Category Archives: Things that make a difference

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

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

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

Looming Large

You’ll see it as soon as you walk down the stairs in Yerevan’s Silk Road Hotel. I fell for it straight away, for this antique carpet features the blue and rust colors I love to see together. The carpet is … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian art, armenian carpet, art, artsakh carpet, buting handmade carpets, craft activities, Cross-cultural understanding, shopping, textiles, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, Women, work | Leave a comment

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

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

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