Monday, July 9, 2012

Many of my blogs are serious, as I focus on real life happenings in Armenia. As Dave and I live and work here with the Peace Corps,  I realize that these writings may sound more negative than I intend even though there are definitely positives for us in this life we are leading.

I also realize that my blogs are lengthy, verbose, time-consuming to read, and often just too long to be blog entries.      So................this blog will only have photos with minimal text.  To follow are photos of a few people we've met and experiences we've had outside of our work but inside our goal of integrating and immersing ourselves into life in Armenia.
Family from Iran who we met in Yerevan as we walked down the street. The father spoke and taught English and invited us to visit in Iran.    We are not allowed to go to Iran while in Peace Corps service.

Finale for children's award-winning musical produced at the Dilijan Music College.

Peace Corps volunteers at July 4th celebration at U. S. Embassy in Yerevan, Armenia--complete with hamburgers and fireworks!
Gathering storm clouds in the Dilijan mountains
Lovely family we met in Dilijan then had dinner with in their Yerevan home, most hospitable and inviting family!
Petunias thrive in the climate of Armenia
. Not many children have bikes in our neighborhood but this boy let Dave ride his for a few minutes
Judy with children waiting to see President of Armenia during his visit to Dilijan
2 of our favorite Armenian neighbors

A few photos, very little text.....nice
change! These pictures are worth
thousands of words.  Enjoy!

Armenian woman who bakes and sells LAVASH (national bread of Armenia) right in our neighborhood.  It is yummy!\\


Monday, July 2, 2012

Don't Leave Home Without It....your Camera

Recently, I missed a great photo op----a cow lying quietly at the front door of the school where I went for an appointment. I was startled, but the cow appeared nonchalant as she rested in the warm Armenian sun, wide- eyed and chewing her cud . She looked at my friend and me as if to say, "welcome, and WHY are YOU here?" Then the smooth , brown bovine creature rose up and walked down the front steps of the school and left us to find our way without any help from her. She had checked us out and decided we were acceptable for her school and now she  moved on to another resting place.

My Armenian teacher friend and I were visiting the school to invite the English teachers to a workshop being planned for later in the summer. We'd taken a taxi and would eventually visit 4 schools who offered English to their students. Each school's principal and English teachers expressed interest in attending the 1-day workshop to be presented by my site mate and fellow Peace Corps volunteer, Kellianne Lauer plus 3 other volunteers. It will be part of our work aimed at sharing new teaching methods to English teachers in Armenia. We hope these teachers actually show up for the workshop.

Later that day I met David for coffee in the cafe near his office. We approached the counter and greeted the server .Before she could take our order, 3 teen-aged girls rushed in and in true Armenian fashion, pushed in front of us. They were laughing, talking, swishing their long shiny black hair like
ponies in an open field trying to keep flies off their backs. The server proceeded to take their orders as other girls with the same appearance joined them at the counter, pushing in front of Dave and me as if we were invisible. We have become accustomed to people breaking in to lines, but today it was too much.  The server knew us yet ignored us to wait on 6-7 girls who rudely sought her  immediate attention. If I had brought my camera, a revealing photo of Dave leaving the cafe without coffee would have been posted here.  Apsos!! (it's a pity).
                                 then......another non-camera day.........

We rode the marschutni (main source of transportation from one town/village to another) to Yerevan later in the week to attend a couple of Peace Corps meetings and appointments. I did not take my camera so missed taking photos of several vast fields of wildflowers so prolific and beautiful . in Armenia in late spring and early summer. Apsos, again.   I also missed taking a photo of a colorfully dressed older woman in the street in Yerevan.  She was dressed in red tights, brightly colored blouse and very high heels. She was carrying a hot pink umbrella to protect herself from the sun. The woman's hair was jet black with hints of white at crucial spots thus showing her true colors. She wore vivid red lipstick and the expected eye shadow of Armenian women in their attempt to be perpetually beautiful regardless of age or occasion. We watched as she greeted people on the street and they in turn spoke to her. Everyone smiled for their own reasons. I'm sure she would have welcomed a photo.  And she made us smile, too.

I need a new camera. The flash on mine has not functioned for months, however , Dave and I do have hundreds of decent images in spite of this defect. I promise myself every day to take the camera, but some days it is just too burdensome. Those days are usually ones in which great photo ops present themselves.  Now my new mantra  is, "don't leave home without it-----the camera".

(No photo for this blog, because I forgot the camera!)       Judy