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A great week with Max and Kyra and more

Max and Kyra were here for a week and we had a great time. We saw Yerevan the capital city, Aygepat where I lived for three months with Raya, my host mom and then we came to Vanadzor where I live now. It was a lot of driving but my friend Hovik from Aygepat served as driver, translator and guide which made it all so much better.

On Tuesday I through a get to meet Max and Kyra party and one of my English students made a video, I am not sure if this will work but here is the link https://www.facebook.com/tehmina.vardumyan?fref=ts#

I did come down with a cold with all the back and forth so Shabbat dinner is just me tonight. But I did get to put up my new mazuzah – so there is now at least one house in Vanadzor with one.

I NEED your help and support on a project I am working on here called Reach for The Stars. It is a project by a young Armenian women who is trying to develop leadership skills, teach English and also model what a successful person can do. She is donating her time, apartment and just needs money to pay for a taxi to take the kids back and forth, for heathy snacks and for school supplies. nI have attended the classes, she is doing great work. The kids she teaches are from families that can not afford to take private lessons like the wealthier kids and so they do not get to learn much English at all since there is a significant problem in many of the schools. PLEASE do make a doantion it would be greatly appreciated. Here is the link http://igg.me/at/ReachtheStars

Shabbat Shalom

Steven

My first song and Max and Kyra are coming to Armenia

Another great week here in Armenia. It is the week before the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and feelings about how the past influences and in some cases defines the future of this country goes on everywhere, it is a fascinating experience to be in the middle of.

Speaking of being in the middle of, so the band that recorded a song based on my poetry but has not released that song yet,has recorded another song based an idea I had about Armenia honoring the Genocide but needing to contemplate a new cultural narrative. The song is called Voice of Tomorrow and you can listen to it and see the lyrics here http://www.vordankarmir.com/the-voice-of-tomorrow.

Max and Kyra are coming to Armenia next week!! I haven’t seen them for almost eight months and it will be so good to see them both. To make a great thing even better, Kyra’s mother’s family is Armenian and this is the first time she has been here. My friend Hovik and I will spend a week showing her the land and culture that her family is from. unfortunately the actual village that her family is from is now in Turkey and we will not get to see it at this time.

Lastly, I am working with an NGO called Reach for the Stars. My new friend Haghine has started it and I could really use your support. Here is the link PLEASE HELP – Every little bit helps.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/we-reach-high-and-touch-the-stars-with-your-help/x/9911098

The Shabbat tradition continues, tonight I have guests from the band who I am making the music video with.

Shabbat Shalom and be well.

Love

Steven

It is the first night of Passover and….

Believe it or not, I got a box of matzah and told the story of Passover, and I had strangers at my Shabbat dinner/ seder, it really doesn’t get much better than this…except of course if I was home with some or all of you.

SO the matzah. In my attempt to find a Jewish community I have been maintaining a Facebook page called the Jew fo Vanadzor. Besides a number of likes I have gotten very little feedback until last night. Last night a young women whose family is from Vanadzor emailed to tell me that someone in Yerevan where she goes to college gave her a box of matzah and since she didn’t want it, I said sure and invited her to my dinner which would have been me and my former host family from Vanadzor, they are not Jewish but are fairly religious so i figured they would enjoy getting together since Sunday is Easter and well the last super and I thought it would just be a nice thing to do. So we all had a delightful dinner, the young lady did bring matzah so I said the prayer over it and once we sat down my guests wanted to know all about the matzah and the story of Passover and so I told them. We talked plagues and the parting of the sea and of course Moses. It got a little strange because they have little understanding of the old testament so I had to go back to Abraham to tell them about Joseph going down to Egypt, and well the very cool thing is that eating matzah and telling the story are two of the really big things to do on PAssover and I got to do them..

Okay, I am off to bed and hopefully you are off to a wonderful seder somewhere or doing one yourself. Either way, know in your heart the blessing you have being with family and friends and hag sameach.

Steven