Kyle’s Journey in Armenia

Just Another Peace Corps Blog

  • Kyle? In Armenia?

    My name is Kyle, and I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Noyemberyan, Armenia. I lived here from 2006-2008, and worked as an Information Technology volunteer for the US Peace Corps. In addition to my primary assignment developing my region's WiFi internet, I also taught computer and English classes to area youth. Thank you for visiting!

    This blog remains available for historical purposes, but is no longer actively maintained.

  • Archives:

Mar 2008
Bathrooms, bees (the spelling kind), and bald heads
Posted in Peace Corps by Kyle at 11:52 pm | 3 Comments »

The State of Emergency has been lifted here in Armenia, which means things are back to normal, right? Well, not quite. We had our safety and security meeting today, and we can now travel to Yerevan as we please, but we still have to be cautious as there are still police and military units on the streets ensuring no crowds are assembling. This has been aided by new legislation and rules, which can be best summed up in this lovely quote from our outgoing President:

Kocharian stated that the events of March 1-2 in Yerevan showed that the bases of our statehood need more serious and stricter legislative protection, adding that Democracy needs to be protected from the tyranny of the mob.

Aside from the tense political situation, life is going well here in Hayastan (you know that’s what they call Armenia here, right?). I have posted a bunch of pictures of the progress on the bathroom renovation, which is coming along well. They are almost usable, and are on schedule to be finished up (conveniently) by the end of the school year.

Construction 009 Construction 010

Yes, the construction is blocking the wheelchair ramp, and yes, I appreciate the irony of that 🙂 Development and changing ideas comes in baby steps sometimes! We did make some additional progress with our English clubs by introducing them to St. Patrick’s Day, complete with potato pancakes, apple sauce, Bailey’s/Jameson’s and Irish pub music. Afterwards they were speaking more openly, although they’re Irish jig dancing could use some work.

Next Sunday we’re taking possibly the biggest leap of faith of our students’ English language skill by hosting a spelling bee, which is part of a national contest organized by Peace Corps volunteers. I’m really excited about it and hope the kids will be in to it as well. It will be interesting, as they don’t even have spelling bees in their Armenian classes, and when they’re spelling they tend to say “rrr” and “www” instead of the “R” or “W”, so it will be interesting. The hardest part will probably be keeping their English teachers from mouthing the answers to them from the audience, to be honest. They’re really proud of their students!

Also, spring has really come full swing here, and it’s been t-shirt weather the past few weeks, which has provided some great hiking and outdoors time playing with the kids in my building. So, partly from the heat, and partly out of boredom, my site mate Alex and I decided to shave our heads the other day!

Goin Bald 4 - finished result

That picture also highlights the first time in my life I’ve had more facial hair then head hair. Anyway, I thought it was going to look worse, but I’ve always wanted to shave my head, and I figured Peace Corps was the ideal time for it, since everyone things I’m weird here, anyway. I doubt it will be a permanent fixture in my life, but it was worth it to impersonate my brother for a few minutes with a mo-hawk of my own:

Goin Bald 2 Goin Bald 1

I’m not sure Armenia is quite ready for the mo-hawk yet. Come to think of it, America (and my girlfriend, Sara) really isn’t, either. Better that it disappeared as quickly as appeared.

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3 Responses:

Erin said:

Lookin’ good Sid Vicious! I don’t think you pull off the mohawk quite as well as Brett, but you’ll definitely fit in well in Texas! 🙂 Love, Erin

Jason said:

Kyle –

Love the dew!! You guys should have left the mohawks!! They are all the rage now here in England.

Shnorhavor Haghoutsun!!! Great successes!!

Good luck on the Spelling Bee. Do post some pictures and a description of the even as Tera and I would love to read it!!

Hope the spring greens are coming out. That is the one spring food I miss the most.

Be well buddy!

Sara said:

Thanks for taking my feelings into consideration. You are such a gentleman.

The views expressed herein are the views of the author and do not express those of Peace Corps Armenia or the United States government.