Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

1. Thanksgiving at my school. The cooks, some staff, me and the students who had a birthday in November. I did not supply the volcano candle.
2. Danny and I carving up the turkey.
3. My wood burning stove warming up my house. That fire was created with just two tries down from one hundred last week.
4. Me in front of the Armenian letter for M.
5. Me at a really old church from the 8th century.
6. The 8th century church and some very green grass for November.
7. A medieval head stone.
8. A box of kittens I got from America just kidding their Lisa’s.
9. The slide as part of the new playground.
10. The play house full of kids and my counterpart in the background.
11. The swings in full swing.
12. Picture of Mount Aragats taken on a clear day from Gyumri. Mt. Aragats is the tallest mountain in Armenia and I live at the base of it. A one hour train ride from where this picture was taken.
13. A sweet view from the Selin pass. I sat in the backseat to take this picture a machine gun occupied the front seat.
14. The oldest Holiday Inn in the world.

Stranger on the outside

Winter is finally beginning here. This time last year we had already had snow for a number of weeks but this year we’ve only had snow stick for a day and that was back in October. But its definitely cold enough now for the snow to stick and from the looks of it outside that snow will be here soon. And just in time. I’m finally getting the hang of my wood burner. The first time I tried it took one entire box of matches today it took maybe only five.
In the many months since I last wrote many things have happened. I finally got my grant all sorted out and a brand new playground now stands at the school. The students seem to enjoy it a lot and the weather has been great for the kids to get to use it. We have a swing set, play house, foot ball field and picnic area. Myself and seven other Peace Corps Volunteers cooked a Thanksgiving dinner for 80 people at my school and the American style Thanksgiving dinner was a big hit. Which I was really happy about and surprised by because when I got to the school Thanksgiving morning I found three uncooked turkeys sitting in a pot to be cooked within five hours. When I returned to help set up the three birds were as nice as anyone I had seen at my grandmother’s house.
We had a conference two weeks ago in Yerevan, the capital, where I learned a few new ideas to bring into the field. I also bought a blender so I’m making peanut butter, hummus, pesto and anything else I can think of to chop. I also taught my landlord how to make egg rolls. She really likes them and plans to have them on offer at her New Year’s celebration which is the biggest celebration of the year. And yesterday she took me to an army party where I was served sheep’s brain soup, yum, and about five shots of vodka within about an hour. So after dancing and listening to speeches I made my way home to await the snow which as of right now I’m still waiting for.