Finally, our first field trip. It got us out of our village and a much needed break from language training, as well as for our instructors who work [put up with our American arrogance, impatience and cultural insensitivity] timelessly to help us figure out how to not butcher their beautiful language.
Our guide/guest speaker on the Armenian Orthodox church comes from Chicago, however, this Father is currently on a year long assignment in his home country. He offered a brief intro to the history of the church, and then we were off to the “Mecca” of the church. It’s essentially the Vatican for this sect. Some interesting things were pointed out. Remember Delta Faucets … yeah the guy who started that has a grave there. Apparently he had a huge financial influence on the church in Armenian, and was given the second highest award, or something, to anyone – from both the church and military. Armenians also make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to visit the Armenian Quarter and are given a tattoo. Of what? I have no idea.
While much of the actual church was under construction, the surrounding areas were still up and running. There was a museum we visited that had some artifacts from a particularly significant event in Armenia’s history. [Don’t ask why I’m not supposed to mention that directly] There is also a nice vineyard for communion, not tasting you sacrilegious drunkards.
More photos are up on the photo stream; and yes, this week we have a July 4th party planned for our village.