Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ruzan Khatchatryan

Ruzan Khatchatryan, 55 years old

Mother of many and master of most, Ruzan Khatchatryan doesn’t spend much time sitting idle. The mother of two girls and one boy is also surrogate mother to seven Peace Corps Volunteers, one of whom is currently serving in Yeghegndadzor (Emily Haas), while the others have safely returned to America and call their Armenian mother occasionally. While she may recall with fondness the times she had spent with the Americans living with her in the past, it also brings back memories of what her house was like when it was full. Ruzan’s husband died just one year ago, her son is serving in the army in Sisian, her oldest daughter is married and lives in Russia and the other is married with two young children and rarely gets an opportunity to visit.

Ruzan works 12 hours a day, seven days a week in a khanut preparing kebabs, selling various sundries and most recently gold jewelry. Work, she said, is something that still keeps her going. While her children were studying in university, all of her children graduated with college degrees from universities in Yerevan, Ruzan kept a cow, her garden and the household. She worked from sunrise until sunset everyday and gave every thing she earned to her children so they could pay their tuition and afford to live in Yerevan. She is tremendously proud of what her children have accomplished and says that she has always held the future of her children as her highest priority.

Ruzan was born in the village of Agarakadzor and most of her family still lives there. While she is waiting for her son to return and for the pain of her recent loss to recede, she occupies her time by staying close to her loved ones and keeping close her sweet memories from the past.

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