April 5, 2003 - Personal Web Site: A Peace Corps Volunteers digs Armenian Music

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Armenia: Peace Corps Armenia : The Peace Corps in Armenia: April 5, 2003 - Personal Web Site: A Peace Corps Volunteers digs Armenian Music

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, April 05, 2003 - 10:49 am: Edit Post

A Peace Corps Volunteers digs Armenian Music

A Peace Corps Volunteers digs Armenian Music


Yup, I'm in Armenia as of June 5, 2001. I'm teaching English at a school and non-profit organization in Sevan, Armenia. It's a beautiful town, next to a gorgeous lake. Here's some basic facts about Armenia. Also, if you want more information, check out this link:

Capital - Yerevan

Population - About 3 million

Languages - Armenian

Official Religion - Armenian Apostolic Church

Type of Government - Republic (former Soviet)

Geography - Rugged mountains, high plateau, not a lot of trees

Climate - Hot summer, cold winters (Sound familiar?)

Digging Armenian Music

By Lindsay Young
Five-year-old Lucine has long brown hair. She pulls it over her eyes, like Cousin It, mirroring her best friend, a stuffed brown ragged “napastock” that sits near her on the daybed with its rabbit ears covering its eyes. It’s tired, I had told Lucine in my broken Armenian after laying the rabbit next to her. Shortly after, Lucine walks to me, taking my even longer brown hair and doing the same thing. I see her face through a veil of hair and notice her thinking eyes and smiling lips. She giggles.

I smile, inside and out, and remember a fellow A-9’s words: America is electric; Armenia is acoustic.

His statement has a stark truth to it, one that may seem easy to detect, but really, do we take time each day to realize how lucky we are for that reality?

Today was a day full of acoustic joy. I love acoustic music. Its simplicity mellows me. And for the next two years, we’re living America Unplugged. And surprisingly, I’ve discovered I love living the acoustic life. How could I not? Everyday simplicities, like a child’s smiling eyes, are blown up—nothing stands in their way; nothing like TV or the Internet vies for their attention. For me, my attention has not swerved from Lucine, my little host sister, despite the language barrier. It’s easy to communicate with her—she’s like all five-year-olds, eager to tell you about anything. The best answer: “Ahhhh … ha,” and a smile or a wide-eyed look of being impressed even if I don’t understand. (I usually don’t.)

I washed clothes today. The rain stopped, and I knelt outside next to a newly painted bench on which a bucket of warm, sudsy water sat. Lucine, because she wanted to help, stood and followed her mother’s lead, twisting with her tiny hands the soap out of a green T-shirt that was as big as she was. I smiled, thinking that despite the size, she was better than I was at washing clothes by hand.

After eating, she showed me how she could twirl in the kitchen and then we colored pictures of her house and friends. Later, before bed, Lucine brushed her teeth with me for the third time since I arrived in Yerazgavors. I walked downstairs and looked into the living room where my mom and Lucine sat cuddled on the brown couch. A mother finally relaxing after a long day in the garden and barns and a daughter finally getting time with her mother. A few minutes later, Lucine saw me with my toothbrush, toothpaste and water bottle. I walked into the bathroom and started brushing, and a few seconds later in walks Lucine with her cup of water. She followed my every move—where I brush, she brushed. When I drank, she drank. I laughed, realizing I’d be brushing forever. If I would stop, after all, so would she. When we finished our brushing, we rinsed out the sink and our toothbrushes, and she popped her gum back in her mouth. Seeing this, I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself.

I see that my little sister looks up to me; she likes having a big sister as much as I love having a little sister. It means I can have a positive effect on her—a series of simple successes, which don’t spring from flow charts, years of planning or hours of mulling in my head or on the phone. And these experiences are my only focus at home—I don’t have a job to rush off to, and the Internet or my favorite TV show aren’t waiting for me. For once, life is slow and unobstructed. I can stop and enjoy a five-year-old’s company, and I can laugh at myself when I realize she has no idea that I have no idea what she’s saying. It’d be easy to get frustrated, but why bother? She’s having fun, and there’s nothing more fun than watching a child, carefree, at play. I can do this for hours; it’s music to my mind and acoustic at its best. Keep cranking out those songs, Armenia.

Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Armenia; Music



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