Category Archives: Village life

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

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

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

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

The road to Lor

“Come” said Laura, my fellow Peace Corps Volunteer. “Come and see my school–no-one ever does”. I readily agreed—I had looked at a map of Syunik marz, and seen that Lor was only 52 km from my home town. Google Maps … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian writers, Beauty, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, Driving, errors of judgement, Peace Corps, Religion, Sisian, Syunik Marz, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life | Leave a comment

Armenia through fresh eyes: Part Two

A day out with Ara is bettered only by an evening at home with him and his family.  Thursday was his youngest son’s birthday–8 years old. There was a big party with 16 kids and a  cake in the shape … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, chess, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, family, Food, friendship, Games, Moonshine, Mulberries, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Vodka | Leave a comment