First Snow!

I have nothing insightful to add, it’s just exciting/foreboding.

Update: we got nearly eight inches of snow total, and as of this morning a fair amount is still hanging around, though I imagine it’ll all just be mud within 48 hours:

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The view out our kitchen window Wednesday morning.
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A Margahovit Khorovats

A week after I got here, my new counterpart Emilia was elected along with eight others to the town’s council of elders! To celebrate, and also just because (“Armenians will have a party for absolutely anything” according to my host mom Vartush), we ventured up into the mountains south of town for a khorovats with the family. Here I provide photographic proof of this.

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The goofy backseat contingent for our drive. (l to r, Host folks’ daughter/Emilia’s sister Anna’s daughter Yana, Emilia’s daughter Shahane [three syllables – Sha-ha-ne], Anna’s daughter Diana).
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Lendrush prepares the meat for grilling.
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Peppers and eggplants roasting on the early stage of the fire.
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After the fire burns down to coals, Lendrush cooks the meat.
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Anna and Vartush prepare the roasted eggplants and peppers for eating.
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Quite the spread! (l to r around the table, Emilia’s nephew Hayk [her husband’s brother’s son], Shahane, Lendrush, Vartush, Emilia, Diana, Emilia’s daughter Liana [blocked], Emilia’s niece Lilit [Hayk’s sister], Yana, and Anna).
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Another toast.
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Liana, Diana, and Shahane on the swing.
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The view of the hills/mountains north of town from our eating place, not too shabby.
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Throwing around the frisbee after eating.
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Fun on the see-saw.
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Family portrait.

So yeah, life is pretty good here so far.

Site Change

As I’ve already told many of you, I’ve gotten a site change, as there was not enough work to do in Sarnaghbyur. I’ve moved to beautiful Margahovit, over in Lori marz, thirty minutes out of both Dilijan and Vanadzor, two great cities. I’ll be working with Emilia Martirosyan of the Margahovit Youth Center; I’ll also likely be doing secondary work with the Armenia Tree Project, who have a location in town.

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The view from my front porch.
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Another view. On sunny days here you put your mattresses out in the sun to air out.

I’m currently living with Emilia’s parents, and plan to move out on my own in the near future. Her parents (Vartush and Lendrush [“flag of Lenin”, the best Soviet-era name I’ve encountered here]) are incredibly nice and want to involve me in everything – in the week and a half I’ve been here I’ve been taken around to several different houses, gone mushroom hunting with Lendrush, and helped Emilia and her mother-in-law’s family harvest their potatoes a few houses over. I imagine I’ll still spend a lot of time with them once I have my own place.

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Mushroom hunting base camp.
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The drive home from mushroom hunting.
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Some of our findings.

I should also add that Margahovit is absolutely beautiful, as you can see in the above pictures. Trees and mountains, trees and mountains!

Updates to follow once I’ve settled in more!