The Whirlwind of Leaving

That was a crazy week. Trying to pack up, say goodbye, get work done, and enjoy the last moments all at once adds up.

While I still have some stuff to get done, I’ve taken care of almost everything. I have only three days left in Vardenis. The time will fly. On Friday, I start the long journey home.

I plan to keep writing (I have a big draft under way) throughout this crazy time. To tide you over until the next entry, here is a taste of what I’ve been up to recently:

The Volunteer is Leaving Impressed
21 (sic) year old Kevin Crookshank is from the USA Peace Corps volunteers. He came to Armenia 2 years ago with the goal of doing volunteer work. By the way, he learned Armenian during the 2 years; he speaks and reads fairly fluently.

My impression from the beginning in Yerevan, in the airport, was very different. There are many differences from America. The first thing that I noticed was the soviet cars. We don’t have anything like that in America. I was very fascinated. Then, the culture, I don’t know, it left a good impression on me.

Kevin worked 2 years in an international organization in Vardenis. He organized projects, did consulting, and helped NGOs in the regions. He lived in an Armenian family.

I didn’t know a single word when I came to Armenia. I lived in an Armenian family. We were speaking with gestures, but it was still very difficult. Next, our culture is very different. And maybe my family, our village didn’t understand me. In the same way, I didn’t understand them.

He says that the life in Armenia passes very slowly.

It’s not liberal. They [women in villages] can’t be free outside with boys. It’s like that. It’s surprising.

How are the living conditions in the village?

The conditions? The conditions were good. But passing time, it’s a little slow. Everything goes slowly in Armenia. In America we always hurry, we’re always running somewhere. We don’t wait, we don’t enjoy nature or our neighbors. But you guys do.

The residents in the regions and especially in the villages are very good people he says. He likes that they have always been very kind towards him.

Everything in Armenia is delicious. Everything is natural. There’s nothing artificial. That’s good. I haven’t eaten khash. I’m scared of khash. But everything is good. Kyufta, dolma, khorovats, I like everything.

Kevin has traveled from city to city and village to village using public transportation, about which his opinion is anything but negative.

We have buses, but there are no marshrutkas. But I really like marshrutkas because it’s easy. You sit and you give money; there is no ticket. You don’t have to call ahead. It’s good. It’s a little uncomfortable, but it’s okay!

In one week Kevin will return to the US. His friends and family are waiting impatiently for his return. But, as he noted, he’ll miss Armenia and especially Vardenis, which has already become his own city.

I will come again to Armenia. I feel great when I think about Armenia. This is my second country. I know that I will really miss our people and your country. It’s a very special, pleasant place.

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3 Responses to “The Whirlwind of Leaving”

  1. Wayne Burt Says:

    You continue to amaze me. Congratulations on a very successful 27 months. I enjoyed listening to you and following along with the script. I will certainly miss this blog.

  2. icenugget Says:

    Thanks for following the journey Wayne. Your comments and help along the way made it that much richer.

  3. Peter Says:

    Good video. Great guy. Time for a new chapter in the KC masterpiece.

    Email me when you have a chance.

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