunj, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Vayots Dzor, Yeghegis | 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

The Two-Soup Day

Yesterday was a two-soup sort of day. Snow on the ground, frost in the trees, and a bone-chilling fog which hung around damply. The first bowl of soup was offered upstairs–part of my family’s desperate mission to expose me to … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian food, aveluk, breakfast, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, friendship, Garlic, Goris, gratitude, Great weekends, Local delicacies, National Poetry Recitation Contest, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Winter | Leave a comment

On the way out

I would hate to believe that my friends in Armenia are marking the days until my departure, but with 3 and a 1/2 months to go, the countdown does seem to be underway. I am constantly being invited to try … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, art, cocktails, Cooking, craft activities, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, eating out, Education, Food, gratitude, Great weekends, Khashil, Local delicacies, Moonshine, textiles, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Vodka, welcome, Yogurt | 2 Comments