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Shabbat Shalom

Running very late today as I went to a concert this afternoon for the new Vanadzor Technology Center. This is a government and industry project to develop entrepreneurs and create a magnet so as to keep more Armenians here instead of them emigrating to other countries. Emigration is a major problem, as is finding entrepreneurial resources, hopefully this new center will help with both issues. I am hoping that Olag and I will be able to teach some classes in business English there also, but nothing definite yet..

The concert was very cool, and thank heavens it was outside because it was heavy metal and the last time I heard them it was in a small club and the noise was deafening – I lasted 15 minutes. Today I heard the whole set including the song I helped write with them called Critical Song, which is all about the need for more critical thinking.

Everything else is good as I can certainly feel that I am moving into the home stretch. I am even trying to see if I can be home for the High Holidays – I hope – I hope – I hope.

Shabbat Shalom

Steven

A couple of great weeks

Last Friday I was at the Annual SOAR conference here in Armenia where we got an update from President George Yacoubian. This is still one of my most rewarding activities. Today in fact, I spent the morning at the Vanadzor Orphanage with George and others discussing the plans for next year and then together we went to another organization called Orran which works with disadvantaged children. It is just so amazing to have the opportunity to be involved in helping to make these organizations stronger and possibly even help them build a new symbiotic collaboration.

This week I also got to meet Oleg who will take my place at Peace Dialogue when I leave in October. He is a very cool guy with over 30 years of experience working with the UN. Also, he is 70 years old and will be a good friend I feel during our overlap period from June to October.

My English Clubs are moving along and I find that I am really enjoying the opportunity to teach. Because everything is moving along so nicely, I decided to actually add another English Club, so now I teach four classes. Who knows maybe this is something I will continue to do when I come home.

Shabbat Shalom to you,

Steven