Category Archives: Things that make a difference

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

When your face don’t fit

Last week I was mistaken for the Ambassador of Greece to the Republic of Armenia. I do not know Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary H.E. Mrs. Nafsika Nancy Eva Vraila, but clearly she is a woman of astounding beauty, with a keen … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, Diplomacy, fear, life lessons, Peace Corps, Prejudice, Race, resilience, Safety, sexual assault, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life | Leave a 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

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

School report

The CEO of Dasaran pulls up a slide that shows the number of logins they get from abroad—click throughs by the thousand from Russia, Spain and other parts of Europe and the Middle East. “These are dads working abroad” says … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Dasaran, Data Analysis, Education, family, Internet, Learning, life lessons, Play, Technology, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Youth | 2 Comments

The children of Lor?

46 children attend school in the village of Lor in Syunik Marz, Armenia. There are twelve forms, 0-12, with a scant handful of children in each. 46 is fewer children than last year, and more than next year. Worldvision, a … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian art, Armenian writers, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, eating out, Education, Emigration, Environment, Food, friendship, gratitude, Great weekends, Halloween, identity, joy, love, National pride, Nature, Peace Corps, Poetry, resilience, Syunik Marz, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, work, Youth | Leave a comment