Category Archives: travel

Teachable moments in Dubai

I once had a boyfriend who said I could suck the fun out of anything. Fair warning: I am about to give this treatment to Dubai, a place I, perhaps unexpectedly, now adore. Everything you have ever heard about Dubai … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Capitalism, Cross-cultural understanding, Design, drinking, Dubai, eating out, fashion, Food, Islam, joy, Learning, life lessons, Marketing, Middle East, National pride, shopping, Things that gladden the heart, travel, UAE, Vacation spots, Women | 3 Comments

Glad Tidings of Comfort and Joy?

It is always a white Christmas in my part of Armenia. Last year there was a meter of snow on the ground for the Apostolic celebration of Christ’s birth on January 6, and the first flakes fell back in October. … Continue reading

Posted in America, apricots, Armenia, Beauty, Borders, Christianity, Christmas, Church, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, Food, Great weekends, History, identity, Islam, life lessons, Nagorno-Karabakh, National pride, Nostalgia, Peace Corps, Politics, Religion, Soviet Union, Syunik Marz, travel, Village life | Leave a comment

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

Where Worlds Collide

J’s beautiful face is surrounded by the hijab she uses to cover her hair. Her hijab is the only one I have seen in Armenia. J speaks Farsi, Kurdish, Arabic and of course English. She glowed as she talked about … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Christianity, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, International Human Rights Day, Islam, Language, Learning, life lessons, Literacy, Middle East, Nagorno-Karabakh, National pride, Nature, Poetry, Religion, Rt, Syunik Marz, travel, Turkey Armenia relations, war, Wilfred Owen, Writing | 2 Comments

Burn Baby Burn

Aleta is the only person I know who can light an Armenian match. These non-incendiary items come in sad, damp boxes, with inadequate strike pads. Attempt to grip an Armenian match firmly, and its shaft will splinter as it connects … Continue reading

Posted in accident, Armenia, Cooking, craft activities, Cross-cultural understanding, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, fear, Fire, Food, gratitude, know thyself, life lessons, personal failings, resilience, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Winter | 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