These past couple of weeks have produced some very choice events. First, it was my host brother Samvel’s birthday. The whole fam damily came over, as well as a few trainees in my village. That was one khorovadz [Armenian for “bbq”]. Saturday I assisted in the milkage of our family cows [pics forthcoming], we actually were able to generate milk, and Misha and Gohar [host mom and dad]thought I was nuts. Not the first family to feel this way; certainly not the last.
[The rest of the photos are on the photostream, as always.]
The second took place on my first ever trip to Lake Sevan in the middle of the country. This was in conjunction with his birthday, as well as his cousin Armen’s. We were supposed to do it the weekend prior had I not been on my permanent site visit. Oh well. It was well worth the wait. It started out like your typical family trip to the lake in the United States. Everyone wanted to hurry up and get there, dad drove, patience short with everyone who wanted to stop along the way and pick up new outfits to lie around in, and running around the house to make sure we had everything. After picking up the rest of the family in the adjacent city, including a relative who returned from France, we sped to the lake.
Oh yea, I left something out, we killed a goat the day before to use for food at the lake. Back to the lake. After the self imposed stressful drive up, we ate and then swam. After a while a few of us took a trip up to an old monastery … again and a wedding was taking place as well … again. However, this time tourists were present. I actually told my family I wasn’t fond of them, but the money they brought was good for Armenia, they understood. So, back to the lake for yet another khorovadz [this would be “numero dos” for the week]. We swam again and just were lazy. I learned that Gohar played volleyball growing up. I love this family more and more every day. And, like in the U.S., at the conclusion of any family outing, everyone is tired and burnt to the crisp. Oh yea, and I helped some tourists hail a cab back to Yerevan. However, I did also mess with a few of them that day and told them I was Armenian and refused to speak English.
As of today, there is less than two weeks left of our PST this summer and then off to our permanent sites. It has been pretty intense, and busy, but at the same time, it’s a great country to be in.