Flood of Americans

As Bruno would say, “Armenia is so hot right now!” And by that I mean it is swarming with Americans! The sources vary, but our goal of world domination remains the same.

Right now I am hosting a student from America via CouchSurfing. I hope I remember to get a picture today because I think he is my long lost brother. Actually he is a French citizen but has basically spent his whole life in the US when he’s not traveling. A very cool dude and also my first couchsurfer!

Yesterday the group of new volunteers arrived in country. Craziness. We are basically forbidden to see them due to some questionable changes from the PC Armenia suits, but the idea of them being here is exciting at least. I think back to that time and am glad I’m not going through it again this year. They will be in their training villages until mid-August when they will be sprinkled around Armenia like the windblown wisps of a dandelion.

Finally, in T-6 hours another group of Americans will arrive. They will be transported straight from Yerevan to Daranak village, which is like going from Chicago to Mt. Zion. Does that analogy even make sense? It’s not important, because it’s late and I’m tired. Anyway, they will go to our camp building a pile of confused, tired tourists to partake in a camp with the YMCA. They are mostly teenage girls who have been penpals with our teenage girls. It should be a really cool/interesting camp that tests my cultural associations. For some reason I see myself being confused as to whether I am American or Armenian during the next few days there.

Speaking of that, I think I broke a personal record for amount of Armenian spoken over a weekend. I visited Solak with my friend Chris. We had a great time and each visited our families. I also visited his family, had beers at our old hotel hangout, talked with random incredibly friendly villagers, and played soccer with my 15 year old neighbor and his minions. Today I rode back from Solak with a string of Armenians who chatted me up. I was touched on three different occasions during that journey. First, one guy called me several hours later to make sure I got home safely. The next was a guy who noticed that all the Armenians at the gas station were staring at me. He said to me, “Wow, it must be bad to be the center of attention wherever you go.” What empathy! And finally, a couple guys who went well out of their way to make sure I got home safely. The whole weekend was a wonderful adventure, and most of it happened in Armenian. I was happy for that.

I think my favorite line of the weekend came from little Armen, who is a pretty sweet football player.
“Gndaka gndak chi!” (while dribbling around yet another defender)

“The ball is not a ball!”

It was completely flat. But they couldn’t have cared less.

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3 Responses to “Flood of Americans”

  1. Kelsey Says:

    Sounds like you’ve had an interesting week/weekend! Also, in just three months I will officially be yet another American in Armenia 🙂 SO excited!

  2. Peter Says:

    Boy, you’d think someone who works for the YMCA could have helped the kids out with a better ball! Shame on you!

  3. icenugget Says:

    I always welcome more Americans to come to Armenia 🙂

    And I don’t think we even have a soccer ball at the YMCA! It’s definitely not the athletic-focused organization here that it is in the States.

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