Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer in Sevan

September 1st, Armenian children will dress in their black and white dress up clothes and celebrate the first day of school. Congratulations will be given, songs will be sung, books will be distributed. It sounds lovely, doesn't it? Then, why am I so sad to see Summer go?

Perhaps because of the trip to Istanbul....

Or the parents' visit to Armenia....

Or the wonderful couchsurfers I've hosted...

Or the copius amounts of fresh fruits and vegtables...

Or the beach that is a 10 minute walk from my apartment...

Or perhaps, it's the fact that really all that's left of my Peace Corps service is a mere school year! I will be home in roughly 10 months and I can hardly believe it. Until then, what will I be doing? I will go back to teaching English during and after school and participate in various secondary projects. I will be giving 6 HIV/AIDS seminars in September. In October, I hope to facilitate and organize events for Domestic Violence Awareness month. And after that...we'll see.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just. Dance.

A couple weeks ago, I was fortunate to assist in a dance camp for participants from the YMCA in Vanadzor, Armenia. The focus was B-boying and Hip Hop. The dancers learned basic b-boying (commonly known as break dancing) moves and a choreographed Hip Hop dance by another volunteer and myself. We also spent a small amount of time teaching the moon walk, body roll, and a few other hip hop techniques/skills. The group worked on self-expression and confidence through dance throughout the duration of the 4 day camp. The final day, they performed their hip hop routine to community members.

With my background in dance, this was a worthwhile and fun project to work on and we may be continuing it in other communities in Armenia in the coming year. Also, I spent the week eating amazing food cooked by some awesome Peace Corps Volunteers.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Thank you for everyone who supported GLOW 2011. It was a great success. 44 girls from all around Armenia experienced an intense, 7-day summer school learning about topics ranging from public speaking and team work to nutrition and sexual health. They made many friends and became interested in all sorts of new stuff (peer education, yoga, etc.). The theme this year was JUNGLE; every room and many activities were jungle-themed. We also took an excursion to the Botanical Gardens in Stepanavan to test water, and had environmentally themed debates and quizzes. This was the first time for many of these girls to leave their regions and be away from their families. By the end of camp, most were crying because they didn't want to leave their new friends and this great experience.

If GLOW is something you are interested in funding, please look out for donation links on my blog. Currently, Stepanavan Youth Center, the partner organization, is looking for donations to go towards outreach, follow up activities for the girls and their peers in regions of Armenia. Here is the current link:

More pictures from GLOW 2011 are available on my facebook page: