Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 3

Left, Emily- BBQing with some new friends.
Right, Paige: Bathroom graffiti.

June 2

Left, Emily: This morning's commute over the Fremont bridge.
Paige, Right: Lovebirds.

June photo-a-day with Paige

It's been a while since I've updated, and its been even longer since I've taken any photos. I think I became comfortable taking photos in Armenia. So much so that I haven't been comfortable doing it back home! So, Miss Paige to the rescue, here is another photo-a-day project for the month of June!

Left, Emily: Chickie sitting.
Right, Paige.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Going through some stories

Sorting through my photos, finally.

And realizing that there are a lot I never thought to put on my blog.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I took this photo forever ago at a birthday party, the little girl turned one year old that day. I'm always amused at the scene after dinner. Loud duduk heavy music lifts everyone from their elbow-to-elbow packed benches to dance arms raised and with light feet.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Its been entirely too long since I've mad any attempt at posting to my blog, so here's a photo from almost 3 months ago! This is Arman, he drove my mom and Herik up the mountain to see Spitakavor and Proshaberd while Zach, Krista and I hiked. We had just finished a nice visit with the shepherd family I always visit when I hike to Spitakavor, met some interesting people enjoying a khorovats and some wine at the church then made our way up to Proshaberd. Its a fortress that crowns a rocky peak near Spitakavor. I have been up to the church many times but had never made it to the fortress. Herik was so happy that for the first time in her life she was able to see Spitakavor that she just had to climb the steep cindercone up to the fortress. It was quite a feat, given she was wearing fur lined heeled winter boots that weren't even zipped up! It was a great day, and one I'm sure to never forget.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


On the walk down to Sur Kamurj, I've met Rafik several times. The first time he invited me in and offered me some fresh picked watermelon and a nice conversation. Everytime I pass now, he greets me and asks me to come sit and talk with him.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spain: Sangria, Smiles and Sunshine

The sweet villa we stayed at in Montcada i Reixac, just outside of Barcelona. We would often spend the morning sipping coffee poolside and many an evening sipping sangria.

Gaudi's residence in Parc Guell.

We took the train out to a nice little city on the beach and on the way back were "caught" by the train officials saying we needed to pay 25 Euros for the return trip or get off at the next stop. We apparently were supposed to buy a different ticket to get out there, but when we got on the train with no trouble, we thought nothing of it. We got off, waited and hour, then got back on another train and made it home with no further problems.

Wandering in the streets of Sitges, looking for a nice place to sip some sangria.

Croquettes, the best potato based food on earth.

Sangria de cava and tapas in Sitges.

Downtown Sitges.

We spent the day in the sun in Sitges. We forgot towels, so we laid on newspapers. Then we walked around the city with newsprint all over our bodies. Then we drank sangria.

Iberian ham, the smells wafts through the city, tempting you to find its source.

We were mesmerized by the amount of meats and cheeses in the market.

And the seafood!

We did get lost quite a few times trying to navigate the metro under Barcelona, but at least we were on time!

We ate all you can eat sushi on a conveyor belt a few times. Probably a good 6 months worth of salmon, tuna and avocado were consumed.

The Mediterranean in Barcelona.

Parc Citaduela provided us with some nice grassy hills to lay on under the sun.

Inside the Sagrada Familia.

Spring has sprung in Barcelona.

Fried calarari rings tapas and sangria!

Sampling a piece of piggy that had only been fed acorns its whole life. It was delicious!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Snow sun mud rain

The weather can't make up its mind.

Monday, February 28, 2011


I was looking through all my photos today trying to pick out a few to send along to PC for the 50th Anniversary celebration and came across this one from February last year.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Paige's Armenian Experience

My good friend and former site mate, Paige Prince, produced this audio slideshow about her experience in Armenia. Most of the photos are from Paige and a few of them are mine.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Shame on me, or this one's for you Tim

Thanks for the subtle hint at the need for a new post, Tim. I have to admit, I had been staring at the button in my browser that says "My Blog" for a long time and ignoring it. This winter has been colder and wetter than last, encouraging me to stay inside at my "hibernation station" hugging my heater, reading, drinking my body weight in tea and pondering my next six months in Armenia. I will say I have been in a sort of funk, probably related to the fact I have to face my future soon and my current projects are still in the after-new-years hiatus, so the thought of going out and taking pictures really hasn't been all that appealing (I know it should be, right?). However, something that seems to always bring me out of a funk is to get creative and cook up meals that take hours to adapt to Armenian ingredients, go out in the mud and ice and find said ingredients (and visit my favorite shop owners) and then cook. This weeks adventure was in soba noodles!

In true Armenian kitchen MacGyver style, I made my own buckwheat flour in my little coffee grinder.

Then I hung the left over noodles over my grungy little dish rack to dry.

I'll try not to be such a stranger any more. New posts to come soon, I PROMISE!

Monday, December 13, 2010

For the love of Niva

Mr. Vartan and his lovely Lada Niva. He loves them just as much as I do.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nov. 29

Left - Emily : Black shiny pointy shoes, a must for every Armenian man.

Right - Paige : I wake up in the morning to bright beautiful sunshine streaming across the floor, and there is always something to admire in the kitchen or just the room. Light inspires, it changes moods, it brightens days. Someone left these boots out from the night before, they were gleaming red and our dog, Gracie, seemed to be noticing.

Nov 28

Left - Emily : Danny has been working on remodeling the bathrooms at his school in the village Verin Getashen near Lake Sevan. While visiting some of his neighbors they were all joking that they'll always remember Danny after he leaves when they use the bathroom.

Right - Paige : My roommate Jess, after a long night of doing Jess things (dancing, Whole Foods checking, bike riding, quinoa cooking) brushing her teeth to mark an end to the day.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nov 27

Left - Emily : While walking around, I spotted one bright spot of color in a scene full of dull grey and brown, Sona and her brother Garik playing outside.

Right - Paige : Fall light, there is nothing like it. A house that sits on the east side, who knows who lives here; I pretty much just adored the colors and random port-a-potty sitting in the yard.

Nov 26

Left - Emily : The walk to "Sur Kamurj" in Yeghegnadzor, a mandatory visit for those new to the area.

Right : Paige : My Pops, reading the newspaper. Don't we all need a picture of our Dad's doing this?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nov. 25

Left - Emily : Pies for my second Thanksgiving spent away from my family. Though we may live in Armenia, no trimmings were spared, stuffing, twice-baked potatoes, carrot souffle and many more.

Right - Paige : Sitting in a hot tub with my sister, at the golf course my parent's live on. There was also a group of Muslim girls on a break from school taking advantage of the same warm, bubbly water.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nov 24

Left - Emily : This year I will be spending my second Thanksgiving away from home with some good friends in Shaghat, a village in Syunik marz. We went for a nice walk in the mountains yesterday around sunset. After heading back our little gaggle of Americans drew a lot of attention in a village of only a few hundred people.

Right - Paige : Driving to my parent's house for Thanksgiving. Dark Texas roads, solitude at last.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nov 23

Left - Emily : Inside "Gitelik Hamalsaran" or "The University of Knowledge" in Yeghegnadzor.

Right - Paige : You are always being watched by "Juan in the Water" (the name I have given this painting) when you eat at Taqueria Jaliscos #2 on Cesar Chavez Street in Austin, TX. I didn't mind the first time, I actually drove back there just to take his picture.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nov 22

Left - Emily : This time of year the sun sets right as people are getting off work and picking up groceries before heading home. I was caught today by the nice fading light the movement of people and cars around the city and the chance encounters with friends in the street.

Right - Paige : Dogs are so prevalent in the world, some places as animals that roam around practically unnoticed by people and other places like members of the family. Their characters are easily personified, which is why I like reading 'The Adventures of Hank the Cowdog' books which are made for kids, but driven to make us all laugh. I was watching my friend Nadia's dog tonight while they were cooking dinner; watching him wait, watch, wait, hope, watch.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nov 21

Left - Emily : For the last year I have been working with a few other PCVs making a movie for the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps. This weekend Zoe came up from Goris and with the help of Meag we busted out a 3.5 minute clip to show the other volunteers at the upcoming All-Vol conference. We spent three nights awake until 3 a.m. slamming coffee munching on popcorn and chocolate and joking about our volunteer experience.

Right - Paige : This little monkey was only 25 cents at a thrift store sale today. He was just sitting there on the ground waiting for the right kid to take him. My childhood doll was "Kimmie", and I cut her hair so many times that she was bald when I stopped carrying her around. Bald, sporting ratty oversized t-shirts but well loved.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nov 20

Left - Emily : Lately I have busy working with some ladies in Vayots Dzor trying to help them market and sell their beautiful crafts. I became associated with Tim Straight of Homeland Handicrafts, who has been helping these women get started by supplying them with material and thread for embroidery and a network in which to sell their goods. Meag and I have been working on designs and finally I was able to pay them for their first completed piece and give them more projects to work on. It has been an exciting and very rewarding experience.

Right - Paige : I met Gayane at the Armenian Dance Party/Fundraising Dinner tonight at a church here in Austin. She talked my head off. She grew up in Tbilisi, Georgia, and speaks Georgian as well as Armenian (which is extremely rare). She feels a big part of herself is actually Georgian although she is Armenian, and we had a really interesting conversation about her life here, her feelings about her identity through her ethnic upbringing, and her bleach blonde hair. When she left she wanted a picture of the two of us as well as my phone number. I'm sure I'll hear from her soon, at least I hope so. It felt great to be there.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nov 19

Left - Emily : Construction continues on the three houses just above mine, even late into the evening.

Right - Paige : Changing the sheets, cleaning the bathroom. Weekend work in America.

Nov 18

Left - Emily : The stairways in the old soviet apartment buildings here are always a sight to see. The exposed and incredibly complicated electrical system, the usually constant smell of natural gas coming from some mystery pipe and the lack of lights in the evening are all things normal to this set of stairs.

Right - Paige : Its always is late in Texas, and sometimes just a few weeks long, but winter is almost here if you ask the trees.

Nov 17

Left - Emily : Shady whispered dealings in an old dusty office. This woman has been doing the same job for 40 years, no wonder she knows how to work the system.

Right - Paige : A downtown church in Austin.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nov 16

Left - Emily : Downtown big city Yeghegnadzor.

Right - Paige : I love lamp.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nov 15

Right - Emily : Zoya works in a small room just off the shortcut I take into town every day. She says she learned how to sew when she was 17 at classes she the cultural house in Yeghegnadzor over 30 years ago. She along with her soviet era sewing machine patch up dozens of articles of clothing a day.

Left - Paige : I need to read Ulysses. There's only so many hours in a day though.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nov 14

Left - Emily
Right - Paige