Blogs from Yerevan, West, Armenia, Asia - page 4

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Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan July 24th 2008

Sam Here: Today we visited the pagan temple (First Century A.D.) at Garni and then traveled further up a valley to the Geghard Monastery. You can see pictures of both and if you like read more about their long history on the web. The Geghard Monastery is particulalry inspirational, carved out of rock and set in a beatiful setting similar to the Red Rock area of Arizona. At the Geghard Monastery we went into a second story cathederal area carved from solid rock. The acoustics were phenomenal. Gervorg and his cousin's son brought their duduk's (a mysterious wind instrument made from apricot root) and played for us. And then, just by chance, a woman's chorus came in with a small touring group and sang several medieval works that were so enchanting that it brought tears to ... read more
Garni Temple
Geghard Monastery Valley - Armenia
Tree At Monastery

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan July 23rd 2008

Just some general comments and pictures about how village houses are built around Yerevan, Armenia. The basic ingredients for foundation, walls, and floors are concrete and tufa (a calcium carbonate deposit). Fortunately for Armenia tufa is common, cheap, and comes in many colors, giving their towns and villages a much greater range in color and variety than other soviet style buildings in other parts of the world. The foundation is laid as a perimeter about 2 feet wide. The outside and the inside of the foundation are laid with some sort of course broken rock with at least one flat face. These are mortared together and the interior between is filled with concrete as the walls go up. They usually build the foundation up about 2-4 feet above the ground and then fill the interior of ... read more
Completed Foundation Wall
Pile of Tufa Stone
Tufa Wall on Foundation Stone

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan July 23rd 2008

Yesterday, Izzy's birthday was quite the celebration. Gohar, the Fuller Center volunteer coordinator, took Izzy's birthday very seriously. She made sure that he had a cake, complete with firecracker-tulip that lit the candles and played happy birthday, as well as champagne and watermelon. We were told that we would have cake upon arriving at the site around 10 am, so that the cake would not melt! (Note: Cake was NOT made of icecream!) It was a double celebration, as another villager also had his birthday on the same day. Many people hugged and kissed Izzy, and congratulated me as well. (I guess for having not given up during labor? I'm not sure.) It was incredibly generous of the family to give him the clock. So much generosity and hospitality from people who have so little, to ... read more
old & new yerevan
apt bldg
Izzy & gayena

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan July 23rd 2008

Hi All, Gayle here posting for the first time. Today was yet another extraordinary day full of adventure and amazement. We began by going to Levon's chambers of wonders, in a nearby village outside of Yerevan. Levon has spent the last 23 years digging, what was supposed to be a root cellar beneath his house, but has turned into an inspired response to visions sent to him in his dreams. He now spends (20 hours a day till recently) 12 hours a day digging tunnels and chambers through rock and tufa (the local pumice stone). It most resembles a subterranean grotto -- and it is quite a feat! According to our sources he has only left the site to attend his 4 daughters weddings. Levon says that he is to dig for 27 more years, until ... read more
in the cave
One of Numerous Sections of Levon's Labyrinth
Wren In Levon's Labyrinth

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan July 22nd 2008

Sam Yet Again: I think the kids are having too much fun at night to blog....so it goes. Leo paid my Internet fees yesterday and I told him that in return I would mention him today...done. Today was the last day of work on the site. We finished the front stairs and then spent the rest of the time until lunch passing buckets of pumice up to the attic. The Fuller team was glad that we stopped using the old ladder made or recycled wood and poles and didn't drop any buckets on anyone's head. Izzy's 17th birthday was today and there was cake and the local family gave him a very nice Modonna and child clock (there weren't up on the fact that he was actually Jewish - or was it Zoroastrian?....or perhaps was from ... read more
Armenian State Song and Dance Ensemble
Pat
Talar and Ani

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan July 21st 2008

Hi All: (started this yesterday...finishing today) Sam again. 100F+ today at the work site. Everyone seems to be aclimatized though. Both Wren, Anna, and Stuart work out in the sun much of the day. Stuart shovels cement about 70% of the time and Wren has taken turns too. Anna does bucket line without complaint. Pretty standard day for us. All the cement floors in the house are now complete except for the top of the stairs. Tonight after eating at a small Aremenian restaurant. Gayle, Nadya, and I went to a nightclub to watch the Armenian Navy Band. Very hot band, a mix of Sun Ra, Taj Mahal, and New York jazz band. About 15 in the group, nice brass section, traditional Armenian section, rock drummer, and nice keyboardist. Good blend of rock and Near East ... read more
Shoveling Cement
Classic Armenian Men's Shoe
Armenian Navy Band

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan July 21st 2008

Un petit pays chrétien au milieu des montagnes du Caucase Après un petit voyage en bus de 25h à travers le désert du nord-ouest de l'Iran, éprouvant à cause de la chaleur, et un peu stressant pour des questions de visa, nous sommes arrivés dans cette étonnante capitale : Erevan. Cette ville est un véritable oasis où l'on trouve des fontaines où se désaltérer à tous les coins de rue, débordante de verdure, et où les français se font spontanément invité pour un café, fêter un anniversaire, ou même, du jamais vu, pour un repas au restaurant ! Notre famille d'accueil, Hovanes, Selpie et leur enfant Jacques, était vraiment accueillante, et nous a offert un cadre idéal pour passer un excellent séjour dans le pays. Nous avons fait ici beaucoup de bonnes rencontres, et avons tenter ... read more
Un accueil plutôt insolite
Notre famille d'accueil
Avis au cinéphile

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan July 20th 2008

Sam here...Today was an off day, but I should say something about the previous night first. After the ballet the kids hooked up with some Armenian kids they met at the work site and went out on the town. The traveled up the city mountainside to a sports area where the local youthizens had organized an outdoor dance party. I will let the kids expand on this but they had a Russian DJ who played Russian and Armenian techno music. Sounds like they had a blast. Stu says he had to fend off some very friendly Armenian men from Wren (one pronounced is his love for her)...what a nice brother. One nice thing about this city and apparently everywhere in the country is that it is so safe. Tables with street goods on them are left ... read more
Chemicals for Sale
Stuart and Sam's Room at the Shirat
Typical Behind the Building Scene

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan July 20th 2008

T-Shirt Slogans *Outragous when I move my body *For you, splendid smile *We have super grass *My heart lives in the dast *Industrial Dub Folk Acid *This bag is not a toy Menu items *vhiski *jin *rom *Long Icelend Ice Tea ... read more
Hi Chicken
Note sure what?

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan July 19th 2008

(Note pictures were added to the previous day's entries) Today was another work day. We traveled to the site and continued working on mixing and pouring concrete and made a lot of progress on the remaining rooms. However in the early afternoon the electricity went out and we learned that tragically the families' 15-year old neighbor and clos friend who was the twin of one of the previous day's helpers was electrocuted. We left at that point so the families could get together and grieve. Household wiring is all 220V in the country and often exposed and wired in creative but unsafe ways. We learned that the average villager makes about $20.00 per month and so corners are often cut when costs are too high. There is a general feel that personal risk is less important ... read more
Mother




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