Sunday, May 18, 2008


Dad and I strolled through a nearby "Shuka" a couple of Saturdays ago. I wouldn't recommend the milk - we've only found one brand we can tolerate - and even it isn't good straight. The woman is making lavash - she will lay it on the padded board in front of her and then slap it onto the side wall of the round oven to her left. It cooks fast and Armenians love their lavash which they wrap around things like we do with tortillas. Dad bought me this bouquet for mother's day and it lasted very well, in fact we just tossed it today. Thunderstorms here this morning, but now the sun is peaking through.

This sweet sister insisted on cooking dinner for all of us missionaries at the office building the other day. The meal was typical Armenian - lots of fresh herbs, lavash, eggplant, tomatoes & cucumbers, and barbequed meat - all very tasty. The young elders are L to R: Shipp, Hargraves, Meacham, Orrock, & Packer (Boyd K. Packer's grandson) - that's Elder Doty on the far right - he and his wife are the Seminary & Institute sr. couple.

An evening view out our living room window . . .

Monday, May 5, 2008

cafe lunch

On Friday, Dad and I attended a job fair at the Marriott. We had a plan to meet our translator, Kristina, at the fair at 13:00, and we were hurrying so we hadn't had time to eat, so we grabbed a quick lunch at the cafe in front of the hotel.


For FHE tonight we met the other 4 Senior missionary couples at the Afrikin Flat Restaurant in Yerevan. After a very good Armenian dinner some of us went over to Republic Square to see the fountain lit up, but it wasn't running. I did snap this picture of one of the 4 main buildings surrounding the square, which is touted as the most beautiful public square built in the 20th century.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Dad and I got caught in the rain tonight, walking from market to market on our way home, and of course we'd left the umbrella at the office (the top picture is of the Center Chapel / CES Building and our office is one of those basement windows, the other one is inside the office). It takes us about 4 or 5 markets to get everything on our grocery list, but it's fun and the merchants are very friendly and helpful. When Dad reaches into his pocket for change and holds out the palm of his hand to see what he's got, they often reach right into his palm and pick out what they need - it happens frequently in various markets. Bread dries out completely after one day, so we have to buy that every day; fortunately it is one thing that is pretty cheap. Most of the fresh produce is displayed outside the store and you pay a clerk right there on the sidewalk after he or she weighs it up.

We are trying to learn the language - not even a glimmer of a hope we'll ever be fluent, but enough to survive - but whenever either one of us uses a word or phrase in public, EVERYONE turns to look at us. I said "kargahnell" when we wanted to get off the marshrutny the other day and everyone whipped around to see who said that. When we got to the office I asked one of our Armenian friends what I should have said, and he assured me I'd said it right - he smiled and said my american accent was what they were reacting to - so I guess we don't exactly blend in. The marshrutnys are often crowded with not enough seats for everyone, but usually a man will offer me a seat and he and Dad stand crouched over since a marshrutny is just a 15 passenger van - certainly not big enough for a 6 ft man to stand up in - anyway, Dad hangs on and keeps his balance as best he can as we weave in and out of heavy traffic on often bumpy narrow streets. And the driver keeps right on stopping to let more people climb aboard. I'm not kidding, sometimes I actually laugh outloud it's so ridiculously packed with people. They must break world records. It is such a blessed relief whenever anyone gets off and we all adjust to more space, maybe someplace to put your left foot, or being able to sit with your tush completely on the seat instead of just halfway.

For the second time since our arrival, we about got shaken out of our bed the night before last with their 21-gun salute, which I guess is their custom to mark any major event or holiday. The first time it happened, at the inauguration of the new president, I seriously gained a measure of insight into what it must feel like to be bombed! Our old soviet-era apartment building shook with every blast! They do it late at night and it sure gets everyone's attention.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Dad's had a nasty cold, so we've stayed in our apartment for 2 days, but he's some better this morning, so it will be nice to get out into the sunshine today. We are attending a job fair at the Marriott this afternoon. It's sponsored by the American University of Armenia and the American Embassy as well as others. This picture shows the Marriott in the distance - it is a newly rennovated building, part of the Republic Square, formerly Lenin Square. We hear much of Maine is under water with spring flooding and also that Bill and Corinne Roberts are moving to Bowdoinham, ME where he is taking a job as lead draftsman. Have a great day, everyone! We love all of you and your emails and blogs!!!