|Astghik, favorite student and lovely friend---not to be forgotten|
|Zepur (center) , Artur, Zhora with Dave and Judy--neighbor and friends|
|Armenian tutor, Knarick (in pink) and family|
|Our friends and a sweet couple, Levon and Hayarpi, at their wedding|
|Armine Grigoryan and staff at Bridge of Hope, Dilijan---a favorite organization for Judy|
|Dave with his counterpart, Ashot, and other colleagues|
Preceding our final departure was a Hajo Majo (good luck and good-bye) party with our fellow volunteers and others who would be staying in Armenia another year to complete their service. Then, following many good-bye dinners, coffee breaks and impromptu visits with Armenians, we were ready to leave. Our time was up and it was over. The Peace Corps experience would soon be a lingering, memorable part of our history and past lives. It was surreal to think about where we'd be after these 27 months...............what we'd be doing, who we'd be interacting with.
As we said our farewells first to this friend then that one, we realized we'd probably never see these dear people again. We'd not be dead nor would they, but they'd be in one part of the world and Dave and me in another. Oh, yes, we 'd like to return to visit and to take a long hike with Ando , our friend in Hovk, Armenia who owns a B & B and outdoor sporting company. And we'd like to return for the birthday parties of Artur and Zhora, my teacher friend's sons. We'll miss seeing Arsen and Tatevik at the Dilijan International School as well as Louise and all the other optimistic people we met who are aiming for an August, 2014 opening of that school. And we already miss Christina and her family, Knarik , Zepur, Rozan, Astghik, Arpine and many others. Time will diminish the initial feelings of separation but we will not forget these people or many others who made our lives in Armenia more pleasant. My students, the people Dave worked with and other random people we met daily will come up in stories we tell when relating our experiences in this unusual country in which we lived and became involved. Part of Peace Corps Goal 3 will be to tell about how these relationships impacted our service in Armenia.
Our photos will tell of only a few good-byes but they were each special and with dear people in our lives. These are just a few of the Armenian people we will miss and do not include our American Peace Corps peers and the staff at Peace Corps Armenia. Telling these people good-bye is another story and one of just as much poignancy. It will take time to readjust to another life back in the states with friends and family, but we'll do it and will be glad to re-connect with each one of these loved ones. It is just the realization that one part of our life is over and we must look forward to the next. We are not sure what it will be or where, but plan to continue a life in pursuit of helping others and seeing the world while further broadening our own life experiences.
|Arsen and Tatevik, friends from Dilijan International School|
|Friend's daughter enjoying a RICHARD SCARRY book|
|Group of Judy's student with Armenian English teacher, Christina|