Birthdays, Goodbyes, Snow?

Happy birthday to my sister and my grandpa! I hope you guys are having great birthdays. I can taste the pumpkin pie from here. Not really, but I wish.

Happy Halloween everyone! It’s not a holiday here, unfortunately. No costumes, pumpkins, or candy for me I’m afraid.

I awoke this morning in Shatvan, a neighboring PCV’s village, to exclamations of snow from other volunteers. I groggily rose from my sleeping bag and was indeed greeted with sights of snow. Part of me was thinking, “Whoa this is cool,” but another part was thinking, “Snow in October? Uh oh.”

The view from my window


It actually snowed quite a bit too, maybe half a foot. About an hour ago it got sunny and lumps of snow started falling off the roof, but now the horizon is a mix of blue sky and an ominous gray color. My guess is that the mountains will be white now for the next 6 months. Is fall over already?

The snow has been a distraction from the sad event of my good friend Morten leaving Armenia. He is now probably enjoying high speed internet, fresh milk, and Danish women. Before he departed, I was invited along with him and his parents to Yerevan for a couple days.

The Yerevan excursion marked my first 2 vacation days in PC. I will have 46 more over the next 2 years. It was a nice opportunity to get out into the capital city and explore some more. It feels like lately I’ve been there a lot, but in some way it always felt rushed. These 2 days allowed me to sit and observe a little more. We got to see a lot, including the Genocide Memorial, the National History Museum, the Cascade (and it’s ripoff museum of crappy modern art), and the outside of Matanadaran (archive of ancient literature). We walked a lot, which made all of us pretty tired by the end.

There were a couple off-the-beaten-path goals that Morten had for the Yerevan trip. The first was to feast on ponchik (poan-cheek) in the Grand Candy store. Ponchik is the closest thing Armenia has to a donut (that I’ve discovered so far). It’s a fried bread ball with icing inside. We eat them here in Vardenis for a cool 70 dram apiece. My counterpart told us about this place in Yerevan that is famous for ponchik, so we had to go. The store was very cool with a big appeal for kids. It was, dare I say, almost American. The ponchiks there were different than what we have here, more fried and with different icing. It was delicious of course.

The other goal was to find a mythical statue of old Armenian men performing Morten’s favorite Armenian hand gesture. Hand gestures are very much a part of the culture here, and to outsiders like us, are quite interesting and entertaining. I’ll leave it up to you to guess what this gesture might mean:

Morten's favorite

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3 Responses to “Birthdays, Goodbyes, Snow?”

  1. Kelsey Says:

    Kev! Thanks for the birthday shoutout! And don’t feel alone–usually we get snow in Denver in October. Last year we even had a snow day! Hope you got to play in it a little 🙂

  2. icenugget Says:

    Hope you had a good bday! Remember that party you had when we were little where the boys tried to scare the girls on the future bike trail? hahaha

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