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Another nice week

Another Friday and I am in my apartment preparing for Shabbat. Tonight my former language tutor, I gave up on trying to learn to speak better Armenia since I just can’t discern the different sounds, Satanick, her husband and son will be coming along with another PCV, Josephine, a polish volunteer who is working in Vanadzor and two Polish travelers who are couch surfing at Josephine’s. Wow,I am in strange and different place and time than my normal life in the USA, but it is all part of this great adventure.

Speaking of this great adventure, this is also a time when what I am missing really takes its toll. First I find out that I will not be able to attend the tribute for my friend Alan Teperow in June and then my “niece” Sarah Linsey is having her Bat Mitzvah this weekend up in Hanover NH I can’t be at either.one. I called her to wish her a mazol tov, but it will happen and I will not be there to see her read torah. We all make choices but at times like this the cost of those choices becomes very real.

Anyway on the brighter side, many of you have noticed that this email comes from
reticulist@gmail.com, and you may have asked what is a reticulist. Well I am, and for about thirty years (since graduate school) I have been the only one in the world pretty much. Well, I recently found out that others have discovered this idea as well and think it might pretty important to the future role of being effective in the public sector. So now I have to get down to continuing my master’s thesis where I first discovered the idea, and share what I have learned as a reticulist all these years and explain how it has helped me lead the wonderful and y rewarding life I am blessed with. Oh, and I think gotten a few good things done. In its most basic terms, the reticulist is one who uncovers natural symbiotic collaborations. In fact one of the reasons I am here in Armenia is to see if the success I have ad using this model only worked in America because it was culturally acceptable or was it more universal. It turns out it works here to. Who knew.

So back to the cooking and ciao for now.

Shabbat Shalom

The weekend was GREAT

I actually got to pray in both an Ashkenazi and a Sephardic temple in Tbilisi. They were very friendly and welcoming and it just felt like home for the first time since I got here. I did not get to go to daily minyan as the temple was way across town from my hotel and services were at 8 am, oh well. Anyway the city is beautiful, well-kept and very clean. Lots of things happening and a wealth of history just for the absorbing as you walk around. It actually felt very much like walking around Boston, however they do a lot more with their parks than we have done with ours. I have enclosed a picture of one of them.

It was fascinating seeing another one of the Caucuses. Apparently not too long ago they were in bad shape n terms of infrastructure and leadership but they certainly seem to have their act together now.

So I am cooking and the guests are coming soon so chow for now..

Shabbat Shalom

A quiet week – but a BIG weekend

It was a quiet week in Vanadzor as the office is preparing for a big program in Tblisi, Georgia that starts this Saturday with participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Russia and other places in the region. The program is part of a project called the ARENA: Community Theater and Public Art. Groups from the region will get together to talk about how they are using community theater and public art to influence society to be more democratic, to advance human rights and peace. "The participants will gather to share their own experiences and attend a workshop session on the Systematization of Experiences, a methodology for the production of critical knowledge through practice. Latin American popular educator Oscar Jara developed the methodology in 1960. It is based on approach of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Systematization of Experiences involves the identification, documentation and transfer of key lessons and experiences extracted from projects or initiatives for the purpose of advocacy, learning and replication by others." Fascinating work and I get to see it unfold. You can read more about this and the other work I am involved in at www.peacedialogue.am. One of the things I do is I get to edit all of the material in English that goes on the website.

Anyway, I will be going to Tblisi with them although I am not allowed to be in the working sessions, instead I will be going to Temple on Shabbat!!!!!! because there is a real Jewish community there and I might even be able to go to temple on Sunday morning and put on my tefillin in a minyan !! I miss that part of my Judaism.

As for Shabbat dinner, well that is not happening this week as we will be traveling from Vanadzor to Tblisi, a 3 – 4 hour ride around candlelighting time.Oh well.

I will of course be taking pictures which will go into Facebook and into the next video blog which will come out at the end of June.

Shabbat Shalom and thank for caring about me, it helps keep away the loneliness