Category Archives: Things that gladden the heart

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

A Hykakhan Thanksgiving

I was doing ok until Star mentioned mac’n’cheese with ham, part of her Thanksgiving dinner. All I could taste was the longing. Then she said, with just the faintest hint of accusation, ” If you were home we’d have all … Continue reading

Posted in American holidays, apricots, Armenia, Blessings, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, gratitude, Happiness, kindness, Local delicacies, Thanksgiving, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, Village life, welcome | Leave a comment

Hajo to His Excellency

The outgoing Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Armenia gets what it’s like to be a volunteer. After treating four of us to breakfast in Goris in April, Richard Mills and his wife Leigh Carter had to … Continue reading

Posted in Ambassador Richard M Mills Jr., America, Armenia, armenia’s revolution, Cross-cultural understanding, Damian Gorman, Diplomacy, friendship, Hanna Huntley, National Poetry Recitation Contest, Peace Corps Armenia, Poet In Residence, Summer camp, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference | Leave a comment

Twin Peaks

Heavy lifting. It’s what bras are for, and all of mine in Armenia had proved unequal to the task. Of the six I brought with me from home , one had pinched from the get-go, two had lost a wire … Continue reading

Posted in Ararat, Armenia, Beauty, Blessings, bras, clothes, Cross-cultural understanding, Design, Embarrassment, fashion, friendship, gratitude, Khor Virap, Mount Ararat, Peace Corps Armenia, personal failings, shopping, Social niceties, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Underwear, visitors, Women | Leave a comment

A Short Stay in Old Town Tbilisi

At first it looked very much like home, 12 hours drive away in the South of Armenia. Our Old Town Tbilisi accommodation was on a dilapidated street, unevenly paved and steep. Cars blocked every entrance. Roofs were patched with rusting … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Apostolic church, Architecture, Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, eating out, fashion, Food, Georgia, Great weekends, Local delicacies, Old Town Tbilisi, shopping, Tbilisi, Things that gladden the heart, travel | Leave a comment