Life in the Peace Corps can be crazy emotional sometimes. Unfortunately for me that is the only way I can describe the past few days. There was really no rhyme or reason to the emotions, but I just became so completely homesick. We have gone to school every morning, taught every afternoon and lesson planned every night, so for the most part I have been just exhausted. It has got to the point where I have been fainting, I would imagine due to the stress. Yes that is right I said I fainted, like a crazy emotional southern girl straight out of Gone with the Wind or something like that. It was so embarrassing, I felt weird so I tried to rush out of the hot classroom that we had been sitting in for the past three hours but I didn’t quite make it and fainted right in front of the door. No one could go into the class and no one could come out until they moved me!!! Ugh.
Throw on top of that a fight with a best friend, and you have a cab ride home alone crying your eyes out as you hear Katie Perry’s California girls come on the radio. No Joke, I seriously cried my eyes out to a Katie Perry song!!! The cab driver was so alarmed. He felt horrible and kept saying no baby no, ok ok, no cry. Haha I wonder if he has picked up the word cry from driving Americans around for the past few years, because he defiantly didn’t have any more English words stocked up in his repertoire, and that is such a strange word to know. I tried to smile and tell him I was sad because the song was about California and I am from California, but somehow I must have said something different because as the song ended he hush hush hushed me as you would a baby and played the song again! This time looking at me in the mirror and dancing, obviously trying to make me laugh, and when I did he said I should only laugh and never cry. It was very sweet and completely ridiculous at the same time. I felt so stupid, but sometimes you just need to cry your eyes out in the back of a cab to get all the craziness cleansed out of you.
I felt so much better the next day, as if I had been holding everything that has been happening with my family, with my falling behind in class and stressing out to catch up, with getting my feelings hurt by a friend, and with feeling sad to leave my host family and move sites, in and it all just was released.
That day my host family took me to see my brother Garrik, who you may remember from earlier posts is the sweetest and most adorable person I have ever met, at his Army post. As I walked up to the huge barb-wired gates, guarded by about 20 men with guns, I was terrified that they would stop me because I am American and not let me see Garrik. I was so happy as I walked past them, I felt triumphant as if I had snuck in or something. Then I saw him. My Garrik. He looked exactly as I remembered him, only a little tanner and a lot more toned. His family rushed to hug him, and I slowly followed, not sure what the proper protocol would be, as Armenians are very sensitive about boy-girl relations. He hugged his dad briefly, as the rest of us lined up single file behind, me of course last. Next his mom got a huge hug followed by the sister, and it was obvious just how close they are, but as he hugged her, he looked over her shoulder at me and flashed me a huge, sweet grin. He immediately came to me and told me he didn’t see me but now he is so glad that I was there. He gave me a huge hug, a kiss on the cheek, and asked me how my language was. I said it was ok and we began to walk. I tried to fall back so the family could talk to him, they must have been so anxious, but he slowed down with me and asked me about my past month and how I was, and if I liked my classes and if I was happy about where I was placed. We had a whole conversation and for the first time we totally understood each other. It was….. MAGICAL.
We found a place to picnic, and set up a mountain of food under the shade. My sister sat down next to her brother and I was facing opposite of him. We began to eat, and my mother asked my sister to get up and switch seats with me. I think she knows that we are destined to be together =) Either that or she just wants him to get a green card! Ha. In all seriousness, it was a perfect day spent with my host family. I only have one more week with them, and I am going to miss them so much. They treat me as their own, and are always so concerned about me. We just sat around and ate and talked for hours. We laughed, mostly at my expense and snacked on some ice cream that my host father surprised us with. When it was time to go I was so sad. Maybe that will be the last chance I get to see Garrik while I am here. No one knows where he will be posted yet, but if he is posted near the border of southern Azerbaijan, I won’t be able to see him, it’s way too dangerous there and the Peace Corps doesn’t allow us to travel there. I hope for his own safety that he is not posted there. In a perfect world he would get a nice calm Northern border close to me so I can still visit him.
As it came time to say goodbye we took a bunch of pictures. What always amazes me, is how much they include me. They wanted me in every single picture, even their family pictures. I had to beg them to let me just take one of all of them together. What amazed me even more was when Garrik asked for a picture of just the two of us! I think I must of blushed because I looked toward my host mom to see if it was ok, and she urged me on. When it came time to leave, I once again stepped back to let Garrik have time with his family to say goodbye, but I didn’t get too far when I was called for and told to come with them. As a family we walked him back to his dorm room, sadness in the air. When we got to the gate he hugged his father and mother quickly and had a few words with his sister before hugging her. Then he came to me and gave me the biggest hug I have gotten from an Armenian, they are usually quick huggers with one arm. He squeezed me super tight and wished me luck and didn’t let go for quite some time, and I know it wasn’t just in my head because soon his whole family started to laugh. He then kissed me on the cheek, his face red, my face prolly redder and said good bye. Then he went down the line again and gave everyone a kiss, and came back to me and kissed me again, and shyly smiled. So as you can see, we are pretty much in love. I do have to add that he wiggled from side to side as he hugged me, and everyone knows that means love. So in case you couldn’t tell I have a huge crush on an Armenian. Not just any Armenian but my host brother! Never thought that would happen in a million years. It was a good way to end a crappy week.