February 9, 2018

My Eleventh Trip to Armenia That Felt Like My First

Saturday, July 1st, 2017. This summer was my eleventh time in Armenia, but on this particular day, it felt like the first.


I woke up exhausted after spending the previous night with friends, playing mafia and poking fun at each other into the wee hours of the night. Even though I knew to expect the impending exhaustion as we started our days bright and early every Saturday, I just couldn’t skip out on a Friday evening with friends. Monday through Friday, I volunteered with the Women’s Support Center in Yerevan, assisting with research on the sexual and reproductive health outcomes of domestic violence victims. Although I intend to make assisting these victims my life’s work, after pouring over and translating some heavy interviews all week, I couldn’t help but to want to kick back with my հայասէր/hayaser* (Armenia-loving) friends by the time Friday rolled around.


Every Saturday morning, Birthright Armenia volunteers filed onto a bus to explore our motherland. We’d visit both the popular sites, and some of the lesser-known ones as well. As the bus cruised along, some of the more chipper volunteers would distribute խաչապուրի/khachapuri (cheesy, flaky bread) or paprika Pringles to the groggier volunteers who didn’t have time for breakfast. On this particular Saturday, we visited the Cathedral of Talin (no longer an active church), Surp Astvatsatsin Church, and Dashtadem Fortress (10th through 19th century, now a historical site). By lunchtime, we were ravenous, and also a little clueless as to what this lunch would soon entail.


cathedral of talin armenia
Cathedral of Talin
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June 23, 2017

Beauty Standards Across Cultures

beauty standards across cultures podcast
Lake Sevan, Armenia, ~July 2015
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