Sunday, June 19, 2005


Friday we visited the Matenadaran(a word I’ve finally been able to say). The Matenadaran is not so much a museum as a research facility—only 1% of the manuscripts are displayed. The rest are kept in special environments to protect them. We had a guide that explained how important some of these manuscripts have been. Some are translations of Greek texts that we would not have known existed such as the Euclid. There is also a manuscript by an Armenian saying the world was round before Galileo, but he lacked proof in his text. Perhaps the most inspiring is a 32 kilo book that two women split in half during the genocide--one carried the book to safety; the other was killed, but half of the book was recently found in Turkey and brought to the museum.

Any trip to the Matendaran should be followed by a trip to Grand Candy. We had ponchikis—essentially fried dough with chocolate inside. It is incredibly cheap…less than a dollar for three scoops of ice cream, ponchikis and waters. Any semblance of healthy eating has gone completely out the window here in Armenia. With my first host family I ate hot dogs for breakfast—with the Chabonians I usually have a large piece of cake.


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