You are currently browsing the Reticulist blog archives for January, 2016


In Yerevan, the capital city

First, the chicken currry with peanuts came out great. Everyone loved it and I will make it again.

Next Friday and this one, I am in Yerevan doing Peace Corps training workshops and getting to spend some time with my fellow volunteers. The training is on project design and management and focuses on teaching the volunteers who just came how to use the PC tools that have been developed. It is interesting material and provides a good road map for those who have trouble finding how to engage with the community in a rewarding way.

Winter is here, lots of snow and very cold weather. From what I see online it is colder here than it is in Boston..

Well that is it for this week, I need a nap. The one thing about being 65 and staying in a hostel with a lot of 20 somethings is they stay up late and are loud…oh well.

Shabbat Shalom

Steven

A great week and new chicken dish for Shabbat

So I have had a very good week here in Vanadzor. The schools have been closed for a few extra weeks because of an outbreak of Swine Flu and so many of my fellow PCV’s have come to town, as Vanadzor is one of the the bigger cities in Armenia. There coming to town gives me the chance to socialize and just check in. Most of them are also gong to come for Shabbat dinner tonight where I will try out my version of chicken curry. I will tell you how it came out next week.

Peace Dialogue is rocking and rolling along with big projects on the table for 2016. My hope is that my work here is helping them, but they were successful before I came and will I am sure, continue to be successful going forward. They are being recognized as one of the very few organizations that is doing community building between post soviet countries. It is very exciting work.

Speaking of exciting work, my friend Heghine’s project of tutoring disadvantaged children in Vanadzor in both English while she also provides them with an incredible role model is entering its second year. She is a little person and yet owns the apartment she lives in with her mother and sister, consistently receives recognition for her superior work in the Armenia emergency services (911) and donates her time to give back and help children who can not afford tutoring. She is a role model of what one can achieve when one has the will to do it. If you want to read more or HOEPFULLY help support her program, please click here https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/reach-high-and-touch-the-stars-the-work-goes-on–2/x/9911098

Shabbat Shalom

Steven

Winter is upon us here in Armeniabut

I have just booked a flight and hotel in Tel Aviv for Passover with two of my Armenian friends, Ovik and Armen. This is my third visit and their first. I am expecting lots of fun and excitement as we experience the beach in tel Aviv, the Old City in Jerusalem, the Wall, Haifa, for my first time Yad Vashem and who knows what else. Any suggestions are appreciated. I will also be visiting family. There are some 300 Greenberg (Paretsky – my dad’s mother) cousins, some Appelstein cousins and even some cousins of Sherry Herzog. Cool.

All is well here although a little strange. The country more of less closes down from January 1 – 8 for New Years (Nor Tari) and then Orthodox Christmas on January 6. Following this the schools in the country were closed this week and next week for an outbreak of swine flu. This makes the pulse of the city much quieter than normal. It also is a difficult time for my fellow PCV who are teachers as they have a lot of down time.. I know they will all be fine.

Wishing you all again a Happy Healthy New Year.

Shabbat Shalom

Steven

New Year’s celebration in Armenia is almost over

Hello and Happy New Year to you,

So last week I was with two Peace Corps friends celebrating New Years and this week I am in Aygepat, my original host village with Raya my original host mother, celebrating the final days of the holiday called Nor Tari. This is a holiday season that starts with New Years on Dec 31 and goes until January 13 ending with Old New Year (?). In the middle, on January 6, is Orthodox Christmas. The holiday is celebrated with lots of food and the gathering of friends. Stores in Vanadzor were closed up until December 7. I got to visit with a number of my friends families over the holiday and will include pictures of the events in my next blog post. It is a good time that is all about setting the tone for the next year by having the best foods and friends to come together and enjoy the bounty of a good life. A really nice custom, but way too much food for a guy trying to lose weight.

I am looking forward to the next eleven months as my projects are all coming together and moving along nicely. The Vanadzor Orphange project is still my most rewarding as I get to work with children who are really starved for the attention of an older male. We older guys are the papiks, or grandfathers and we have a special place in the society.

Anyway, I am sitting in Raya’s house while she and her friends are talking about their church volunteering. They are talking at a level of Armenian that is way above my still rudimentary level, oh well.

SO be well. Have a GREAT NEW YEAR and Shabbat Shalom

Steven