Ok so no one back home is awake right now to talk to, so I thought I’d blog instead! This week we have sight visits, the week we have all been waiting for, or in my case trying to hide from!
I met my new momma Jan yesterday, and let’s just say momma Jan is a stretch. Rosanna is young! Young and tiny!! Like as tiny if not tinier than Brianna! She immediately grabbed me and hugged me. I could tell she was actually really excited. She introduced me to my new little brother, Vahank not to be confused with my other brother Vahe or my dad Vahaghn!!! HA, I plan just to say vah and whoever answers I will talk to. Speaking of which I had a major realization, I don’t freaken speak Armenian, like at all. I am lucky enough to have a sister in Alapars who speaks English, and I’ll be honest, I haven’t had to try as hard as the others because of that. Also the families in Alapars are use to Americans; they have adjusted their speech so that we can understand. They speak slowly and use the vocabulary words that we know. My new momma Jan, speaks Armenian on caffeine, very fast! My language teacher had to tell her to slow down like 5 times! So after meeting her and speaking with her for an hour and only understanding 5 sentences at most, I had the epiphany that I don’t actually speak any Armenian. You see the Peace Corps tricks us into thinking that we are actually decent at it, but then you get to the real world and people speak differently and have more than a 200 word vocabulary and you are screwed.
So today was the big travel day to Spitak. My trip basically started in Yerevan with my host mom grabbing my wrist to guide me across the street, as cars are flying by from both directions. I am trying not to scream as I see a number of cars coming at us and yet for some crazy reason my mom is pulling me amidst them. Somehow, don’t ask me how, my eyes were closed in prayer, we make it to the middle of the road, and all of a sudden there are cars surrounding us going every which way. My mom again waits until it seems certain we will get hit, and then drags me across the other side of the street. Luckily I came out alive and unscathed.
So we get to a street where dozens of Marshutnis are lined up. Marshutnis are like big vans that take people from town to town. We find the Marshutni for Spitak and get in and sit down. The thing is you have to claim your seat as soon as possible or you are going to be squished the whole way, but the other thing is that marshutnis are vans without air conditioning that sit outside disgustingly hot Yerevan for hours at a time, so they are hot, really hot. So after about 15 minutes of sitting in this van as people pile in, I counted at least 14, I felt like I was going to die. After 20 minutes I thought forget dying I’m quitting the Peace Corps, and at 30 minutes we finally took off, thank God because I don’t know what I would have done. So then we traveled about an hour and a half north to my new little town, Spitak. The drive was not too bad at all actually. When we pulled into Spitak I gazed around in wonder, I have never seen a place like this in Armenia. It’s brand new for one; the store that we stopped at to buy food had air conditioning!! But more than that, it’s like half city and half village. Where the stores are is very city like, with apartments and vivacell stores and even a coffee shop, but when you get off the main street you see big houses with gardens and chickens and cows. I actually kind of live in the middle of the two, on a huge property! Our garden is the size of 2 alapars houses! I am about a fifteen minute walk from the school I will teach at, and maybe a 25 minute walk to the big store in town. My bed room is great, it actually has two beds, which means Ashley and Marissa can sleepover whenever they want! My only complaints are that I think I have mold, the bad kind, however I think my momma jan said they were fixing that. And I don’t have a lock on my door, which Peace Corps rules state I must have. I actually barely ever lock my door in the Alapars house, but I feel better with one. On the positive side my internet here rocks! I will no longer have to wait an hour for pictures to upload! This means my two years in Armenia will be filled with facebook and email and blog postings with Pictures! Thank God!
So far Spitak is pretty cool, though I still really do wish I had another American here. This blog is pretty long already so next time I will tell you about my crazy tatik who is so excited that I am here, and the rest of my new family.