Arriving back into my permanent site, with a new host family and having completed my first full week on the job, it’s time to update the public at large regarding the past week. Previously it had been conveyed to me, by my new host dad, [during the 4 day site visit in July], that upon my return we would be taking a host father and son fishing trip. Pretty normal, right? Sort of. I’ve never seen four grown Armenian men so on time to do anything in my short time in this country. 6:00 am nonetheless. We were off and just a short ways down the road, we began digging for worms in the middle of somewhere with pieces of house siding and empty beer and coffee cans. The best part up to that point was the one dude who barely made it out of his house and passed out on the drive up … he was kicked, smacked, and mocked the ENTIRE day. No, that was not me. Sorry to disappoint. Alright, so the rest of the day followed a pretty standard day at the lake … eat, drink, relax … lather, rinse, repeat and go home. Just replace beer with vodka. And yes, Armenians use fishing poles and line and nets … well some of them [more on that later] And yes, some fish was actually caught amidst the debauchry.
Another day this week I traveled with my director to a tourist host spot in the region, which is pretty much heavily populated with out-of-towners, and thus consists of pretty much hotels. Beautiful, but a short trip up and a good bbq lunch when we got back.
Back to fishing. My site mate and I decided to take a dip in the nearby river one day. Like always, some locals followed us and wanted to know everything and show us everything, including their methodolgy when attempting to catch fish. This time … no poles, lines, nets – yes, but this strategy included an explosive mechanism propelled into the middle of the river, causing a decent explosion, and the fish to surface. This is where the nets come in. Also a bunch of dudes jumped in, some fully clothed and began scurrying around with their hands. Others jumped in and swam around for the dead things and began launching them onto the riverbank.