Category Archives: Women

Sunday lunch

The mass at Tatev monastery is a real workout. The service lasts at least two hours, during which the congregation stands. At intervals the faithful must dip to touch the floor, kneel for protracted periods on slabs of stone, and … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Christianity, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, Food, friendship, Great weekends, joy, Language, Language learning, Religion, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Women | Leave a comment

In the Pink at the Raspberry Festival

The mayor was wearing a shiny blue suit with a silvered stripe. He stood out in the heat of the day, not least because almost everyone around him was attired in raspberry pink. The occasion was the Raspberry festival, held … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Belfast, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, Great weekends, joy, Language, Language learning, love, Northern Ireland, Nostalgia, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Vodka, Women, work | Leave a comment

At the Shops

Everything in Armenia looks like I built it. Skirting boards stop short of the door trim. Plastic piping pokes through jagged holes in plasterboard and tiling tails off when the money runs out. The whole country is not quite finished … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Candy, Capitalism, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, Food, Household tips, Nostalgia, shopping, Social niceties, Village life, Women, work | Leave a comment

So what do you do there anyway?

I spent the 4th of July cutting out pictures of hamburger buns, cheese slices and dill pickles. Black and white pictures, because we don’t have a color printer here. I used the pictures to teach an English conversation class about … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Advice, America, Armenia, Caucausus, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, family, Food, Homebrew, Household tips, Language learning, laundry, Marketing, Moonshine, Mulberries, Peace Corps, personal failings, Press, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Vodka, Women, work, Yogurt | 4 Comments

Awkward

Are you married? No Why not? (Laugh) No one asked me. (This is not true) But you have had a boyfriend? Yes  Do you have a brother? Yes, I have a brother and a sister and I have two children.  … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, family, identity, Language, personal failings, Race, Women | Leave a comment

The language of love: meet my best friend in Armenia

Elsa got past me this morning to hang a last load of my laundry on the line by the backdoor. She is very particular about pegging out. Underwear is discretely strung next to the pear tree,  and dark or colored … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, friendship, joy, know thyself, Language, love, personal failings, Things that gladden the heart, Women | 7 Comments

Congested in the Caucasus 

I blame the blossom. And then there’s the dust and the mould. What started as seasonal sneezing due to inhaling pesky pollen, motes of dried mud, and creeping black spores quickly led to sinus havoc. My ears popped crossing the … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Bronchitis, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, friendship, travel, Village life, Vodka, Women | 2 Comments

Armenia the Beautiful

Video credit: Peace Corps Volunteer Olivia Route. Olivia’s short film about her springtime in Armenia is less than five minutes long and worth watching. Everyday for the last couple of months she has recorded a few seconds of footage on her … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, joy, Mount Ararat, Peace Corps, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, travel, Vacation spots, Village life, Women | Leave a comment

Some dance to remember. Some dance to forget.

We are not allowed to travel after dark. We may not leave our villages without permission. We will never drive a car in our country of service. The rules governing the lives of incoming Peace Corps Volunteers are strict and … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Borders, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, friendship, Great weekends, joy, Mount Ararat, Peace Corps, Politics, shopping, travel, Village life, Women | 1 Comment

Spin the Bottle and Speed Dating, Armenian Style

We have played Jeopardy and a saliva-free version of Spin the Bottle. We have danced to mnemonic rhymes. We have brought in family pictures and discussed them at length. We have done it all in Armenian as part of our … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, Language, Learning, Village life, Women | Leave a comment