Blogs from Yerevan, West, Armenia, Asia - page 6


Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan November 17th 2007

On Saturday I went to the large bazaar with a colleague from work. Everything you can imagine, from single beaters to plug into your handheld mixer, auto parts, beautiful rugs and needlework, bootleg CDs, etc. and you name it and it was there. But the highlight of the evening was yet to come. I went with one of my Armenian colleagues to a birthday party. Originally I thought we were going to a "jazz club", but then this came up. I arrive at the birthday party around 9.30pm. I'm thinking this is going to be some staid affair. Hahaha. I couldn't have been more wrong. The eating and drinking had been going on for quite some time. The son-in-law's family owns a restaurant, so they had closed the restaurant down for the party. So, I ate ... read more

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan November 15th 2007

First, today is 1989 throwback day in Armenia. And I don't mean they are wearing "throwback" jerseys. For the upcoming election, I think it is in January or February, one of the candidates was president back in 1989. As a protest against him by the other candidate, who must still be in government, Armenians do not have heating oil today. A little reminder of what life was like back during this guy's tenure - no electricity, no heat, food shortages, etc. I think it's a great campaign strategy. I think my feet might fall off they are so cold. I am also mapping out a new career path while I'm here. You know that I want to work overseas, right? Well, I think I'm going to sign up as a security guard for a donor-funded project. ... read more

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan November 13th 2007

Bon appe-nutin' So today here in the land of Armenia - Bossman Tikki Tikki Timbo sicked out on work. Well, actually his luggage was going to arrive this morning so he stayed at the hotel. Considering it is now almost 2pm, I think he should have rolled into the office by now. But, I'll keep that to myself. Actually, no, I'll share that with you. Tikki and I are sitting with the Healthcare Finance Team, which consists of L. and G.. This is G. I., because there are several with the same name on the project. L. and G. are super super super nice. The coffee machine in the kitchenette costs 200 AMD, or just under a dollar. It is the most high tech machine I have ever seen. It spits out your coffee in a ... read more

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan November 12th 2007

This will be the last blog before Tom and I return to Montana Dec. 1. Fall is definitely here in Yerevan. The street vendors selling fruits and vegetables have switched from beautiful heaps of tomatoes, cucumbers, and greens to sturdier fare of cabbage, potatoes, turnips, carrots, and squash. This past Saturday our Environmental Conservation and Research Center organized a tree planting event with the NGO Armenian Tree Project. Bad weather and slippery roads had caused us to cancel our first planned project a couple weeks ago, but Saturday was a beautiful fall day in Yerevan. We gathered at the Gai monument (a hero of WWI) to plant the species Sophora japonica or pagoda tree in the pea/bean family (actually from China). It will grow into a medium-sized tree with cascades of flowers so the web info ... read more
Rana and Levan
Our group
At Bellas

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan November 11th 2007

Armenia is nice, but I have absolutely zero interesting things to convey. The airport was shiny and new, but leaving I saw the old Soviet one, which was crumbling and in disrepair. It looked like a flying saucer, I think it may have been cutting edge when it was built. No scary men with guns, no creepy dark rooms or anything. I walked around this morning before meeting the boss of the project here, R., for lunch with Tikki Tikki Timbo, my immediate boss. Tikki and I get along at the highest level, but not so much the lower level things. Tikki frustrates me to no end. If you get a little uncomfortable with a lot of black leather, super fancy cars, tinted windows, beefy men with duffel bags and gold chains, Armenia may not be ... read more

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan October 24th 2007

What to do when not hiking… Well, we are somewhat sidelined. Tom and I celebrated his birthday (last weekend) by staying at one of the Tufenkian hotels 3 hours north of Yerevan. We wanted to complete two of the hikes in the Adventure Armenia book that we enjoy so much. Unfortunately Tom, for the first time, sprained his ankle. But, of course finished the last 2.5 miles of the hike anyway. Our drive north took us past two Yezidi villages. The Yezidis are one of the most numerous national minorities in Armenia. They speak Kumanji, a northern Kurdish dialiect. Their religion, Sharfardin, was the religion of Kurds in very ancient times (information from a book entitled “We are Yezidis” by Aziz Tamoyan). Their villages are without trees for the most part and their streets are muddy ... read more
The time of the earthquake
Restoring the church
Kobair scene

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan September 26th 2007

Tom and I have not been suffering from ennui in Armenia. . Tom is busy working with GIS data for the White Stork project, helping with our website, grocery shopping in the markets, and going to receptions, parties etc. Yerevan weather is still very warm during the day but the evenings are wonderfully cool. Cochineal Insects Last week, as Tom mentioned in his letter, we got up early to go with our entomologist friend to the Ararat Valley to watch the yearly emergence of the Ararat Valley Cochineal Insects ( that produce red dyes for manuscripts and carpets)—they spend their entire life cycle sucking carbohydrates from the roots of a couple grass species, until mid-September when the winged males and the wingless females emerge from their testae to come to the soil surface after 8:00 a.m., ... read more
Jen, Tom, and Martin looking for cochineals
The grass roots and testa
The female

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan September 17th 2007

Today is our last day of the Global Village trip and a great had been planned for us. Melik, David, and Ani picked us up to take us to the Holy See Edminjistan. Being that it was Sunday, both churches we visited had masses in seesion- it was a great experience to see how the traditional Armenian masses were held as well as seeing the historic churches. It was very beautiful, and Ani and David did a wonderful tour of the campus. Afterwards we went back to Yerevan and had lunch at Square One, a restaurant that served American cuisine. While we were eating, a group of Peace Corps members sat at the table next to us- many were from the US, including one guy from Sterling Hgts who went to high school with my cousin! ... read more

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan September 15th 2007

Maliek, Gohar, and David (a HFH Armenia volunteer who is Armenian, grew up in Jordan but lives in Yerevan as he is going to the university to be a dentist), picked us up from the hotel to take us to our last day on the worksite. Since we finished moving the lava rock to the attic yesterday, our task today was to do some landscaping- leveling the front and backyard, filling with dirt, then covering with pebbles. As our team enjoys the "bucket brigade", we gladly accepted this task! When we arrived to the site, we were joined by Hamlet and Amalik, Hraj, Sarkis, Hacob, and a couple of the neighbors. It was a great workday and we were able to finish the front yard before lunch. It was very hot out, so we were sure ... read more
Hamlet and Amalik's house
Group photo!

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan September 14th 2007

Today we headed straight to the worksite and started the highly anticipated "bucket brigade"! Our task for the day was to carry buckets of the lava rock up to the attic, and to bring enough rocks up to form a 5-6" layer across the entire attic floor. This was a nice break from plastering and painting and gave the team a different experience. Gohar also explained that by our team helping move the lava rock, we were doing something that would be much more difficult for the homeowner to finish by himself. Our team glady accepted the challenge! A pulley and rope were set-up, hanging from the roof trusses. Hamlet, his brother, Hraj (who has been working with us everyday), and Hamlet's cousin, Sarkis, were in the attic awaiting the filled buckets and would spread them ... read more

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