Indeed, it had been raining quite a bit the last few days. It’s also gotten significantly colder. But these are not why I have failed to post in the last few weeks. It’s been a combination of things.
First, I went to counterpart conference about 2 weeks ago up in Tsakhedzor, about an hour outside of Yerevan. It was a great weekend. I was able to see some of the other volunteers, and we stayed in a hotel that was almost too nice. The conference itself was really helpful for volunteers who needed to bring things up with their counterparts – from team teaching, to lesson planning and how to communicate. Unfortunately, my counterpart didn’t come, so it did none of those things for us. The excuse was that her husband did not want her to (which I guess is a common problem for the married teachers), but it also sounded like she didn’t want to come. Our TEFL program manager is visiting all the sites soon, so I will try to bring up most of the issues then.
I stayed home this last week, though the vast majority of volunteers went to Yerevan for initiative meetings (and for evening festivities, of course). It was actually quite nice to stay at home and just relax. I almost got sick, but I rested and took my vitamins to fight it off. I’ve also been without internet until today, which meant I was doing a lot of reading and studying (Armenian, and a little Russian). The weather has been bloody cold, another reason I didn’t really leave the house.
Things are going well with my family – we are becoming more comfortable with each other, which is nice, and they are feeding me well. Although today I did get some boiled flour for lunch…
A few days ago, while it was rainy and cold outside, my host-mom helped me with an Armenian poem written by a poet, Hamo Sahyan. He’s from my village, and the poem is about Lor itself. I had to translate a number of words, but it was pretty cool once I finally figured it out.
Here is the first of four stanzas (this is a rough transliteration): Yerp amen ankam batsvum e ora / Mtkov mtnum em Darbasi dzora / Kartses lsum em moras orora / Yerp sosapum e tsanot bardin.
Which translates roughly to: Every time the day begins / With a thought I enter the gorge of Darbas / It’s as if I her my mother’s cradling / When the familiar poplar rustles
“Darbas” is a village a few kilometers down the valley.