Friday, July 08, 2005


It is quite hard to believe my two months have past, but I am back on Cape Cod. It is bittersweet. It is wonderful to see my family, but my time in Armenia felt too short. I hope to continue this blog with Armenian information, although I suspect I will be writing less frequently and the material will not be as interesting.

In any case, these pictures are taken from my last Depi Hayk excursion. We went to Amberd Fortress and a nursery of the Armenian Tree Project. It was a wonderful day, capped off by a live dance performance and plenty of khorovats.

I spent the rest of my time in Armenia doing some last minute shopping and saying goodbye to all of the great people I met there.

I want to thank everyone who took an interest in my blog and to those especially who contributed through Paypal. I'm optimistic about the future in Armenia, and would encourage anyone (Armenian or not) to visit the country.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

a view from amberd fortress

this guy scaled the fortress in dress shoes

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Sunday we went with a couple of other volunteers to Dilijan, a sort of resort area for Armenians during the summer months. We hiked from the Haghartsin monastery back to the town of Dilijan. It was a nice hike and there were an incredible amount of wildflowers along the way. Hiking in Armenia is so different from anything in the states—most of the time the path is overgrown or not easily distinguished.



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.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

the group at khor virap

Noravank and Khor Virap

Saturday we had a group excursion to another two monasteries. The first was Khor Virap, the place where Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 14 years as legend has it. In reality he was there for 14 days. We were able to hike down into the pit and I assure you 14 days was more than enough. This is where Gregory is said to have cured King Trdat III of a disease and caused the king and Armenian nation to become the first Christian nation. The monastery offers a striking view of Mt. Ararat. You are also able to see the border (the Arax river) with Turkey.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

sevan's monasteries


I took Wednesday and Thursday off and Courtney and I went to the Tufenkian Tsapatagh Hotel which is located in a remote village on the eastern side of Lake Sevan. The hotel is beautiful and blends well with the landscape. It was a splurge but well worth it—there was a pool, hot tub, and a fantastic restaurant—probably the best food I’ve had in all of Armenia. We also had a great taxi driver who brought us from Sevan city to Tsapatagh and then came and picked us up the next day. Only the following day he brought his two granddaughters and wife. It was a tight ride back to Sevan, but lots of fun. On our way back he stopped on the peninsula of Sevan where there are two beautiful monasteries. When the monasteries were built, the peninsula was actually an island.

During our time in Tsapatagh we did a hike that brought us to within two kilometers of the Azerbaijian border. Fortunately our guide book had a clear illustration of where to stop. I’ve found it does not take long to reach Armenia’s borders.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Etchmiatsin and Vernissage

Sunday morning Courtney, Armen, Sophia and I went to the service at Etchmiatsin. This is one of my Aunt Faith's favorite places in Armenia and I am now able to understand why. The music is powerful and the church itself is beautiful. The service was over 2 hours long.

Upon returning to Yerevan we went to Vernissage, the huge outdoor market located near the center of Yerevan. There are beautiful handcrafted Nardi (backgammon) boards and a huge variety of products. I'm always overwhelmed by these markets, but did find a couple of small things to buy.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


Courtney arrived after quite the journey by boat from Greece and by bus through Georgia and Turkey. She had some great stories and her trip went smoother and faster than we both anticipated. She arrived arrived Wednesday night, two days earlier than I had expected.

On Saturday, we went on a Birthright Armenia excursion to Gyumri. Gyumri suffered an incredible amount of destruction during the 1988 earthquake. We met with a USAID employee who briefed us on the situation in Gyumri. Though the situation has certainly improved, there are still over 3,000 families who were displaced from their homes because of the earthquake who are waiting for USAID/Armenian government vouchers to purchase new homes.

We also met with the director of an art school in Gyumri that has over 350 students. Considering the financial resources of the school, that is an amazing figure. To keep the school running, students sell art work they have produced. The school also serves as an orphanage to about 20 children. During our tour of the school the students performed a dance for all of the volunteers.

After Gyumri we visited a fortress in the town of Talin. The fortress is still in quite good condition and we were able to see an underground tunnel that is said to have reached all the way to Sevan (37 kilometers).

the art school's dance performance

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


My blog is now listed on Armeniapedia. The website is great and has everything you could possibly need to know about Armenia. You can find my blog along with others under the Armenian Online Journals section.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Zatik Festival

Saturday was the Zatik festival, organized by a former AVC volunteer. Zatik is an orphanage in Yerevan that houses about 130 children. It was a lot of fun for all the kids and included horse and buggy rides, basketball, ice cream, popcorn, and shaurma. I played basketball and was on the Armenian news! I’m a celebrity around these parts. I also somehow became the target of three or four children during a water balloon fight. It was a great experience and a lot of fun. Saturday night we went to cheer on the Armenian National soccer team. Unfortunately, they lost to Macedonia 2-1, but it was an exciting game and fun to see the Armenian fans.

my new friends at zatik

Friday, June 03, 2005

Genocide Memorial and Museum

Friday there was a Birthright Armenia orientation for many of the new volunteers who have arrived in the past week. I decided to tag along because I hadn’t been formally “oriented” and the group was going to the Genocide Memorial and Museum. I really enjoyed the museum and I am further baffled how Turkey can deny the Genocide. There is an incredible amount of documentation in the museum from all different countries. It is frustrating…Turkey recently cancelled an unbiased, academic discussion that was going to take place in Istanbul. The justice minister said the Turkish organizers were “stabbing Turkey in the back.” How is that for democracy in action?

On the topic of genocide, I would encourage people to read about what is going on in Darfur, Sudan. Nicholas Kristof has covered the subject extensively and has listed a variety of web sites and ways to help. Even just sending an automated letter to the white house, your senators and congressmen may help. This article is particularly disturbing.

the eternal flame at the genocide memorial

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Forum for Economic Development in Armenia

Wednesday we had a forum regarding the economic development of Armenia. Two different people spoke about the problems of economic development in Armenia. In many ways, there is reason for optimism. In the early 90’s Armenia lacked necessities including water, electricity, and gas. Other times, I am discouraged by what I hear from the locals that I work with. Policeman often pay for their jobs and thus receive the privilege of bribing motorists. I experienced this first hand with my host dad. After being pulled over, he put 1000 dram (about $2.50) into his passport, handed the passport over, and that was it. I was told by an American working here that if you refuse to pay, the police have been know to say things like “but I have friends in town.” It’s funny, but also a major problem that is difficult to change. Similar corruption exists in universities in which students often pay bribes to get into university, and then pay professors bribes to pass their exams.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Cascade press conference for purchase of Emporiki Bank

Tuesday I went to the press conference for Cascade’s purchase of Emporiki bank in Yerevan. There were many important people there including ambassador John Evans, Gerard Cafesjian, and Senator Norm Coleman from Minnesota. Unfortunately, I was unaware I was invited to the event and found myself purchasing a Christian Dior knock off tie minutes before the press conference .

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Hike from Emberd Fortress to Kari Lake

Sunday, I returned to Mount Aragats, this time to hike. It was one of the most difficult hikes I’ve ever experienced. We probably hiked about twenty five kilometers, many parts of it through snow. There were four of us, one of them being Jeffrey Tufenkian. He wrote the book Adventure Armenia which I purchased before coming to Armenia. He is a great guy and the president of the Armenian Forests NGO. He also is one of the founders of the Kanach foundation, which produced the book. Jeffrey, Silia, Eddie, and I battled through knee high snow and finally arrived at Kari Lake 6 hours after we left Emberd fortress. The trip down was about 3 ½ hours and we saw an enormous glacier that is pictured above. I can’t imagine what the snow is like in the winter.

not bad...

I made it, finally

making my mark on the glacier

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Shurjbar around Mt. Aragats

Friday afternoon we left for the “shurjbar” (round dance) around Mt. Aragats. The dance was to commemorate the Independence Day of the 1918 Armenian republic that lasted for only two years. Our group left a day early as to avoid traffic and have a fun night of camping. You can see a video about the dance here.

We arrived around 7 and set up base camp with three large tents. What began as a fun night of camping with dancing and singing soon turned to a rainy, miserable, and freezing night. I probably slept one hour. To make matters worse, it turned out we were in the wrong location for the dance the next day. We took down all our tents and had to leave at 6 AM for our new location. I suppose the silver lining was that we saw the sunrise that morning.

Despite the long night, the dance was well worth it. There were over 200,000 people that danced, and it was amazing to see all of the cars coming from Yerevan in the morning.


do you like my hat



Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Chabonian's

Today I moved into the Chabonian’s home. These are my aunt’s friends and they are wonderful. It was a bit sad to say goodbye to Tsovinar, but I’m sure I will be back there for dinner before leaving Armenia. When I left, she told me I had a “clean soul,” or at least that is how it was translated by Armen. Armen (my new host brother) brought me to his friend Shavash who is a hair stylist in Yerevan. Apparently he cuts the hair of almost the entire Armenian national soccer team. Armen tells me he is the #2 hair stylist in Yerevan. I want to know who is number one—I didn’t know they had rankings for such things. He did give me a nice haircut, and refused any form of payment. After my haircut, we went to a birthday party of one of the Chobanian’s friends. I am learning about the Armenian “kenats,” or toast, and trying my best to acquire a taste for Brandy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My evening with Professor Harutyunyan was an interesting one. He is the Director of the E-Library at Gladzor Managmement University in Yerevan. He has developed such sites as armenocide and kifar has worked extensively with one of my professors from Tufts, Lucy Der Manuelian. I went to his home for dinner and we watched the film “The Armenian Americans.” We also watched “Lost Treasures of Christianity” which was particularly interesting because Professor Manuelian is the narrator for the majority of the film.

Armenian Brandy Tour

Today we went on a tour of the Brandy Factory at 9:30 A.M. The Armenian Brandy Company has been around since the late 19th century and continued to produce throughout the Soviet Period. It was a fun experience, made more so by the fact that we tried three different types of Brandy. Brandy is apparently now an after-breakfast drink. It was interesting to see the different tastes that the brandy acquires from aging. Unfortunately, the factory was sold to the French company Pernod in the late 90's which I was unaware of.

Tonight I will be meeting the friend of one of my professors from Tufts, and having dinner with him at his home in Yerevan.

I've also been playing basketball on Tuesday nights. I'm a power forward in Armenia, and the competition is a bit lacking, but it is fun just the same.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


I spent the weekend quite sick as a result of food poisoning on Friday night. Therefore, I lack any exciting pictures to share with all of you. Being sick did allow me to experience some of the Armenian remedies, however. My treatment consisted of multiple shots of alcohol, placing my feet in scalding hot water, and an aggressive rub down with some sort of concoction (not Vick's) and subsequent placing of tissues on my back and stomach. This was the first time I was able to refuse food since arriving in Yerevan, and not have it forced upon me.

I was felt better on Sunday, but I was disappointed to miss one of the group excursions.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Armenian Navy Band

Thursday night almost all of the volunteers went to see the Armenian Navy Band. Wait a minute, navy, in a landlocked country? It sounds odd, but I guess this is part of the idea of their music. You can read about it, or buy their cd here. I really enjoyed the show. It is described as "avant-garde folk music." Each musician played a variety of instruments and one even did most of a song with a regular kitchen pot that had water in it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Just so everyone knows, I will be updating the blog on Wednesdays. This is the only day that I am able to connect (through work) with my laptop. If anyone is interested in hearing about specific things, please let me know. I will do my best to respond. Hope all is well with everyone.

armenian dancing Posted by Hello

a view of the gorge Posted by Hello

this is typical...probably 200 sheep in the middle of the road Posted by Hello

the group Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

I met my Aunt’s friends this evening. I had my best meal to date in Armenia. Sofia prepared dolma, a cucumber and tomato salad, siderk (an Armenian type of green that is very healthy) and a wonderful rice krispy treat like desert. They are eager for me to move in and I think I will take them up on the offer. They have a beautiful home and they are incredibly warm and gracious. I feel a little bad leaving Tsovinar and Tigran, but I really felt at home with these people. Tomorrow I will be meeting with two potential places to volunteer. The first is Cascade Capital Holdings which is an investment type firm owned by multi-millionaire Gerard Cafesjian and the second is a small bed and breakfast run by an Italian named Antonio. I’m excited about the prospect of practicing my Italian. Thursday I have my first shot at teaching English. My Armenian friend who teaches the class wants a native speaker to help them with their conversation. She told me to “get ready.” Her class consists of mostly 17 year old girls. Wish me luck. I’m hoping to solidify my schedule by the end of the week. I work at FMS on Wednesdays and I’m trying to convert their excel spreadsheet to an Access Database. On Thursdays I’ll be teaching in the morning and working at Jinj consulting in the afternoon. Friday I’m also at Jinj. I am currently trying to help them organize a water conference that will take place outside of Yerevan in November.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Ohannavank to Saghmosavank Hike

Sunday was one of my favorite days since arriving in Yerevan. We hiked from Ohanavank (yes, another monastery) to Saghmosavank. The hike was organized by an Armenian named Après (that name means “good for you”), and he organizes hikes twice a month for people living in Yerevan. What made the trip especially interesting was there were only five volunteers in a group of over 25. It was really interesting to talk to some of the Armenians, especially those that our close to my age. One girl I spoke with really wants to travel, but the only place she has been is Georgia (not the state). She has never seen the ocean.

We reached Saghmosavank and had a great lunch while watching a professional dance group perform. They were actually filming the performance for TV. After they finished filming we joined in a group dance which was lots of fun. I certainly have a ways to go in terms of my Armenian dancing, or I suppose, dancing in general. On the topic of dancing, Armenia is in the process of organizing the largest circle dance in history which will be held on May 28th to commemorate Independence Day. This is actually Armenia’s first Independence Day, which was declared in 1918. The Republic only lasted for two years, however. The dance will be around Mt. Aragats (not to be confused with Ararat). We will be camping out the night before and then dancing on Saturday. Many people are skeptical about whether or not the Armenians are organized enough (think Italians or Greeks and you have an idea of how Armenians view time and organization), but I’m hopeful.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Sanahin and Haghpat

Today we had an excursion to yet another two monasteries. The weather wasn’t great, but it was still a fun, albeit long excursion. We left around nine and returned around ten in the evening. Some new volunteers have arrived in the past week and the group is getting larger. We saw the house and museum of Tumanyian, a famous Armenian poet. The monasteries were beautiful, especially Sanahin. It is really interesting to see these churches after having studied some of them in my Armenian Art and Architecture class at Tufts. Armenia is most known throughout history because of the genocide, but most people don’t realize the contributions the country has made to world history and world architecture.

We had dinner at one of the Tufenkian heritage hotels. James Tufenkian is of Tufenkian carpets fame, and has three or four hotels I know of in Armenia. This one was beautiful and it is located in the Lori Region.

Tomorrow I’m headed for a hike fairly close to Yerevan. My host mom gave me a stern talking to because I managed to escape this morning without eating breakfast. I’ve had spinach, beans, and hot dogs for three separate breakfasts this week. The food isn’t necessarily bad; it is just tough to handle at 8:30 AM.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

shushi Posted by Hello

saro, shushi war hero Posted by Hello

khorovats Posted by Hello

gandzasar Posted by Hello

karehunje Posted by Hello

ararat in the background Posted by Hello

Monday, May 09, 2005

Independence Day

Monday was Independence Day and there was a big celebration in Shushi. The president was within arms length of all of us, without any sort of bodyguard or secret service. In the afternoon, we further explored Shushi and saw destroyed Turkish baths and old universities, and the English center that the two AVC volunteers set up. It is quite impressive. Shushi was once considered one of the cultural centers of the Caucasus during the early 20th century. At that time, it had a population of more than 40,000 people. It has since been reduced to less than 3,000. Shushi has struggled since independence because it has been designated a red zone rather than a green zone, and hence is unable to receive aid from organizations like the World Bank or USAID.

We spent Monday evening at the two volunteers’ apartment in Shushi. It is really a fun, interesting, and diverse group of volunteers. One friend on the trip describes himself as a “Lebanese Armenian from India with a Brazilian passport who was baptized in Montreal, but now resides in Armenia.” Like I said, everyone is quite interesting and they mostly all grew up in an Armenian community and most speak the language fluently.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

agdamb Posted by Hello

Sunday—Gandzasar, Agdamb, and Khorovats

Sunday morning we woke up early to head for the monastery of Gandzasar. Breakfast was hot dogs which I’ve discovered to be a staple of the Armenian breakfast. As if this was not bad enough, Saro brought out shot glasses. My first experience drinking vodka and eating hot dogs prior to 9 a.m. amazingly occurred on the same morning. In Armenia, people toast every time a shot is poured and it is not simply “cheers.” Saro went on for about five minutes before we took the shot. Displeased by our facial expressions, he poured another shot to give us a second chance and redeem ourselves.

After breakfast we headed off to the monastery of Gandzasar, about a half hour from Shushi. It was especially interesting because we saw a church service and then a baptism. We were also able to see a missile launched by Azerbaijan during the war that hit a wall protecting the church.

Agdamb probably was the most interesting side trip we made during the trip. It is basically no man’s land, a buffer between the Azerbaijan and Karabagh border. Agdamb was once a city of over 200,000 people but has been reduced to rubble. The pictures may not be big enough to show the scope of the destruction, but I assure you it is unlike anything I have ever seen. The only buildings left standing are the mosques which are now inhabited by cows. We climbed a minaret and this is where these photos are taken. The only industry that goes on here is the collection and sale of scrap metal. Karabagh destroyed the city after they won the war because it was a prime launching point for Azerbaijan against the capital of Stepanakert.

Khorovats is the Armenian barbecue, and that is how we celebrated “the liberation of Shushi” on Sunday night. It was lots of fun, and we had mulberry and wild cherry vodka which are specialties of Karabagh. I’m learning a bit of Armenian dancing, and also learning that the Armenians know how to drink.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Saturday-Tatev, Karehunje, and Stepanakert

We arrived in Stepanakert after an incredibly long drive from Yerevan. We left at 6:45 a.m. and arrived around 6 p.m. making detours at the Tatev monastery and Karehunje. Tatev is an incredibly beautiful monastery that is once again at a very high point to protect it from invasions. The road featured numerous hairpin turns and our driver thankfully seems to have experience in dodging herds of cattle. Karehunje is the Armenian version of Stonehenge, but since it is far older, one needs to use imagination to realize how it once looked. People say that the name and idea comes from the Armenians. You’ll find this a common theme in Armenia. Anyone of note must have some Armenian blood, and Armenia either invented or discovered most things, or now does it better than anyone else.

Eventually we arrived in Stepanakert and met two AVC volunteers who are living in Karabagh and all went to a concert to celebrate Karabagh’s independence. Saturday night we met our host families for the weekend. There were three families the seventeen of us were divided amongst and I had the benefit of staying with Saro, a war hero from the town of Shushi where the fiercest fighting occurred during the war. That night he took myself and five other guys on a walking tour of the town describing military strategy, the town itself, and some of the fighting he participated in. It was a surreal experience, made more so by the fact that Shushi lacks any street lights.


Since I have an incredible amount to write about Nagorno-Karabagh I think I will split up the entries. Before that, I’d like to give a little background on the country. Nagorno Karabagh is an independent republic of Armenia although it is not recognized by the international community. It gained independence on May 9, 1994 and has had a cease-fire with Azerbaijan since this time. Although most people refer to it as Karabagh, the historical name is Artsakh and many Armenians prefer this.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Around Yerevan

Thursday I had the day off as I’m still figuring out exactly where I’ll be volunteering. I spent the day exploring Yerevan. I really like the city, and I’ve been struck by how developed it is. Armenia has experienced incredible economic growth and Yerevan is largely responsible for the majority of that growth. In fact, one of the main development problems in Armenia is that the villages outside of Yerevan have not felt the effects of Yerevan’s prosperity.

The picture above is from the Cascade, which is a huge staircase that rises to the height of a 30 story building. There is still quite a bit of construction going on, and a modern art museum will be opening at the top in 2006. Also notice in the picture the view of Mt. Ararat. Ararat is located in modern Turkey, but has long been a symbol of the Armenians.

Tomorrow is my first day at Jinj environmental consulting and Saturday AVC is headed to Nagorno-Karabagh for the weekend.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Yerevan Zoo

yes, dambo and not dumbo 

the zoo! 

armenian dancing 

Today some of the volunteers including myself went to the grand reopening of the Yerevan zoo. The zoo has been open for over 50 years, even through the difficult times of the Soviet period. Unfortunately, during this time most of the animals died and the zoo fell into disarray. Yerevan has made a concerted effort to improve it in recent years and while far from perfect, I am told it is far better than it was. That being said, people were actually feeding the marshmallow elephant peanuts to the elephant.

For the grand-reopening there were all sorts of dancing and singing performances.

I wrote this earlier, but if anyone would like a postcard, please send me your address at

Saturday, April 30, 2005


stuck in the mud...

...and the soviet jeep to the rescue 

our 7 year old tour guide of the Ijevan botanical garden 

lake sevan

Today we had a group outing to see the Makaravank monastery. It is located just beyond Ijevan, probably about three hours northeast of Yerevan. As the pictures will attest, it was not particularly easy to reach the monastery, but certainly well worth it. One of the churches (there are 3) was built in the 12th century and all of the original walls are still in tact. There are an incredible amount of monasteries that have survived for hundreds and even thousands of years. The reason for this is that Armenia always built churches in the highest areas, both for symbolic reasons and to protect the churches from the frequent invasions.

From the road leading down from the Makarvank monastery, we were able to see the Azerbaijani border.

After the monastery we returned to Ijevan and walked through a botanical garden—a 7 year old child who lives nearby accompanied us as a tour guide. It is so interesting to be here. People are absolutely fascinated by the idea of tourism in the rural areas of Armenia. Our tour bus was stared at by each and every Armenian we passed.

Tomorrow is a trip to the grand opening of the Armenian zoo.

would you ride this ferris wheel Posted by Hello

Friday, April 29, 2005


my host mom, tsovinar 

I've finally arrived in Yerevan after a great couple of weeks traveling to Greece and Istanbul. My flight for Yerevan left from Istanbul at 1:45 AM. Checking baggage was an experience in and of itself. Since the border with Turkey is closed, many small Armenian business owners fly their goods into Armenia. The women in front of me had 7 large, full suitcases. And somehow I was charged $15 because my bags were too heavy. I'm not afraid of flying, but I was terrified considering how much luggage was going onto this plane.

Miraculously, we arrived safely to Zvartnots International Airport. Passport control gave me an extremely hard time. I am not completely sure as to why, but it was the last thing I wanted to deal with. I thought I was set having an -ian in my last name, but apparently not. I had to show my tickets back to the states and two forms of photo identification. Four different controllers looked at my passport over a 20 minute period.

Two volunteers from AVC were waiting at the airport to pick me up and I was quite relieved to see the sign bearing my name. They took me directly to my homestay where I met my host mom, Tsovinar and my host brother, Tigran. They both seem great and they speak enough English that we are able to communicate.

I met with the director of AVC this afternoon to discuss my volunteer placement. There are so many options, but I will meet with the two original organizations (Apricot and FMS) on Monday afternoon to see where I'd like to work.

Tomorrow we head to Ijevan, a small town northeast of Yerevan. I'll be posting pictures when I find an Internet cafe that allows me to use my laptop with their connection.If anyone would like a postcard, please send me an email with your address at

Friday, April 15, 2005

More Information

I finally received word of exactly what I will be doing in Armenia. I will be working with two consulting companies.

The first is Apricot Plus--a business and legal consulting group. In the past, they have worked with USAID and developed training programs such as this one:

Developing B&B Tourism in Armenia

The seconds is FMS consulting, an accounting and legal consulting office. Not too sure what they have done in the past, but I think it will be interesting to work with two different offices and two different groups of people.

I leave Sunday. More to come when I arrive...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Hello everyone,

I'll be keeping a blog while in Armenia. Although I can't guarantee I'll have readily accessible internet, I hope to write fairly often. My trip starts in Paros, Greece where I'll be spending one week before heading to Istanbul for 5 days. I arrive in Armenia the 29th of April where I'll be spending two months.

I'm sure I'll have lots to write about in a few weeks. For now, I thought I'd provide some links about Armenia and the organizations that I'll be working with.

Birthright Armenia--the organization that is paying for my travel expenses to Armenia and offers online language tutorials. Check out the alphabet and wish me luck learning the language.

Armenia Volunteer Corp--the organization that will place me with volunteer work, most likely doing some combination of small business development and teaching English. They are also responsible for my homestay placement.

Wikipedia Armenia--This is a great, free, open source encyclopedia web site and has a wealth of information about the country.