Friday, October 29, 2010

A hike, a chicken sacrafice and a candy picnic

A few weeks ago I taught my students a lesson on forming questions. It was one of the best lessons I ever gave. For practice the next lesson was an interview session and each student had to ask me ten questions about America. It went so well, and I was so surprised when the last question asked was “Miss Alyssa, will you come on a trip with our class?” Of Course I had to say yes!!! My students informed me that they would come to my house at 9 am on Saturday morning and pick me up! I asked if I could bring a friend along and they all shouted yes with delight in their voices. It’s funny because I can’t imagine a single teacher that I would have wanted to invite to hang out with me and my friends on a Saturday morning, and I had some pretty awesome teachers. I guess this is just one of those cultural differences!

So Saturday morning me and Ashley got ready for an excursion and at about 9:15 three girls from my 9th grade class, obviously representatives, came to my door with huge smiles on their faces. We walked to the end of my road, where the rest of the class was waiting for us. After a few greetings and this picture a marshootni picked us up. Oh crap I thought, I didn’t bring any money with me. I whispered to Ashley to see if she had any, as it turns out she didn’t bring hers either. This is going to be awkward I thought. When we arrived at our destination a few miles up from my house, in a small village, we got off the marshootni and I was pleasantly surprised to see that my students had made arrangements for us to ride for free!

The boys walked down to a local hanoot while us girls began to search for the path that would lead us to the church.

We walked for about 20 minutes before we came to this river where the boys met up with us. All my kids are picture crazy and wanted to take all kinds of nature pictures. It was so cute how they tried to use their English to talk to Ashley and I but how it ended up being a mixture of English and Armenian that we all feel into

We walked a little bit further and reached our destination. A very small church.

While we had been walking we had seen a car drive up to the church. Once we arrived there was a father and his two sons at the church. How cute I thought. And then he pulled a chicken out of a big bag…. Humm I thought, maybe he is going to set it free up here? Well no not exactly. The next thing I knew, he chopped of the chickens head and dipped his hands in it. Then with his bloody finger tips he made a cross on one of his sons heads. They said a prayer and then he made the same cross on his and his other sons head. Then they threw the chicken head on top of the church.

My students and I walked around the church three times, why I don’t know other than that is the tradition. Once inside the church, my students gave me candles to light for prayer. And they explained to me that when someone has a sick child they make a sacrifice to God to heal that child, so that little boy must be pretty sick.

This is a prayer tree, my students explained to me, you must take off something that you are wearing when you come here and tie it to the tree if you want to have a prayer come true.

I forgot to mention that my lil host brother vahagen came with us, he use to go to my school but dropped out last year. He would have been in the 9th form with his friends.

After we said our prayers my students unpacked their bags of candy, cookies, bread, pretzels and soda. We had a little mini snack feast and sat around talking and laughing. It was such a good day!

It began to rain, so we hurridly took a picture and began to pack up.

But the boys felt left out and wanted their own picture! How cute.

I can honestly say, I am so lucky because I have such good students, and live in the best community!


  1. what about the rest of the chicken? was he lunch? 3 time perhaps for the 3 days in tomb before christ rose.

    love you dad

  2. honestly when you see such superstitions it is better to point to the students that they should stop in their life doing those superstitious acts that are not in the new testament and just focusing what is in the written word and discarding other things

  3. As an American represent of the government of the america, you should tell of them that this superstition is not good. This is not the word of the god, and the people of Glendale do not believe in such these things.

  4. As an American I believe in freedom of religion and am here to observe, question,and discuss socitial practices but not to judge what is right or wrong.
    Thank you for reading my blog, I will continue to write about what I see, and not condemn a people for their culture

  5. Dear Anonymous people who are two people only, the government of the US, let alone an American, shouldn't be condoning or cautioning people in foreign countries in how they worship. If they did that here we wouldn't be America. What makes you think we should practice something we wouldn't even do on our own lands? As for what people of Glendale believe I didn't realize you were elected the Ambassador. As for things in the new Testament and practicing them, why don't you give me all your belongings to learn to not be connected to this world and to live by faith.

  6. So wow, what a field trip! See you teach them during the week, but this trip you learned a whole lot about the kids and their beliefs. I agree with you, it's not your job, nor should it be to tell them how and what to believe. That would be so condesending, and Scotts right, if they did that to us here we would be outraged. It sounds like your having a great time baby, love you and miss you, mom


    You have the most interesting comments

  8. Why did you brother drop out. Next you should take them on a field trip. That would be great!!!