Friday, August 13, 2010

Settling in...

Barev everyone!

I have resided in my permanent site for one week now. I have established a routine of morning tea and a run with my site mate Kathryn. The run is excellent because we are becoming familiar with the town (and working away the bread calories). Yesterday, we stumbled across a tiny village connected to Sevan and also a brewery. Today, we ran to the beach. Some days I have spent at home reading and playing games with my 12 year old host sister and some I go to the main strip and try to meet new people. I think I really lucked out on a site. It is a 30 minute walk to the lake and the main street in town is lined with markets and shops. Yesterday, an Armenian said that tourists always declare Sevan has "a little touch of Europe." Today, I worked up the nerve to call my counterpart (work partner) and the conversation went as follows (in Armenian):

Maggie Jan, Are you good?

Me: Yes I am good, are you good?

Yes, I am good.

Me: Good, I am in Sevan now.

Good, what are you doing?

Me: Ahh..ummm…nothing. Are you good?

Yes I am good. Are you good?

Me: Good. Can we meet next week?

I don’t understand.

Me: When do you start work?

On the 19th.

Me: Ok I will call close to the 19th. Goodbye

Thanks for calling Maggie Jan.

Me: Thank you, goodbye

Successes of the week:
Met with an English/IT NGO
Met director of the Culture Building and saw their museum, dance studio, and theater
Found out about social services offered through the Mayor's office
Made bruscetta for the first time
Bought items to make bruscetta at the markets
Understood a joke in Armenian
Memorized 40 and counting Armenian words

Called my counterpart
...and pretty sure I don't smell after 6 days without a shower

Thursday, August 12, 2010

We did it!

August 5, 2010
I, Maggie ........
do solemnly affirm
that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States
against all enemies, foreign and domestic
that I take this obligation freely
without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion,
and that I will well and faithfully discharge my duties in the Peace Corps.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Looking Ahead

Today I pack my bags from the small village of Fantan and look ahead to the next two years of my life. We are officially done with Peace Corps training. The summer flew by! Six days of language classes a week, a sports/activity day for the village children, a cross-cultural 4th of July party, a few Armenian style Birthday parties, and two weeks of health practicum teaching later, we are (supposedly) ready to become Peace Corps Volunteers.

Tomorrow, we will be sworn in to the Peace Corps by the US Ambassador to Armenia. Then, we say goodbyes to our host family and friends. It is a strange feeling knowing I will be leaving 6 Americans from my current village behind, some of them have been a true support when things get rough. School starts the first week of September so until then I will be working hard at building relationships in my new town of Sevan and trying to learn all the Armenian words for "Sit down, be quiet, listen, don't cheat, etc."

"It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect It's successful outcome."
William James