Settling in

I arrived in my village last night after traveling all day with other volunteers. Things are well. I met my new host sister who was gone when first visited, and she’s great. She works for World Vision, a development organization with an office in Sisian, but she apparently only does projects within Lor (my language skills aren’t good enough to really know). Running also seems to be a hobby of hers, which is rare among the natives of Armenia.

My bed

My bed

My room is nice and I have plenty of space. I was given a desk, bed, and shelf, and all my extra luggage and winter clothes fit under the bed.

The food has been fine, but I’ve been especially pleased by the amount of beans my host mom has cooked for me. Most of the meals are pretty much the same, consisting of lavash (the tortilla-like bread), tomatoes, potatoes, a feta-like cheese, a small cabbage salad, beans, and honey. It’s all very good, and I usually ate just about the same thing everyday in the states, so I’m used to the monotony.

My internet is surprisingly fast, and the road to Lor is being to torn up to (I think) allow for some type of infrastructure that will provide internet to the villages along my valley. That will be nice, but it’s pretty quick already, so I’m not too worried about it.

The desk, shelf, and outlet

Two cousins are currently staying at my house, one with a broken foot. She was attempting to hike to Tatev, a city on the other side of the mountain east of Lor. Tatev is a tourist hotspot because of its famous monastery and beautiful surroundings, and it also happens to be the permanent site of my good friend Mike. It was encouraging to hear that someone was hiking to Tatev from Lor because I was going to try to do that soon, but also unfortunate that she was injured along the way. I just be more careful…

August should be a pretty slow month, as school doesn’t start until September, so I’ll hopefully be passing the time with some reading, hiking (already went on a run today), and studying the bar-bar. It doesn’t seem too bad in my family because three of them are teachers, but I need to improve my Armenian regardless. Hopefully my Armenian will be good enough so that I can start learning Russian by next summer. Nearly all Armenians speak it and often unknowingly throw Russian words into their Armenian. If there was ever a time for my to learn it, it’s in these next two years, but right now Armenian is much more important.


7 thoughts on “Settling in

    • totally agree with your mom on this point.

      any russian!? what the heck, it takes me 15 years to get spanish you, being the superstar you are, are taking on 2 new languages. i gotta step up my game… now

      te amo

  1. Maybe she meant “World Vision,” here is a video about WV:

    As to Tatev, starting October or November the Tramway is going to work, including in winter, which is the longest in the world, to Tatev Monastery from a village few miles away, so you do not need to walk to that monastery anymore, you just ‘fly’ and enjoy the view, the ride is 12 minutes. I think the tramway station is located very near to the highway that goes from Coris to Kapan near village Helazor.

    Here is link to an Armenian Forum in English language that gives interesting info & ideas & travel input and photos:
    it is called “Armenian Cafe”

    • She did indeed mean World Vision, I found out last night.

      I’ll be walking to Tatev from Lor, but if I wanted to take the Tramway I’d have to go Sisian then to Goris. This might actually be faster, but I think I’d rather do the hike while I can.

      • Enjoy your hiking Joel^^ I don’t know where Lor is located but according to your comment it should be between Sisian and Datev. In the Armenian Cafe forum, the link of which is given in my previous comment, there is plenty of information about Datev monastery and Datev village and the new tramway, all with plenty of photos and historical text. But somehow it is in the achieve, now they are in number 4 & 5. If you go to that forum page the numbers are at the bottom of the page.

  2. Joel…It looks like you have very comfortable digs, and with reliable electricity, you’re only a “click” away. 🙂 I’m fascinated by a hike to a monastery – would love to do that, round the corner and see a beautiful building. Food sounds great, family sounds great. Hope the books hold out. Let us know if you need more and a care package will be on its way.

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