PSA

Dear Blog readers,
I know that it has been quite a while since ive written or posted on anything in this place but rest assured. I am still writing up the last two or so months in Armenia. Its just that Life back at home plus the whole start of University, upholding my social life and much more have been keeping me pretty busy these days so thats on my mind. But dont stop believing. Im still here ^^

Yours Truly, Andrej.

Back where to where it all began, kinda.

So as the titel already reads, its nice to return to the place from where i was once at the very start of my FSJ. Around 10 months ago I first joined the „German Mobile “ ( A self invented and patented name by the way )into the south in its little PR and educational journey. And well, now I was joining the GErman mobile for basically same mission just with a little diferrent content in the educational section. Last time we went to open and set up the new german corner in the Kapan library and this time we where doing a small educational Messe in the same building with the DAAD aswell as holding teacher fortbildungen. But before I spoil everything ( There still are a few cool things heh) Ill just get into the whole thing. Enjoy!

So just ass the last trip into the south, to get some atcual work done,we met as early as humanely legal ( I believe it was around (8:45) at the Goethe Centrum to help Dana pack the Bus with all the necessary materials. Oh! And the „we“ means Elisa and I. Im not sure if i mentioned that before but while Martin helped out with the Exams at Ayb, Dana came up to me and asked me who id like to bring with South and well, the decision fell onto Elisa. So she was also part of the team. We arrived adn i was happily surprised because the bus was uch bigge that the one almost a year ago. This one had arund 13 seats and was a trasporter while the lastone had around 6 and was more of a Van isch car. So while we packed more and more of the team slowly turned up. First the twoteachers who would do the fortbildungen Srbuhi from Ayb and.. another one whose name ive stpidly forgotten haha. Then Jakob from the Embassy and finally MEghri from the DAAD. Basically just a small extension from the previous team. The ar around 9 we started our drive down. I wont describe how the drve was haha but there are a few things id like tp say. After we passed the Pass , breaking away from the view from thr ararat, I must saythat i had the whole way remembred in a diferrent way.. maybe it was becuase when i had the first trip, i was barely in the country. But i justs didnt recognize the way at certain/ from certain points. Secondly we sadly passed the little restaurant where we where last year but we did find a very good alternative so I definetly didnt mind.There we en´ven met a german turist group whichw as pretty funnyy because we made fun of them haha, and there was a bit of stress since the entry code for Luisas German proficiency test for her camp in germany wasnt working , but we managed to get it all done on thw way. I just listned through a few albums on the drve and just enjoyed the view out of the window. The Ntaura had definetly changed form the last time and it was all just more green, helathy and virile since the last visit was more towards the end of the summer. Allin all the drive was around 6 hours and i was alrady getting waves of nstalgia ass we drove down the valley to Goris.But yeah we arrived nicely in out final destination in Kapan around early Noon. We quicklz loaded out things off at the hotel before meeting again and driving up to the Library to unpack and prepare evertzhing for the next day. And yet again,as wer where slaving the boxes filled with materual up to the big hall, there came a (If not the same one like 10 months ago) crazy old man following up and yeah haha. But we slaved it all uo and I was alrady sweating like a pig. It was so ho and humid in that big hall. Like sweat was dripping down my nose hot haha. But we started building up the individual stands, hanging up posters ont the wall, setting up the reception and more and around about an hour later, the place loooked bomb. The catering company also build up their things so it really looked pretty professional haha. I swear i took photos but whie looking throug the gallery i cant find any so yeah. wack.  But here are two others :

Jacob doing nothing on his lazy ass, Haha jk, this was during a break we took becuase it was too warm during building everything up.

Us leaving after the set up before the big day.

After the whole build up we walked back to our hotel and wher egiven just freetime until 6 where we would meet again to eat a collective dinner. Me and Elisa chilled in our room, drew and I think just relaxed after this long sweaty day haha. I dre the view from out balcony and it worked out better than I thought. When we met up, we walked to the same restaurant we ate dnner at last time, this time, taking a seat outside though. We ordered water, xorovats, a good ass brosch, braed, fried potates, vegetables, salad and probably a few other things that i missed haha and had a break dinner. This time though, the xorovats wasnt the best meat and it was primarely fat which was on the bones, but i also got afew pretty good pieces so nothing to complain. We just sat, ate, drank and talked about alot. Kapans rising rive, its history (Kapanskiye tapachki) , Danas and Meghris carrer here, the Ayb work load and much much more. IT was a funny evening. We went to bed satisfied, tired and lulled by the lvely sounds of a billion frogs in the river (which we allowed to reproduce because Arthur wasnt there;) (Too early joke haha (This format is so confusing issnt it?))).

NNow the next day was the big one! It started with a stale breakfast at the hotel and then with a final check of the tings we set up the day before. All was good and the German eductaion faire could start off. I was tasked with elisa to the reception . The people would be lead tp us thrpugh teh banners and we would greet them, check if the registered themselves before and iff so they would get like a welcome baggie. There wher etwwo baggies though, one for the german etachers and one fro the rest of the etacheing force and administration. That is connected to the big thema of the fair which is „Deutsch im Sytsem “ or „GErman in´the System“.

The big idea about „Deutsch im System“ is to introduce or strengthen the interest in german or the german lessons in the countrys region by trying to promote it in evey subject posssble and implement those subjekts and topics in the german lessons. Thats why notoly german teachers where invited.

But so yeah, there was a bit of chaos at the reception but due to my russina skills, Elisa germanness and the occasional help from danas familair and well knowsn face, did we manage to register all but 2 people ( who didnt arrive at all). There was even a camera team there from a local media source ! So after the registration they all went in and got to hear a talk from dana, meghri , jakob and a few others about the cooperation with germany and its language and the usual things. I was waiting for the last two people who never came haha but i didnt mind. After the little opening conference, there was a small bruch/snack break whichw as provided by the catering company and after that the german teachers got to take part in the included Teacher fortbildung.

Picture of after the receptionxD.

The opening events. Here you can see the whole set up kinda 😀

A Seminar group during work.

There was where Elisa and I got time off and we went home to have a lovely Nap, whcih Dana critisized haha. We headed back at around 4 becuase thats when the whole event would be coming to an end and we would have to build up the tech for the film screening of „Lotte an´m bauhaus“ an hour later. Another cool thing we two wheere looking forward too was Anna. Im pretty sure , if youre a consistant reader of this blog, that youve heard of her before. She is a german student and wever been out with her before and she also even won the big DAAD Stipend for three years in germany, which is retty fucking bomb haha. But she comes from Kapan and since its summer holidays she was coincidetally returning to Kapan on the day of the screening which emant we could still hang out with her a bit. Which was pretty dope. I had been spamming and annoying her though her Insta Dms ( the way of communication here) to come and watch the screening and she said that she will appear wih a friend so that was cool! And well of course while building the qhole beamer and things up, there where issues. We firsted switcehd the beamer and fater that worked there was an issue with the Sound. Though the like auditorium next tothe hall had the fattest audio system control panel id seen in my year, it didnt manage to play out the sound of a usb cable haha. After we all stalled a bit and waited, the „master“ came and fixedd it up in 5 minutes. But still, nerve wrecking,nerve wrecking. And so the movie started. I of course wont talk about the conetnts pf the film except for the fact that it deals with the „Bauhuas“ art school and the females associated with that movement. Around at the 10 minute mark, Anna and her friend joined quietly so it was all gooood. 😀

A picture of the fountain square i took after the movie ended ^^

After the movie we quickly dissasembled everything we happily started talking to Anna. We arrangde that we would go eat Dinner at her home village „Geghanush“ or Beautiful Village. So we met up later and had a small walk to the near bye supermarket (Of which there are 4 in Kapan according to Anna) and did some quick shopping. Some beer, juice, fruits and vegetables before hopping into her dads car after introducng ourselves to him and driving up into the mountains to their village. It was about a 20 minute drive where we talked with eachother as best as we could ( her dad cant soeak german and Elisa cant speak russian so it was confusing haha). We got a small lecture about the _____ pollution near the village which incerases daily due to the heavy industry. We arrived at her village and it was really a village. Like I dont know how to explain it but just take it as a fact. Her family house was a two story wooden house with a small „yard“ in the front. She showed us around the rooms, going into the history of her family through some „artifacts“ and explaining the houses histroy and the use of the rooms and etc..The history is quite crazy haha there alot to write so ill just.. dont ^^. But all while we where getting a small tour , her dad was preaparing and starting to cook the dinner, which was home marinated fish grilled with lavash and vegetables. So we sat down to eat and it was a great time. We talked about how she was happy that the germans she met wernt that „bpring“ and one thing that I remembered is that I have the „Armenian Energy“. We even managed to incorporate her dad pretty well and I think we all had a blast. At one point her dad just chilled onto the near couch not to disturb us and yeah, we brought up to topic of the „Maulbeeren“ Homemade vodka, and luckily they did have a bottle of it storied and where nice enough to give it to us. Which was great hahaha. At around 11 I think we drove back and where invited to a tea in ther apartment in Kapan but we where both pretty tired and still ahd work to do the next day plus the drive back so we nicely declined and said that we would catch up next time we would be down in Kapan. Picturs abut this will still be comign xD

And so , me and Elisa where dropped off at our hotel and elevatored up to our room, fell on the bed and and went right to sleeping^^.

Now the third and last day came around and we left the hotel with out things already stuffed into the Bus after the breakfast. This day turned out to be quite an interesting one! Since the seminar still continued in the morning of this last day, Dana let us off the hook and Jakob, asked us if we would be interested/ willing to join him on his errand here in the south. The embassy annually hosts a contest to select a few bussines models/ideas and Jakob was supposed to check out one of the few contestants left in the south. And well , he was told that there woudnt be translator and since he cant speak any russina, it would be a win win for us both if I would come with. And well, elisa just tagged along haha. we where supposed to meet the „owner“ (?) infront
of the municipalities govermental building, soething like a town hall. And soon enough a small sturdily build armenian drove up and jumped out of the car to greet us. We exchanged foraliets and after a small awkward silence about what we wuld do now, we decied that the owner would give us tour of the projekt/ compound while talking bussines. For that we hopped int
his car where we where met with the first cool thing. There was a woman in it who would act like a translator and she could speak pretty good geramn too. We where driven to the village.. the name is a cobination of the words river and village , and ive asked for the name three times again but ie always forgotten so thatls have to do for you readers haha. It was around 50 Minutes by car from Kapan and yeah, on the way we say the lovely southern landscape of armenia. We passed a dam and through dozen of small mountains/ valleys.

Quick snapshot of the Lake and mountains  during the drive.

On the drive i found out that the „owner“ had alreay once gotten financial suport from the german govermanet for his ideas. The first time was for a Honey produktion bussniess which seemed to be working well for him. NOw after the long hot drive we arrived at his prpertz where we first drove by the above mentioned honey production. It was a pretty iddylic little spot in nature with a few run down houses/cottages. We where led down near to the river bank where we where served a sample of the tea which would get produced if they would receive financial support, The „new“ Tea would be of course only made by naturally growing herbs since he said that its a shame thout any use. at they just die each year wich he said was a shame. And there was atleasrt 6 different kinds of herbs in that mixture. It was oretty dope. Oh and while drinking tea and talking we also had a taste of the homemade honey and damn. That shit was good haha. We found out that this village was once an aserbajanian but was abndoned due to obvious historical events and now with the help of a few of his friends he is trying to „revive“ the village and nearby areas, We also passed a few dogs on the way and the owner calmly explained that they are here to fight of bears, since it has happened before that a hungry and curious big bear had wanted to get a taste. Otherwise, that conclded out little „oficial“ visit and yeah, Jakob said that it was verve and that the idea would very probably get the financial help for the packaging maschine they are wishing for,

The Beehives on our way into the area.

 

Two of the rundown houses. Who knows, maybe ill even draw them ^^.

The view from where  we would be sitting and enjoying a nice chat.

Where we talked… „Bussniness“ haha.

Since we had to back at around lunch time to pack all the things in again and help with the end , we didnt stay too long and soon where on our way back. On the way we took a small detour to the city where the translator lived to drop her off at work and then we where off back to kapan.

Walking back with the dog, the nicer one haha.

Around an hour of silence, sleeping and sweating later we arrived and thanked the owner for time and headed to the library.In the next two hours we helped with the end of the Event and packed all the things back into the Sprinter. It was so fucking hot haha but I think we where all glad when when the drive back started at around 14:00. This time we had a few more assengers. Meghris mother, Arshaluis and the teachers from Goris joineed us to get a ride back home. In Goris we stopped at the, in the precious trp mentioned, german hotel to have a tea and pachlava with the owner and the head of the newly formed „german ckub“. They talked about strategies to build up relations and oartnerships with germany, companies and etc. while also educating the youth and incrasing interest. I also had the idea that maybe all the going volunteers, could do a small spot in Goris on their way down to Kapan. But we will see how that will turn out. As we where leaving we had to wait or meghri since she bought around 2 Kg of lavash haha and we wher off. On the drive back we also stopped at the little bisto place again and I had one of the biggest meals I had in a while hahah. I had like two plates of different food plus Pizza, but I was strong! And i ate that bitch up :D. Now we arrived at the Goethe centrum n the late evening hours and unpacked all the things we had stuffed into the sprinter. As I we carried it up to Danas office, we where surprise that NElly ) The geothe centrums Chef) Was still there and yeah haha. After all of that was done, Elisa, MEghri and me hopped into danas car. She drove us and dropped us off at barekamutyun which was a shame since the ride was hilarious since Me and meghri joked ariund well with „anmachsprüchen“) which i thought off/invented) connected to her name . We arrived at home tired and that was about it. The second and last journey into the south with the Giethe Institut. A nice time back into some of the first memorabe times I had in my year here.

And finally, a picture of the ride back.

The three week summer break start catch up

Soo… continuing from  the last sentence of mz lst post which read : My „Last “ day at „Work“. Id like to explain that a bit.  Now even though school is over and there are school holidays in the country. The Work in school is pretty far from being over haha, the teachers mostly still end up being a month or so longer in school to finish the years work or prepare the next year. And well, that aslo applies to me haha. So with the holidays, i still have work to do of course!

Sadly, my blogging motivation and prgress has definetly been lacking haha and wekk for the last three weeks i havnt really being doing anything for this site. But on the side i have been writing down small events/ occasions and notes for things i will write on here so you definetly will only be missing out minimally so you dont have to worry about anything hehe. But yeah, as i said, my blogging is currecntly taking a toll and Im pretty sure it wont recover but that doesnt mean ill stop. With the upcoming plans, the posts will cover a longer time span of a certain thing im doing. And seriosly , ive done some thinking why im so demotivated to write this. Partially i think its the weather. Its so fucking hot and humid and i dont really want to sit hous just typing away haha. There are many reasons i can think of but another one i think is just the amount od stress and travel I am having currently and will be in the future so yeah. Nevertheless, i just wanted to tell you if i go dark for amonth or so that in that case, im not just doing nothing haha. Im working mainly and on the side im trying to formulate, finish and polisch up my posts and blog as a whole ^^

Now i just want to apologiye for this post since its just one big chaos of events, and stuff so im not sure how well i will be able to document it all. Id also like to add that there will be alot and alot off pictures, so dont hate 😀 Now that you have been warned, enjoy the read.

Now so what have I been doing in school? I have mainly been planning the quite busy sommer plans ill be having with the Goethe Institut ( A post yall will be getting once that in in process/ has ended) , cleaning up my workspace and doing a few more organizational tasks,

  • – For the summer plans I started communications with the partys involved across the country and in georgie with whom i will be working closely together with. I made a financial plan and bla bla bla, youll get more of that in that specific post.
  • -Not only did i do orginasational things but I also had the chance to have a few lessons with the 3rd graders who have just started learning german. I used the A1 texts books and the proviced programm to have a´very simple, easy and laid back fun lessons. We did things like the “ ABC song “ or counting and working with numbers. And to be honest, those children are very fun and easy to work with. They are motivated enough to throw themselvs into the work and they are easy enogh to control becuase they are still youngg and have a bit of respect for me. But yeah, in the couple of dayswhere I had workshops with them, they really made me realize that “ This is what this year is work it“ Becuase i just listen to them singen happily and it kinds just .. makes me happy haha.
  • –  ALso in connection to the childreen and the newl beginners, I made sure that each child got a copy of the „digital“ learning material, the dvd and cs so they could also practise at home. To be honest, that task was a bit of a pain in the ass haha becuase the chidlren would forget their USb stick or forgot which one was theirs and yada yada. But after two days we had it all sorted out.
  • – Regarding my actual workplace,  I started stripping down and categoising the loose papers and materials lying around to put them into my fat Folder, ( which is probabaly around 7Kg by now ahha) But yeah my whoke desk and looks kind of despressiv and sad now. WEll not the desk really , i think it was more of my feelings becuase i realised that what ive worked on building upfor a year has come to an end . :/ Wack. The posters and programm information of my which ive hung up infront of the german room have also been taken down and rolled up for transport.
  • – One thing which is connected to work , which i made, is that I finished building my little „Oil painting box“ that I had planned for transporting wet painting during my travels. It took quite sometime and planning and after a few mistakes and some improvising, I managed to actually to make it work out quite well. Only using a hot glue gun and Pizzaboard cardboard, i would say that i did a pretty good job. Here is a picture of the end product :
  • So here are three views of it and yes it was made with Pizza delivery Boxes xD
  • Oh and during my time still at school they wher holding the final exams of the Students ( The armenian 9th and 13th garde exams are held in the holidays) So that was a big reason why the older kids from ym projects didnt have time to meet up and do things. ( Im trying to save my ass here haha) But here is a pic of the exam setup, quite interesting to be honest haha:
  • Now, to what i did besides my work! To be honest, I must say that i pretty much wasted the first three weeks which is kind of a shame. I had quite alot planned. Meeting with the kids and still watching the “ Emil and the Detektive“ Movie with the workshop participants hm but well time kind of just ran through my fingers haha. SO what did I do with t´my time? Well one good thing is that I did quite the number of Walks and little excursions with some students. Mostly to the two bigger hills/mountains behind our living complex. A few times with the little yard gang of mine to the one closer to home and once with Vagharshak and his friend Arthur to opposite one. I feel a bit stupid trying to explain this becuase Its horrible haha. The whole thing with cagharshak played out with him asking me if idlike to go and pick flowers with him one day, and well off course I said yes becuase im trying to establish a small personal herborium. So the final day came and we met up, bought a few snacks/drinks and headed up towards the other mountain. On the way there we walked over and along a few fields and hills and I must say that the view was quite spectacular. I definetly have that planned as a potential drawing/painting spot. The way wsnt that bad but the hardest part where the last 30% becuase it was just a steep rocky hill. And well after a good amount of huffing and puffing we collapsed on the side of the top. Now what was so special about that hill was that , according to vagharshak, the hidden side was completely covered in fields of big white flowers. And boy was he right. Once we crossed the edge, you ould see the pretty view of the entire back hillside being covered in them. It really was… calming and quite beatifull. We sat down and had those snacks we bought and talked about things like traveleling, other countries and pyramids  or “ ägytpische burgen“ as he called them haha quite cute. I also found out that Arthur made and sold his own bycicles , which wasa quite faschinating. After our small break we walked amoung the hill side and picked a god handfull. After having our littele collection we did a small photoshoot at the top, ofwhich i will of course post the pictures below and yeah, just had a pretty good time. Me and Vagho really bonded during that time. On the way back though, it started raining which wasnt that nice but we made it back in time.  We also discussed the „youth“ haha teaching me how to play „Blot“. A card  game which is simialr to „Scart“ or has a similar process/theorie. But that sadly never happened, though i would love to maybe learn it one day.

Here are a few pictures from that time:

David ethusiastically showing of my German-Armenian freindship Pin.

A walk we had one day through the park where there was a exhibition.

Pictures from the walk wth Vagho.

Me trying t be cool. But the picture is kinda dope.

Now on another time I met up with Vagho, went went for a quick walk in the centrum, enjoyed a ( well I did, vagho declined a few time) 3 Lajmajo before he showed me to his „IT / Programming class“ at the secondary school. I walked into a quite bland and broken room but what was in that room was crazy. They had some heaviý maschinery, pretty decent pc set ups, lots of cables and a 3d printer, which was efficiently working away during the moment of our arrival haha. I talked a bit with the teacher and then they already  started writing aprogramm for a robotor, his sensors and proccessor so that he would find his way/ explore a  labyrinth. I didnt stay for long enough though to see if the robot madeit or not because I was too tired and had another quick nap at home, but from what I heard, He made it quite well. Here are a few pictures from there aswell:

The 3rd Printer in the Corner. The shelf with the finished products was close by.

The Producton corner.

The teacher building up the robot with Vagho and the other dude.

Coding the Robot.

 

And since we are at the topic of walks , here is another picture of a quick picture I snapped with Gor, another very interesting 9th grader, while we had a quick walk through the city with some sunflower seeds. He showed me some back yards and gardens as we walked though the city, which was really gave me a rural/ small comunal feeling aswell.:

Gor and me on our little walk. Here we are making our way to drink some water.

Now on * i think( the first weeknd after the last school weekend, there was something alled the „Yerevan Art Fare“ Just 3 dazs of a art exhibition, talks and other things happened in Yerevan. On the sunday I went to the big exhibition at a expo &ehibition uilding very close to the apartment of the volunteers in Yerevan, just right up a side street of the Comitas Avenue. There where quite the interesting curators present at th event. Artists from sweden, Germanz, Iran , Spain and a few more and their art was definetlz quite interesting. Ill just let the pictures and their small descriptions do the talking so enjoz the „exhibition“ xD Pictures:

A pic of how the layout of the place was. Seen is the second floor.

And below are just a few pictures of art works 😀 Enjoy!

 

Now aside from the exhibition i went alone to on sunday, there was also a small „TedTalk“ isch event on Monday by a Spanish artists about the topic“ Art and Technology“ His artist group was called:     . And to be honets, i thought that the talk would be really boring but some thing he talked about and the projekts he did where quite fascinating. While there is enough time and space to explain everything, i just dont want to since im too lazy. Ill just throw out some topics and Ideas he mentioned and you can google their name if youd like too. So one Idea they tried doing where to find how much of an Impaact art has on people. Another quite interesting project they did was at the UN GA with all the leaders of the participating countrys where they presented a „Time MAschine“ Just check them out for your self hehe. The talk was really cool.

With the holidays and the finished „Oil box“ I definetlz had more time and motivation to start painting much more. I started going outside for two hours occasionallz to paint things, or quick 30 minute oils at home. Once , I even walked up the hill the forset behind our house to draw some nature and plants, oh but well, it wasnt such an enjoyable experience. I arrived in the forest, all cool , shady, peacfull and nice. And probabalz after twoo minutes, i notoced that I was going to get fucked by the mosquitos.and i was right. alreadz during just unpacking mz things thezwhere swirring around me like crayz and while ainting i probablz had to make erradic and strong movements so that the insects would flz away just to land on me a couple of moments later. Well I would saz that i had around 17 bites on one arm alone and around 35 in total on mz bodz. Marks where still present 2 weeks later, i dont know what kind of bull breed those things where haha. But yeah, what i dont go through for Art 😉 All the Art i will do over the summer will be available under the „Art“ section in the blog so no descriptions or pictures here. Go there and see for yourself!

Towards the end of the three first weeks, Vagharshak had his Birthday party. He had alreaz brought it up a month before but i was pretty sure that i woudn tbe able to come becuase of a Sommerplan element. That changed though and i was able, which really did make him happy. Now the day was friday and it was pissing outside. It was a week where it basicallz onlz rained and it was a strong strong rain. I had written him if we where gong to meet in to little basket where he had originally planned it out of a joke becuase of ther weather and he sad that we where going to have the „party“ at his place instead. Surprisingly, he wasstanding at my door 15 miutes later with sergey compeltely soaked. Naturally i was upset beucase i knew where he lived and didnt need him to pick me up , especially in this kind of weather. But well he was there so we all enjoyed running back through the rain to his place laughing with our umbrellas and even picking up a few other guests on his on the way. We entered his humble abode with around 9 oher friends of his and where greetde bz his family. I shortlz said hello, since they had just heard from the german and never seen me and after that we wherre ushered into the living room where th table was alreadz covered in drinks and appetizer.And well i wont go into too manz details, ill just mention things that stuck in my head. I of course got the only beer on the table becuase I was german.The kids always wanted to make me try armenian food becuase they thought i woudnt be able to eat it. They where wrong. Sergey asked me „Andrej, do you like lemons?“ and i was like „sure i do“ and he replied with “ why dont you eat a slice then“. I thought it was the usual thing where they would think i wont eat it becuase its too sour so i pick up a slice and bite the fruit clean of the outer yellow skin and look at him truimphantly and he goes “ It seems like i like lemons more than you“ , takes a slice and just eats it all haha. I laughed good with that one. Otherwise i tried to explain to them what a „bierchen“ is by using the armenian -ik form thus: Garre Jurik. They didnt really understand the concept i think haha. And I danced a bit with Vagharshak and some other boys. That day was the first time in the year where i gave into the requests to arm wreste me. I beat all of them haha. The whole thing was a pretty nice experience i would say and i definetly had some fun, I just have to remember to give vagharshak some birthday money aswell ^^.

The party!

Snapping a picture of Soghomon haha.

Oh and during the week the Haik, the direktor of the school calls me and asks me to bring in my passport to school. While im a bit confused im oretty sure i know what this is about so i jog over to school with my docuemnt adn go to his office. There he explains that tehe authorities want to deport me and thats why he has to send them the PAssport page with my valid immigrazion stampds so they know that Im still within my time to stay here. I offered to bring my reseddency card for him to scan but he was like „nah, fuck it, itl all be good anyways, this is just a formality“ and we left it at that. Lovely times haha.

The nexxt big thing which happend towards the end of the 3 weeks was the „Dirk Michaelis Koncert“ which Holga had organized. The whole reson whz it was that guz was because during the „deutsche itparade“ Holga had contacted each artist of the songs which where presented. Obviouslz some replied while others didnt and Dirk was so ethusiastic about the whole idea that Holga and him starting talking and planning a visit to armenia. And well this was his visit haha. I had been in Yerevan by then for a few days becuasse it was weekend or something and that was good forHolga becuase he asked the volunteers to cover the jobs like the bouncers, ticketcheckers, regiistration and all the other organizational things. So the day comes and we get a taxi to bring us to the concert hall since its quite far away. Good thing number one that day,the taxi driver had the hardest musik banging in the car and he cranked it up a bit more once he realiyed that we all liked it aswell. Those two sonfs where of course addded to the „Caucasian beats playlist“. Now we arrived about an hour earlz for the whole prep and we got to meet Dirk and his german side kick and just say hi for a bit before being assigned out positions.Martin and Florian would be the ticket checker while Elisa, Kira and I would be ahndleing entrz, ticket sale, money and registration. Soon enough the first people alreadz started to pour in. It was quite a crowd. Abround 300 hundred while seated by the slow start of the koncert. Now to why im mentioning this in the recap: The first time i heard his musik, it was already weird and since im not the biggest fan of german musik except for Hip hop, i immidiatly categorized it as wack and just weird. BUt boy was I wrong haha. The first few songs wherre more like meh, but as I concentrated on the lyrics, chords and overall performance i started jamming out to it. It was really beatiful. I was blown away by him , esecially becuase i had the lowest expectations someone could have going in hhaa.Towards the end he really had the whole crowd at their feet and the end act was a duet with him and the girl at the „Hit parade“ who sang his song. It was a really great evening haha. The german duduk player looked like he would press out his lungs though.But yeah, ive gotten the set list from Holga, so ill see if his songs are as good as they where live. If not i dont mind either, the best memories ar in ones mind ^^. Here are three pictures of that evening:

Martin looking as fine as ever.

The artist himelf on stage.

Oh and a small peak into the „Cash register“ haha which we where operating xD

After the concert I returned to Chmabrack for a few days for a final half week before coming back to Yerevan to start my meticoulous summerplan. What was important to mention about those few days was a particular little excursion i di with Emmi where Suren, Garush and Sipan joined. So the plan was actually to just walk across the city to the „Mountain with the Cross“ on it becuase it was basically covered in Thymian and the armeniaan just collect it from the natrure, dry it annd amke their own tea. It was quite a hot day and well to be hoest i didnt really want to go beucase i wasnt feeling my best mentally but they dragged me along haha. We walked down to the main street and on the way there the kids already stopped to gather some little round green fruits from a tree and eat it. It really astonished that like 30 percent of the flora here can just be eaten it haha. First „Trtenjuk“ and how this. Well we colleccted enough and followed the main road to the path wich lead uo the side of the mountain , which we then started climbing. Once we reached the top, the wind hit me in my face and BUM! I was just hit with the smell of Herbs, it was amazing.The whole mountain was lietreally overgrown with Thymian. Like you where stepping on it with every step. We first just chilled abit after out little „hike“ if zou could call it that, enjozed the scenery and talked/took pictures. Heres the view :

Now after that we got down onto our knees and got dirty. It took us about 25 minutes to fill plastic bags pretty welll with the herb and whol whole time Suren was nagging me about going over to Ttjur as a little side adventure. I asked him how far t was bbecuase according to my knowlege, it was two villages away (Which i find quite far) and he was like : no no, its close it all good. So we pack the packed bags into emmis backpack and head back down to the mainroad to follow it into the other direction to out new destination. While we head down it starts to rain a bit and i loose my footing a clouple of times , almost falling, while garush is beingg a gentle man and holds emmis hand to helop her down ( whcich we all teased him about. Oh the youth haha ) and the rain luckily ended just as we reach the bttom of the hill. Now we start walking alogg the road and now Suren is starting to suggest that we try and pitch a ride to ttjur because suddenly its „far away“ haha. That didnt wokr and we ended up walking 1 and a half hours to Ttujur. We did miss a good chance of saving 45 minutes of walking becuase Garushs dad drove by and missed us haha. But oh well, im alive aint i? We arrived at the natural spring and had our share of „Ttujur“ which quite remended me of KArlovivary. We walked up around th eboulder to the top where there was a monument and just layed and rested abit. After that we quickly stopped by the churhc which was located opposite od´f the spring andbought some cookies for the way back as a little stale „energizer“ haha. And luckily, just as we we passed the „ttjur“ village sign, garushed dad pulls up. I thinkwe where all so fuckign realieved. We hop in and his dad and I have a small conversation. He tells me that is children always talk about me and that they only want to meet and play with me, which i found very adorable. He was even nice enozgh to by us all an icecream as we entereded chambarack. He drove up to our yard, where we all split out ways after this exhghausting „little „detour haha. In the end we covered our 1.5 hour walk in 8 minutey . It was kind of sad and put things into perspetive haha. It even turns out that Emma specifically forbid Emmi to go t Ttujur since it was too late and she got a little lecture at home but i think that emma secretly found it a bit funny/interesting aswell. here are few pics of that:

On the way to Ttudjur.

 

 

The Ttudjur sign, fucking finally haha.

The actaul spring where you could drink the water. Its red becuase of th minerals and high iron percetage in the wwater

.A  picture of the close church where we also chilled just a bit before returning.

Oh and I fnally finished my armenian lessons on the day where i was supposed to leave for yerevan again. Me and Elen looked at the finishing piece, an essay that I wrote, and corrected it before letting me do a small „test“ to see how I stood with my armenian. I must say that writing this now and looking back, im very proud and kind of happy that i managed to elarn armenian at least kind of . The memories of my start, the alphabets and the exghasted mind are quite interesting and i think, how quickly time flies by. In janaury i coudnt even read a letter and now I can basically hold a conversation, write and understand surprisingly alot. She and Emma even gave me a little gift to take back to germany. A picture luisas mother took on the graduation day of the 9th hrasers in a frame and with a small message on the back. It really meant alot to me.

On the same day, i also said my goodbyes to the teachers and took pictures with them since it would be the last time where i would see most of them probably. We took a final big photo and Anoush came in to say bye. I must say it was a bit sad for me , i regret alot of things. Nit talking more with her, inetracting with the etachers more or like going with them on theri excursion to dilijan. It hits my soul. But me and anoush said that we will stay in contact and that we will! Of course a Picture with the direktor was made and well, i was given a bottle of wine from the teachers which was a nice gesture. I also managed to clean out most of my things on that day. It was sad to see my once so chaotic and messy and produuctive/healthy desk „life“ to see „extinct“ and bare. It made me a bit emotional to be honest haha but no tears had flown! Those come later haha.

And well so I left chambarck for the Summer! In yerevan I gradded MArtin to the Fit exams which to summarize, where pretty boring, tiring and chaotic but with the help of Danas clever plan and our attendacne ran smooth like clockwork. At home we had our last dinner together in the Wg with all 4 members there. We had a nice MEal and a Wine and to be honest, there wasnt such a sad vibe in the air. I also started inplementeing some „Netflix adn chill“ into the apartment more haha. Me and martin started going through „Servant of the people“ and „Black Mirror“ episodes where elisa would sometimes join. The evenign where filled with „Stadt land fluss, beleidigng, scheidungsgrund, marken“ and a few more categories gamess and there was even a evenening where we went out to the nely openend bar of the Embasyy club where we all payed a whopping 9 euros for a gin tonic. My wallet wanted to hang itself haha.

But yes, i would say that this would be a good summary of the last three weeks. Chaotic,Exhausting yet fun and hitting home. I hope you enjoyed the mindfuck of events and yeah as always, thank you for your patience and reading. Ill see you in the next one which brings back a bit of Nostalgia 😉

The last week of school

Finally… the last week of school rolled around.

Its really weird thinking about how fast time went. The other volunteers and I always have commented about it but well its the first time im writing about it on here I think. Its really fucked up. For me it feels like that I first came here a few months ago and well in reality, ive been here from the start to the end of a normal school year. Its really weird, but well they say that time flies when you are really living life. Lifes weird haha.

Now so, to be honest, the week was going to be as normal and usual as every other one. One thing though is that I sady woudnt be able tobe there on the last day of school. Which really sucked. I coudnt be there for the celebration of the 9th graders finishing their last day or celebrating in the teachers room for another succesfull school year. But well the day of the open door at the Embassy was calling, so I reallz coudnt say no. And so, the week happend.

Monday and tuesday the book club sadly didnt happen, but well thats life, maybe it was also meant to end that way since I started the reading club a month or two into my FSJ. But for that, I did other things with the children after school. On monday for example, David, Alik, Sipan and garush took me on a little Walk into the forest and mountain behind out house. While it looked much farther, we managed to get up there in around 30 minutes. We started off by passing some fields past out plaground and then just walking up plains and the grassy hill/ mountain side. As usual the conversation carried us as we went. On the way i saw a good amount of pretty flowers so I would definetly pick them and well, keep them as a little printing projekt of mine. The nature was really astounding. It really made me think about maybe living in such a small and hamonyious place enclosed by nature, like i litereally woudnt get tired of the view. It kinda puts things into perspektive. Now, so a after two small breaks and a dreadfull last steep part we managed to reach the top. Close to the top, we even encountered some snow which was really crazy since it was around 26 degrees but i guess armenian snow is just a bit stubborn haha. On the top, we walked amoung the remains of a destroyed military outpost, which was probably bombed down during the gritty period between armenia and Aserbajschan.  We walked around a bit more while i collceted flowers and they showed me the distant other sall rurual villages and areas as we lay down on a side of the side of the hill. On the way down , we where just talking as usual,and then Stipan asked me what my favorite number was and I was like “ I dunno, i dont really have one… whats yours?“ and he was like “ Mine is 7, becuase on the 7th day god created us humans“ and well i thought that id just share that small conversation with you all because i just found it adorable. Disclaimer, I dont care about religion haha. But now , here enjoy some pictures I took on our little walk:

Just before we set out on our little hike.

 

The view during the first 15 minutes.

David and Garusch both dying on the way up.

Another view a bit higher than the first landscape picture

Flowers I picked ^^

Thursday we had another one of those „Good bye alphabet book“ festivals, but this time from the other class and surprisingly, they had completely different contents and programs so it was interesting to see that they put so much effort into it. But even though they had differnt contents, it was dope as fuck haha. Heres a picture of Little Edwin during the event:

Edwin grinning and looking at me during his perfromance

Alright! So friday,the big day rolled around! I wokeup and put on some nice clothes ( Shirt and a tie) since it was the last day and the graduationof the 9th graders and headed off with my packed backpack to school. I came there pretty early around 9:30 isch because I still had to type up and print out the name and title cards of the “ Deutsch with stoff“ products which would get hanged up at the german embassy later that day. So i get the final things done and well at around 11, the „Last schoolbell“ Event happens for the 9th graders. They basically made a small thing out of looking back on their time at the school and thanking each and every teacher individually while their picture is beamed onto the wall. Of course and surprisingly,  I was also thanked and got a small role and card. But well, they also had a few little funny skits here and there which I aslo fun to see. But yeah, sadly when it slowly neared to 12 I had to get going becuse the ordered marschroutka for me and the group of kiddos was ready to leave at the Vivacell MTS. So i said goodbye quietly, shook Elens baby nieces hand a last  time haha and got going as fast as I could. After walking hurriedly to the centre, i was pleased to see that almost all kids where already in the van. I recounted and was updated that not one, but 3 childresn wernt coming so i crossed them off my list. I didnt complain becuase that mean less work for me haha but i did find it wack that they coudnt make it. And well after waiting 5 minutes, Ashot, the last not present member, arrived and we started driving into the direction of Yerevan. I must say that thge warm weather, tight clothes and heavy backpack plus the pressure and dread of the day really already hd an impact on me so i was already so exhausted on thee ride into yervan. The kids wernt behving too bad so ijust made sure to remind them when they talked too loud, but otherwise the ride was good!  So a break to fill up gas and 2 hours later, we drove direction Embassy after entering the city. The day plan was a bit chaotic so i had to explain to the driver that we where only first going to stop very quickly infront of th embassy before driving to another location. He managed to understand and after quickly attching the names and titles to the finished textile products and hopping out, explaining dana what was what and what she had to do, and hopping into the transporter again, we drove of to the next destination which was the Goethe centrum.

Why the goethe centrum you ask? Well since the things Me and ELisa would be presenting at the open day are based on the Goethe Institus „100 years Bauhau- Bauhauswomen“ celebration, dana thought that it would be good to also show the other kids what it was all about by leading them through the exhibtion created at the geothe centrum. And I agreed. So after a short ride down there, i decided that we would be walking back to the embassy since there was no parking space for the transporter, and coordinating the whole pickup/ transport would be too stressy so that was the go to option. So i told my little group to take everything they need for later with them, So like passports, wallets, phones ans such,bags had to be left in the van since we coudnt take them into the embassy. Everyone was done and hopped off the transport and walked the remaining 100 meters to the goethe centum. During the ride i noticed that the group would rather just walk around and enjoy Yerevan a bit and I did promise that if we did have time, we would do that, but during the ride into the city, I realised that we where already swamped time wise so it did suck a bit to have to tell them that. But well, i think they survived ^^.

I stopped at the entrance of the Goethe centre and well just held a small speech about where we are, what we will be seeing and why. So i led them into the big entrance hall where german and armenian texts where written on the wall with pictures of the artists and their works& Ideas. Nadia ( another person from the Centre) was nice enough to join us for a few minutes and say some words in Armenian , aswell as give out some „Merch“ haha. The Balloons, booklets and pens where quickly snached up by the children. After she left, the big group split up into smaller groups and started explorng the exhibition. I must say that i was pretty surprised at how big it actaully was. I thought that it would only limit itself to the entrance hall but the upper conference room as well as the library where equiped with reading and viewing material. Ultimatly, the collective came together again in the library again where, instead of reaading the Bauhaus things, they started reading other books haha. Soon after though we had to leave, so not too much time wasted doing nothing.

As mentioned before, we ( I) had decided that we all would walk to the embasyy becuase of practicality. 2 mintes into our walk, i could smell the rain in the air and the clouds did seem quite angry. The rain did come and well we managed to stay out the worst parts of it becuase we (I) commanded us under stratigically imporant areas like parks, trees and tunnels. Though we did have to stop once at the start because the rain was really hammering down. In that moment, all the kids hated me haha and where constatly complaining. But after getting lost once and 30 minutes, miracoulosly we managed to get to the embassy. After a pathetic „security check“ we all where inside and well, i told them that they were free to do anything they wanted as long as they stayed in the embassy. First they where quite confused and not sure what to do with their knew freedom but it didnt take long untill i coudnt spot any one of them anymore. So yeah, the embasy just hosted alot of stands from many organisations, ngos and german political parties/istitues.  The event was also in cooperation with the french embassy and the fernch embassador was promised to show up but well they lied. The german embassador also talked for a bit before having to attend an emergency diplomat meeting with pashinyan ( where the rench embassador also was ). So yeah, besides the stands there where also food sands offering beer and german sausages and Crumbs also was incharg for the food so it was interesting seeing some familiar faces. While all the stands where busteling and doing their thing, there also was a „stage“ where a actuall prgramm was being done. There where panel discussions, Q and as, and well also performances from various schools and events. For example a hand full of selected from the in a differnet post mentioned german Hit paradegot to perform their song again. Lianna being one of them and despite some technical probels, she really did kill it. I think she really waas  the best perfromance that day. BUt that was otherwise it. After the performance of Lianna i ecastaticallz congratuated her which amde her reallz happz and the DAna offered to paz for a round of food and drinks, which some kids actuallz declined, to their loss of course. After the quick feeding, we gathered all kids together and herded them and their massive goodie bags filled with calenders, notepads, piggz banks and all kinds of other interesting and weird things, some of which i dont even know how thez got a hold off ahha, and put them on the bus which send them back straight to chambarack. And yeah, then it was mz free time haha. I happilz enjozed a beer and a two sausages and just relaxed around the premisces. the other volunteers and I talked about our summer plans and just enjozed the lovelz day.After that we went home and quicklz had a quiet evening after the whole stress of the last official school daz.

Yeah. Well that was the final day of „work“ at the „school“ haha. See you in the next post!

 

Another week goes by

Right, so we are slowly nearing the end of the school year. The teachers had started dishing out the final exams and I started wrapping up projects I was having and still wanted to do. If you wondered what happened with the “ Deutsch Lernen mit König Arthur project“ , that project is temporarily being put on hold. But more on the projects sub page ;). Now but what did i do in the second last week of school? As usual i tried to do my usual plan This time, on monday, the 5th garde even came to the book club surprisingly and well i had a pretty nice lesson with them. It was nice doing that lesson with them, I missed them alot. Tuesdays though sadly didn’t happen haha, the 6th graders let me down ;). Wednesday I finally managed to make my last „Emil und die Detiktiven“  lecture lesson. Whilethe kids werent really into it and just really wanted to go home, eat, rest or just not be in school I pulled them through my prepared program. But as we finished the last words of the final chapter and I started to ask for feedback, impressions and opinions, I think they really did enjoy it sometimes ( It wasnt always good i agree) but that it was a nice constant to have throughout the school year. Now we just have to watch the movie sometime, but i doubt ill find anytime in the last two weeks of school so itl probably be in some holiday weeks :D.

On thursday, Syuzanna had her birthday and i was invited too so i decided to meet up with the other kids invited before going to her place. So mamikonanush, Luisa and i think someone else met up in front of school and started walking to Syuzannas place, We knew that it was going to be a long walk because i was at hers before and the last time we went there with car haha, But well, on the way there through the centre we bought some candy and little gifts for her and after walking for 45 minutes we arrived at her place. You could get to hers by walking down the road going out of chambarck but turning left onto another road before actually leaving chambarck up a hill and her house was on the very end of that road. While walking we talked a bit and i heard that their classteacher would also be present and well i found that very interesting since teachers would never be at a birthday celebration in germany for example. On the way we met a few animals aswell and i started taking pictures and videos of them delightedly since well, animals dont walk the streets of berlin haha while the others rolled their eyes at my non-local behavior haha. But well we arrived and we were served a good meal, lots of meat, salad and bread and while watching things on the big screen, we just enjoyed the time. Syuzannas cake was also quite a fancy fat piece of shit haha, ive never seen a better cake and sadly i do not have a picture of it so you’ll just have to have a good imagination 😉 Oh and before eating we had a nice walk outside since the horovatz wasnt done yet. Syuzannas Family owns and runs an agricultural bussines with a big barn and many animals. We wanted to go into the barn to see german cattle but it was closed so we just walked up the hill behind it while joking around before returning down the road  to the house where the food greeted us. But before I continue, here are some pictures:

A family a geese on the way to Syuzannas home.

A nice picture of a religious altar in the nature behind the Yeritsyan household. I was told that people kiss the „relics“ as a ritual.

The Hill behind the barn. It had a lovely outlook. A video i took captures it better.

A cow we passed on the way back from out walk.

So after the food, the party mood set in. The lights got dimmed down and the fat speaker got whipped out and armenian/russian and english bangers where blasted through the house. I really had a bit of sympathy for the rest of the family haha. Well all of them started dancing and well, personally it was a bit uncomfortable for me because these 15 year olds where all dancing like they where in a club so, i just chilled on a chair next to Megri, who also just didnt want to dance. Probably one and a half hours later, we were kicked out because it was nearing 10 and well i think everyone was just tired aswell so we complied and were driven back home. That day was quite a stressy and busy one so i just fell into bed after I came home.

Friday was a normal day but I did start the „Deutsch mit Stoff “ project after the usual school hours but well, as you know, you can read about my projects in their respective tab. The weekend was quite interesting though. The other grandchildren of hers where staying for the weekend. The one boy and his two older sisters where the children of Emma’s oldest daughter and child Tatevik. Once I came home I was greeted by Tigran, Elise and Mariam and well over the weekend I had quite a time with them. I played around with them, went on walks and just had meaningless conversations with them mostly because both sides could barely understand each other, but what counts is that we enjoyed the time!

Here a picture of Tigran „dancing“ On friday

That concludes this week! As i have probably said a couple of times but summer has really stepped its game up in the week. Everyday i wake up to the sun shining into my face while the sky is bright blue. On days I can also just go out in my T-Shirt. The pictures dont really portray the beauty and feeling of summer i have here in person but well.. its something! So have some as a little conclusion 😀

Quite alot of things actually

Alright so! As i said, this post will be including two weeks because im lazy as fuck but also because there was an imbalance of activities which happened in one of the weeks so I thought that i might aswell add them two together since that wouldnt amount to one huge post!

Alright so ill just start with the weekend of the first week since nothing really happened untill there. I just had usual School and organisatory work which is just well pretty stale and boring. It’s just.. normal! So anyways, Fridays rolls along and i decided to gone a day earlier because i really just needed a change of pace. Before i headed for the second last marschroytka there was a small event which I was invited too by a russian teacher (  By the way i feel pretty bad for not knowing the most names of the teachers team haha ) and the only thing she said was that it would be the second grade performing something about the russian alphabet. When i arrived there at 2p.m i was greeted with quite a cute surprise. The event was about the second grade saying good-bye to their russian „alphabet book“ since they knew all the letters and could go ahead without it . The story line was this:

  1. The class decided that they would throw a goodbye party for the alphabet book for all its help but when they try to invite him, they can’t find him. So they set out on a journey to find him
  2. After talking to the flowers, cats and grass who all don’t know where the alphabet book is, they meet the kolobok ( A character from russian children’s books who is like a round piece of bread). Kolobok tells them that he knows that the Baba Jaga ( basically the russian version of the childrensbook witch) has stolen the alphabet book and that he would bring the kids to her.
  3. After a bit of traveling, they arrive at her swamp and meet the Captor explaining heir situation to her. She thinks and agrees to come to their little party and if she enjoys it, she will return the alphabet book to them at the end so they can say farewell.
  4. So the party starts and they sing, dance and perform to songs, poems and etc.. lecturing the witch and reminiscing on all the memories they had with the alphabet book nd what it taught them
  5. At the end the witch is so pleased that she agrees to return the alphabet book and the children can finally say thanks and bid the book farewell
  6. The end.

And well, personally i just enjoyed it a lot because it was a performance where i could actually understand what was going on so yeah was definitely happy and impressed, definitely was a very pleasant surprise. I was also very impressed by the costume designs, choreography and the music, you could really see that they put a lot of time into their small performances and well, i think it’s a shame that they don’t have this kind of mentality in germany. But here are a few pictures so you can also visualize how and what it looked like:

The closed stage

The open stage with some weird dandelion dance with really  cool props

 

So after the great event  i packed my things and headed to the Bustation in the vicinity of Chambaracks centre. There , since i was a bit early, i sat down on a bench and while the wait, got quite a surprise. A family of quaking ducks was taking a little excursion and well, definitely improved  my mood a lot! So i figured that ill share a source of instant joy and positivity with you!

Weekend excursion for Family Goose

Oh and actually the day before was a quite stressy one! On thursday I as usual had the last official session of the German Exam preperation lesson with Emma since the next would be examination week. So after i did, I saw that Ofelya had written me on Facebook and asked if i could come in the same day so we could discuss further updates and what not about the whole WorldVision Projekt Idea. I agreed and so after the lesson i headed over there with mamikon to see what we could talk about. Once there we talked about basically the final selection of Streetart concepts I gave them and got to criticism about them which really did piss me off because i just pour a lot of annoying time into that , without getting any real expectation or prefrences&standarts , and then they complain about what I deliver haha. But its alright ;). So they said that ill just have to draw one more and update another of from the finalists and then we would try to do it on this and that date, so i said cool and after a long day  came home at around 6isch and basically just collapsed and didn’t do anything else. And well, the next day i just drew it up, scanned it , added colour and sent it off so that’s that.

So now to the first weekend! I was heading there mainly to buy material and products that I would need for the „Deutsch mit Stoff“ project that was a time sensitive issue since the Open day of the German embassy wasnt really a fluid date. At the same time, there was this alternativ musik festival called    URVAKAN happening in the city and well sadly i hadn’t made it in time to get a ticket for myself which was a pretty okay thing because it was mostly like techno isch music as far as i heard and it was really expensive . But that meant that i wouldnt get to be with the others during the evenings, which sucked but it just gave me some alone time which was going to nice again!

Well and basically the basic things happened. I arrived in Yerevan and after a small transition, heaved myself up the stairs to the apartment and chilled the rest of thee evening. On saturday we planned really what we had to buy since i wasnt the only one. Me and Elisa had to discuss and plan what we wanted , so we agreed that we had to go into one of the textile stores on the street. Elisa herself also had to do some shopping because she got thee cool idea of building her own Ukulele ( Oh and what i didn’t mention i think is that i can play that now and a bit of guitar). So she had to go for some strings which would be fishing lines since they are almost identical and other small things. Martin had his own project he was trying to realize which was to basically completely renovate his german class room in the college. For that he had to go to like hardware stores and see what kind of things he would need to repaint, refit and renovate the room to his liking. Since we all had to go shopping. We decided to go together 😀

First Elisa and I went into a textile shop a bit higher on the Kievyan street while MArtin walked up the comitas to see if there was a store he had found on the internet. As we entered the store we were greeted with like rolls of cloth and we where a bit overwhelmed. We looked around a bit but agreed that we had to discuss a bit more to see what we actually needed. On the way out we talked abit with the staff ( well i did ) on russian and they where really nice so we definitely wanted to come back to the same place the next day with a better idea. We walked up the street and met Martin who met us from the top and they decided to go to the city centre because there where more shop s there and i just tagged along because why not and i didn’t have anything better to do.

So we got out at republic and just across the street was things hardware isch store. We went in and where surprised when the owner could speak fluent english. He and Martin spoke a bit about what he wanted to do, what he needed and etc. From what i understood was that it would be hella expensive for martin to do the project because he first had to coat over the existing layer a few times plus paint whatever he wanted over it again and it would be around 500 Euros. We left with a bit more knowledge and reality pressed onto us as we walked to the 1001 things store, where Martin hoped to maybe even find a cheaper variant of the products he needed since he difinently didn’t have that money. Once there Elisa got some screws while i just accompanied then and Martin found a replacement for this putter/paint. But he didn’t buy it because he just wanted to see if there was a cheaper option than the first store ( which was like really high quality) and there was. We where in the downstairs section first but when we went up we found a few other things we wanted. I had always complained about how my friends made their rice here in Yerevan. It was always too soggy and wet and well i wanted to show them how real rice was supposed to made. And so i bought a pot haha.  We waked on to Elisa Shop, she had found a hunting store where she hoped to find the Fishing lines and it was quite close so yeah. We walked down this sketchy little set of stairs into this shop and the moment we stepped foot into it Martin was like “ This is where the Armenian military gets its equipment from“ as a joke haha. But seriously , the walled where racked up with all sorts of military looking equipment , guns, modifications , bullets and etc and while Elisa was talking to the clerks and buying her lines, we even found a „Azerbaijani trap“ or just a normal bear trap, which was already scary alone haha, but well we just dipped out of there as soon as we could. Here are a few pics of the shopping tour we did:

Martin looking quite annoyed at me after he made a second calculation of the project price after finding cheaper alternatives.

Only a part of the lovely merchandise of the hunting store Elisa brought us too.

 

And well, after we left the Hunting store, we just walked down the street to the vernisage to buy her friend Johanna, who came and visited before a like little elephant pin, which she didn’t buy and regretted because she is incompetent. We  found it relatively quickly and then walked down to the Goethe centrum to eat a lovely shuwarma from my favorite shuwarma store before hopping into the courfure at the closely by Russia Mall and then finally going home. The rest of the evening, as far as i remember was very chilled ^^. So they went onto their music festival and I just relaxed at home.

The next day wasnt as packed as the day before. Me and Elisa went back to the textile store and after quite some while, we bought around 6 pieces of 1.5m times 1.5 meters of cloth. All in different colours of course 😉 On the same day i tagged along with martin as he met up with a few students of his as they prepared to go to „Wine days“ a sort of Wine expo haha. We ended up in a small courtyard in a small summer „Basket“ (because it was raining hard) with two bottles of wine, a pack of card, loudspeakers and a broken wine opener. That was a little weird and frustrating experience haha, but well we didn’t stay long because we ended up really tired for some reason and just went home where again I spent the rest of the day relaxing and preparing the materials me and Elisa bought. BUt here is a picture of MArtin on his quest for a bottle opener after we struggled with the first bottle for 45 minutes!

A picture of Martin asking around for a wine opener.

 

Now so, the weekend just ended and I headed back to Chambarack as usual. And well the things that would be on my plan this week would be these :

  1. The usual workplanne ( Mon, tueswednes, thursday programm)
  2. Goethe Exminations on thursday
  3.  Start the „Deutsch mit Stoff “ Projekt

And while it doesn’t seem like a lot, it was quite a lot, so lets jump into it! So the reading clubs on monday and Tuesday didn’t happened yet again. After the holidays i took, the class never really rev´covered and always thought that i woundt be doing it again even though i tell them weekly but well, fuck it haha. On Wednesday i tried to do my last lesson of Emil and the detectives but well that didnt work out since Emma wanted to students for a final recap of the German things that would be valuable for the Goethe examinations so i wasnt really mad. Just frustrated because i just wanted to finally finish the damn thing haha. So thursday rolled around and well, that was a very big and important day for the whole school and emma really because it was the day where they could show that their whole year of work and learning was worth it. Funnily enough , the same day is seen as „Victory Day“ against the „germans“ in WW“´2 throughout the former Soviet countries and its a bit ironic that the german exams are held on that day. Anyways, dana and the examination team would be arriving at around 10 isch and so I went to school a bit earlier to make small A4 sized paper with „Good luck“ written on them. Oh and of course i stuck on the paper which said that we had visitors 😉 Soon after that they arrived just while i was organizing office folder and well we just went over the vague outline of today. This time they wouldnt need me for the actual examination but I had the task of buying a few things from stores for out lunch. They where water, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Fruits and a few other small things. So we split up. They got to work with the children and i went out of school to run the errands. While i passed the ground floor i saw that there was a table with exhibits and works from the students layed out, probably in connection with „Victory day“. They ranged from very impressive paintings and wood carvings to handmade models of tanks and other military equipment ( which isnt shown in the picture below haha)

While i walked through the school yard i was like “ you know what?Since we are having inner only in a few hours, why don’t i meet up with Arthur, spend some time with him , watch some of the events organized for „victory day“ and just be back in time for lunch with the needed things.“ And that’s exactly what i did, I called him and after him confusingly asking who he was talking too i was greeted warmly with his surprised voice and we arranged to meet up at the city centre.I walked down and after another call and looking along the outskirts of the gathering of people, found him waving  at me. I joined him and immediately felt 100 times more Armenian. The gathering had formed to look at the little performance the secondary school had organized. We chilled there for a bit before heading off in his car to get to the stores i needed to go to to buz the things i was instructed too and after that, he even invited me to have lunch with him, which I was very glad about. But before I go into more detail about that, here are some pictures from the organized performance on VIctory day:

Dance performance infront of the Secondary.

Dance performance in front of the secondary Part two.

 

Now as I said, Arthur invited me to a lunch and so, after splitting up with him at the stores and delivering the items to school, i rushed back to the meeting point , which was the butcher at the park in the center of the city. There he told me that he had bought some meat before everything started and that he had given it to the „Grillmaster“ (haha?) so he would make a lovely Horovatz out of it. While waiting, enjoying a lamajo and talking/ listening to the conversation Arthur had with thee other employees i found out that Arthur actually used to be a „Grillmaster“ himself a long time ago when he was young ;)Below is a picture of the Grillmaster at his finest.

The view of our (ArthursHorovatz being made.

 

Now so after the Horovatz was finished , walked back to the car where I saw that he had bought a lot of other things for our little lunch together like Pickels, bread, water, tomatoes and more. We drove a bit further than the bustation and parked under a hill which we climbed to reach quite a nice picnics spot. We sat down, settled and started preparing for our meal with a lovely view of Chambarack. We fashedthe vegetable and out hands before splitting up the bread and each ripping of nice and lovely pieces of the Meat. And lord it was a good horovatz, nice and seasoned with just the right amount of salt and meat to the bones: I would even go as far as to say that it rivaled to the one in Kapan😉 Time went by and we ate quite quickly because we had to be back in school in 40 minutes but as we where about to finish, we noticed that only 10 minutes had passed and so we layed back a bit after the meal and just enjoyed the peace, nature and great atmosphere. We talked about his past, about germany and other random topics but well after a while we did have tp leave, so we packed up all our things, gathered the meat leftover, bones and other things we didn’t eat and threw them to a dag that was barking at us on the way down from the Hill. Soon after we where back in school again for the.. “ official “ lunch xD

To our little „date“ with Arthur

The view from our „table“. Which was the nature.

Prepping our lunch.

“ Why dont you want to smile for the camera Arthur?“

Yes you heard correctly, the official lunch. Maybe ive mentioned it before, but each time Dana and Arthur come to Chambarack, Emma orders some really nice Kebab for us all to eat together and always, Arthur doesn’t join us. And well , ive always thought that it was because of the work relations and workplace hierarchy but Arthur explained tme why he acts that way while we ate together. He said that he’d rather know himself what meat someone was cooking and that’s why when he comes here, he always buys meat himself and gives it to someone he trusts to make his own good food. But well, that didn’t stop me from eating at the second lunch aswell haha. We had a guest from germany, a young reporter who had come to Armenia with her Journalism class for 2 weeks to report on the TOpic of well the unbalanced Male to Female Birth ratio ( quite a tricky and uncomfortable topic i know) and well she joined us for the lunch aswell. After lunch i basically just sat around, did organisatory things and just relaxed with at least a good few kilos of meat in my body. Dana and her team quickly finished up after that and after cleaning up with me, said their good byes and left.

The rest of the week was quite uneventful and well, i stayed in chambarack that week because i was too lazy to go to Yerevan. And well that sentence concludes the promised two-week recap with the most important or interesting things for me mentioned! I hope you enjoyed reading and seeing the pictures and Ill see you all…… next week!

 

Weekend in Gyumri

Alright my dear readers! I did tell you that I would be having quite a busy weekend with the Goethe-Institute in Gyumri , and I did, so here the whole story.

So Elisa`s guest dipped on Wednesday and well, I just really took the Thursday off to myself, where I just planned to chill and meet up with dana once with Elisa to discuss the things that would be happening during the workshop in Gyumri. And well, as we all now, plans never really work out haha.

So the start of the day was quite according to plan actually, I just had a lazy morning and the , since I really didn’t have anything to do and was quite bored, went to Elisa`s school to take part in a small arts and crafts workshop she was hosting, then print out a few things and finally go to the Goethe-Centrum to discuss the weekend. I headed over there and before I even managed to  enter the school building, Elisa approached me from somewhere haha and we headed to the Copyshop to print out some stuff she was sent with. And that’s how we printed roughly 900 single pages. It was very boring. After having copied and returned to her class, we stuck the examination papers we just printed according to their topics and questions together, sadly the poor machine gave up and we ended up with a few left overs, which Elisa`s Boss, Benjamin, said he’d just do the next day before the exams.  While we where sticking the papers together, some students poked their heads into the room wondering if Elisa would still do her class, which was good because Elisa was worried about no one showing up.

Oh and above you see a picture of , whatever this setup might be, some PC or Processing unit which was in the corner of the XErox, this thing could probably power the damn country xD. Seemed really cool and well made !

Elisa`s workshop was right around Easter so she was going to do something about Easter eggs. She found some process where you could stick paper-isch materials onto the eggs and in such a way „paint“ them. The start of the time was fun but over time, I just got very annoyed and grumpy because I was exhausted and hungry as well and well, it was mainly just us doing the decorating while the children’s attention span wore off and they went and did other things. So we ended the course, locked up the room and headed to our next appointment. Printing out things for my work. I had to print out 33 colored picture copies for the Workshop on the weekend as well as a test A3 copy of my „Deutsch lernen mit Konig Artus etc.“ Story „sheet“. The copies where bomb and so was the A3 page. It fit nicely on the paper, the resolution was quite alright, the only issue where the small mistakes, misses and discoloring, so ill just have to correct those before I do a final print. Now finally we met up with Dana and we talked about what would happen. It would basically just be pretty chill and we shouldn’t over think or over plan, we would just see what the situation would be like. Sadly Elisa would only join us on Saturday/Sunday , which means that she would miss the German author who would be presenting her „juvenile novel“ haha at the Tcharenz school in Gyumri. And after all that talk, me and Elisa had a bomb ass Shuarma before just coming home and enjoying  the rest of the day.

So , the next day was a early start! I packed my stuff and rode the subway  to the train station where I bought three tickets to Gyumri. One for Dana, one for me and one for Iris ( the guest author). Soon after , both of them showed up and we boarded the train to Gyumri right on time. Normally it leaves at 10 but they changed the schedule unknown to us and well they left at 9:40 so we where lucky to have met early. On the way to Gyumri had a crazy view on the Ararat and we even rode , literally along the border to turkey. Like i was able to see a military checkpoint with this massive red Turkish flag flying high haha. After our arrival we walked into the city  a bit before splitting up to go to our places of stay. Mine being „Davids bed and Breakfast“ , a place which Dana recommended to me after her stay there. First i was a bit confused where to find it but after calling the landlady, i found it immediately and was welcomed almost like family into the place. It was very sweet. After dropping my stuff off, I picked Dana and Iris up at their hotel and we walked to this quite hip place in the city center to eat lunch. There is where shit hits the fan haha. I was there before and well it was dope! This time however we had to change our orders twice because they didn’t have half of what was on the menu and when they id bring us our food ( which took much to long) we had 4 main dishes even though we only ordered 3 . But no worries, we all took it with a bit of humor ( well  I did ) and im sure that we still managed to fill our bellies nicely. After lunch, we headed to school where Iris presented her novel. It was a bit weird, because it was the first time I experienced something like that but i was very impressed at how well Iris worked together and controlled the students, It really was amazing. After the book presentation we walked back into town a bit and looked at the Aslamasyan museum, walked around some memorials towards the Gyumri Earthquake and the city museum before parting ways to rest for 2 hours before meeting up for dinner. Dinner, was eaten in the restaurant next to the place we had lunch haha. That meal was quite nice! We each had our fill of food and with a nice bottle of Karas wine, we also had a nice state of mind xD Though some of the topics we discussed weren’t the most positive, uplifting or happy , im pretty sure that we all had a lovely dinner! Now after saying good-bye to Iris on the way home, she would be leaving the next morning and I aint getting up early,  I ended up cooped in my room until my Landlady knocked. before I had left for dinner, she had told me that two Russian guests would be staying in the other room and that maybe after dinner we could all sit down together , have a tea and just have a chat. I just smiled and nodded, kinda brushing it away but well, there she was knocking on my door at 11 so i put on some clothes and dipped into the small kitchen area. There I met the two Russian ladies who just arrived from Moscow and where doing like a 9 day trip around the important spots in Armenian with a group of people they met over Instagram. Sounds like quite an adventure huh? It turns out, one of the worked for the GIZ ( Gesselschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and could speak pretty good German while the other young woman lived a while in japan and was teaching it on the side, so all my linguistic needs were fulfilled haha. It was a very interesting group and talk, and it really helped me kinda simmer down and get ready for some sleep.

A picture of our traveling author right as she is starting to present her book.

The next day, started off well with letting Elisa wait 10 minutes at the train station when i wanted to pick her up haha. But it wasn’t my fault since as i said above,the company had changed its schedule so I was technically there on time, just according to the old plan. Another surprise was that Jacob, the guy at the embassy was also in the train with Elisa, so we he is also going to show up in this Post again^^. Anyways, i brought her back to the hotel where she could stash her stuff away before we had lunch and the workshop would start. I met the Russians for a last time and Elisa took a picture with them and the landlords because they wanted too haha. We went and had a small lunch in a small bistro, also joined by Jacob ( since he stayed in the same hotel as Dana) near Dana’s hotel before rushing back to our place and getting the laptops and paper material which we had to bring to school.

At school, Dana started off the Project by giving guidelines about the competition and Dos and Do nots during your work.  To be honest, I was so fucking tired during that part , i was literally exhausted haha , but after her quite long intro, things changed up and stuff started getting more active. Dana took the B Level students into another room while Elisa and I stayed with the left over A`s. We basically helped them start writing their story boards and formulate the story or idea they wanted to present. Afterwards we finished of nicely, by letting them present their work in front of the class. The part after the intro really helped me get  pumped and feel alive again haha. Anyways, we packed out stuff away and walked into the the city for a dinner. Im not sure when this happened, maybe before or after school, but our small group walked around in the city to find a small „market“ which had opened due to the occasion of “ day of the people“ , sadly, when we arrived at the place, all the stands where basically gone already and Dana was quite insulted because she was really looking forward to it haha. Then we walked back to the main plaza and looking to get a shortcut, walked into this small alley way. The moment we entered it, three white dogs appeared on the opposite end and started growling and barking at us. I was like „aawww hell noooooo“ and convinced the others to rather get back on the main roads and just walk a bit extra, because I definitely didn’t want to intrude into the territory of the local canine gang. ( Keep this in mind haha)

Anyways, for the next day, since I was waking up early already, I decided to record a demo using a screen recorder and my voice for the Video editing program we where introducing to the students , as an example for what they could use. But after recording  the whole thing and looking back at the recording, I saw that my laptops bad processor had made the video quite laggy. Which sucked ass, so i decided to throw the thing and just do a live demo at school haha. So we appeared there at 10 a.m and presented the examples. I did the video editing program ShotCut with a few minor mishaps here or there and Elisa introduced the PicCollage app on the phone. Afterwards we split into the different German level groups, like the previous day and continued the work. The last session we had with the children was to really focus down onto the idea you wanted to realize, think about how and what you would do and need to realize it and then finally, present it , with being open to criticism from the complete group. The end wasn’t that cool but well, work is work so we got over it. After ending the workshop and waiting the usual 10 minutes until everyone had taken a picture with Dana and said their thanks and good byes, we headed to Dana hotel, the Hotel Berlin, to ditch out stuff before Elisa and I would be heading into the city center real quick so I could show her the Aslamayan museum.

The students and the teaching hands during the starting exercises on the first day of the project.

Quite a bad quality picture of the Students also during an opening/icebreaker activity which required them to match up their individual pieces to form a random group outside of the class room.

Dana doing her Dos and Donts presentation while Elisa is performing some secret Shaolin monk position.

The Kids doing a Crossword puzzle during a Crossword puzzle competition haha.

The students during another Introductory Task.

A picture of Elisa watching over the split up A Group in their respective teams.

This was the result of the above mentioned icebreaker : where the students had to find their random groups. It depicts Humboldt. Stupidly, while writing this Blog, I realized that it isn’t Goethe haha, and i have him set as the Website Icon. Soooo I’ll definitely do this kind of thing on my own and then Update the Website Icon ;). Real Stupid of me haha. And well to those who don’t understand why that’s such a mistake. Read my damn blog hehe.

 

I’ve been there at least 5 times now, but oh well , lifes hard. After walking around the two-floor museum, we walked back quickly because there was some artistic event/ opening in the Hotel.

Elisa enjoying her first visit to the museum.

The whole event was about Prints , Calligraphy and book making in the Asian region, and more specifically japan. It was alright, kinda boring but some of the people we met where cool. To state one: there was this american lady who was doing her sabbatical in Armenia on her own and well she spoke fluent Armenian because she was born in Iran but had the absolute fattest accent , which was hilarious. Anyways, she panicked mid event because she drank some champagne and remembered that she wasn’t allowed to drink because of her Rabbies shot . Somehow I was taken aside by her , since i also had the rabies shots, and well I advised her to get the minimum of  4 shots, because she was only given one until now. And guess where she was bittenThats right, in the small alley way with the three white dogs where I had quickly retreated from with my group the day before. That was also quite the coincidence. Towards the end of the Event, Linn, the wife of Benjamin performed with an Armenian opera singer and well, we where already nervous that we where going to miss the train, but we where luckily driven to the train station not much later. So, with Dana buying the tickets and Elisa , Jacob and Me quickly buying some snacks and drinks, we boarded the quite full train and headed back to Yerevan.

A picture of the gallery opening. I sadly didn’t take any other pictures from the other events, like the discussion ,brunch or performance.

And thus ends our little Gyumri weekend. I really am sorry, of the blog has turned a bit repetitive or boring or oozes a unmotivational or uninteresting vibe at the moment. I’m not really finding the enthusiasm to write but well, im still forcing myself to, out of principle!#

I hope ill see you all on my next entry with will be a two-week recap ( because im too lazy and already missed the first weeks deadline haha).

 

Oh and ( sadly not so lovely) a picture of the landscape of Armenia. While my phone isn’t able to capture what I see well, ones memory is the best keeper of memories. Damn I sound cringy, oh and i noticed that this blog post is quite Elisa concentrated, maybe i should add a new Elisa tag haha 😉

Das ist „der Besuch“

Dear  Readers,

lets hope that ill manage to type all this up and post it today, since today is Sunday and I really don’t have a lot of  time haha.

So this week! It started pretty well, school is going pretty alright, except for  the fact that im loosing motivation to like do the reading club. It started with me knowing that i have the 5th graders club on Monday, and well I just never came around to track them down in school and tell them that they have the club with me because I wasn’t there during my holiday and that’s why I think they thought that i stopped offering it.You always have to remind them because their growing little minds are always packed with something else. So well , I fucked up Monday. And well then, because I already fucked up monday, i kinda just didnt t feel the motivation or really care about Tuesday either haha. So yeah,the Reading club had a little break this week.

Oh and well since i promised that I would take pictures of animals when i could, i did. I think it was even Monday, when a family of cows crossed my path on my way home so here they are :

(not the best picture quality I know, but well , you and I have to live with  it 😉 )

So  what did I do during  the week? Well besides the discouragement of the Reading club, I was really busy with my Projects, like really. before I go into what im doing in my Armenian lessons. So as i mentioned, last week i finished with the alphabet and that my future lessons would be with a more practical. And well, I started with things like talking about myself and introductions. Then we passed on to talking about one’s family and basic things like hobby. I also started catching up with my Armenian vocabulary, Elen gave me quite a number of verbs to learn. So ill be working on that again but it’s just very difficult to concentrate and sustain the constant learning and motivation feed to learn all those vocabulary cards.

Other wise I was very busy with the “ Deutsh lernen mit König Artus “ or “ Learn German with King Arthur “ project. A page will be made for that once it has been completed, or maybe a bit earlier. That way u can actually update on the progress and milestones I hit on the way. Additionally I also have the “ Bauhaus“ project which will also get a site of its own once I manage to plan out the basics and outline of that event. It really just is very tiring and stress haha because im pretty sure that I won’t be able to complete the “ Deutsch lernen mit König Arthus“ Projekt untill the end of my Service here so I’ll probably finish it in Germany and send over 2 copies, one for the Goethe Centrum And one for the school. But none of that now! That l all get elaborated on its own side haha. Alright well during the week I also tried to meet up with the German teacher from the secondary school to talk with her about what I could do with the students who would be interested in having a weekly lesson with me. It didn’t work out haha yeah so I’ll try to fit that into next week! Oh and well I really started liking herbs here and well I always eat them with scrambled eggs and while I was shopping, I paid quite a low price for my purchase. In the picture are two bushels of mixed herbs, 6 pieces of red beetroot, 3 apples, 2 Kiwis, and that for 800 dram or well 1.30€ . A ridiculously cheap price.Below is a picture of my successful “ raid“:

Another thing i did for the first time was that i developed quite a craving for fried potatoes, and that’s why, I needed potatoes. And we had just run out potatoes in the Apartment, and that’s why I decided to  venture alone  into the basement, where i knew they had their stash of potatoes. So i asked emma for the key, flashlight and the direction to which door i had to go to. It was the second last door on the night. And so I went downstairs and found the place, although it was a bit scary at the beginning. Here is a picture of the Hallway and the Storage unit:

 

 

And well when i arrived in Yerevan on Thursday evening, we had a visitor, Johanna. She is a friend of Elisas, from her little community in rural Germany. And well she was visiting her since she just got done with her Abi and well she already met up with Elisa in Georgia and made her way down to Yerevan. She got here on Thursday. Friday  Elisa, her friend and I started of the day by finally going to the Matenadaran, the Armenian language museum. We where thinking about getting a tour guide , but I generally don’t like following people who explain things to me so i manged to convince them to just go in by  our own and so we did. We did however occasionally latch on to one or the other travel group where we could understand what they where saying. We walked around fora bit and well kinda got bored haha, and since Elisa already was there once, she quickly showed us to the important things and explained a bit so we could dip out of there.

Next thing on our plan was to have some lunch and at the same time meet a friend which Johanna and Elisa made in Tbilisi. I called him Fiat because the  name sounded quite similar. We ate at Jengalovhaz, and we came there earlier and ordered 3 Jengalovhaz and a nice mint tea. We talked a bit and after 30 minutes or so Fiat arrived. While we where waiting we (Elisa and Johanna) where gossiping about him. He arrived, and he was this probably like 30-year-old energy bundle and we just sat a bit and talked. He was this  like alright dude, who through his kinda shady business, can afford to travel around how he is doing. But overall he was despite his energy like a wacky person. And well, we all just kinda wanted to move on and continue with our day plan, and every time we where like moving towards the end of the conversation, Elisa would always say something critical to keep it going or like “ You can join us later“ so haha me and Johanna always exchanged dreadful looks.

After that we basically just went home and chilled until 19:00 came around. 19:00 was when the Ballet was starting and we had tickets to that Ballet. The Ballet was „Cippolino„. and here are two pictures from the performance and Elisas lovely face right when the performance was starting.

Im pretty sure you can tell yourself which picture is which.

But well, in  summary,while the actual ballet was not that interesting, but it was quite amusing trying to find out and the whole plot and the meaning of the acts and characters, since we didn’t read a Ballet summary before. So yeah, and after that while we where getting our coats and getting ready to leave to home, we decided to really throw a party at our place. I ordered 5 Pizzas from a new Pizza place and we all wrote people who we knew. We rushed home and started cleaning up and going shopping for alcohol and such. And as we where standing in line and i was ready to pay, I reached for my wallet and realized that it was gone. II panicked quite strongly because I had quite a lot of things in there. My identity cards, my insurance and credit card and about 100€ in AMD. So Elisa payed and Martin and me walked down the way we came to see if I maybe dropped it somewhere on the way. Sadly we didn’t find it there and when we came back to the supermarket, the rest had left for home already and so we head there as well. Me in a quite shitty and wacky mood. And well, after I had made it up to the stairs to the apartment, I was told that i had never taken my Wallet to the Ballet and that it was lying right there on the table the whole time, so that was a quite positive turn of the evening and i was very relieved.

So we cleaned up, Martin invited a student of his and his friend, both of which showed up and Annajan also came around and we all started drinking. Anna jan is also the person i introduced Johanna as the „Besuch“ or Visitor as, hence the title of this Blog entry.Soon after the Pizzas arrived and we started eating. And well after a while of alcohol and food we where quite drunk already and headed out. In conclusion to the evening, we got denied at one club and just basically got very shit faced at the Stoyka before just coming home. Nothing memorable and not the best experience.

And well, the next Morning all of us just woke up totally hung over and dead. We just sat around at home since we where literally wasted and that was the reason why the day was also wasted.

Sunday, we went to the vernissage where i bought a quite an old german book about Armenia , Martin bought a Book in Russian which talked about history to help his russian skills. Johanna was looking for a ring which she didn’t find sadly, but we did see a whole new side of the vernissage. WE walked around to the end of the market and around the far sides and saw really cool and weird things like old postcards, medical equipment, chemical equipment, military equipment and all kinds of other jazz. Other than that we just headed to crumbs to eat some lovely food and after that, we just headed home and chilled there like always haha.

Monday was the start of the normal working week again which meant that Martin and Kira had to head to their jobs. Well only martin, because Kira was hella sick. Elisa had taken off for Johanna and I was well, just being lazy and decided to allow myself another free day because Tuesday and Wednesday where Work off days. So we three sat down in the morning and decided to take a look at the Church on the Sevan Peninsula , Sevanavank , so Johanna could see some other part of Armenia as well, not only Yerevan. We hopped into a GG and got to the northern Bustation to hop onto the Matrschroutka to Sevan. Sadly, the men there told us that the bus was already fool and I improved and asked when the Bus to Chambarack would be leaving. They said that it would leave in around 5 minutes, so I decided that we would just hop onto that one, because it also passes the Sevan Peninsula, and we would just hop off there. And thats what we did. We drove there and I don’t quite ask how our guest likes the trip haha but lets continue! The moment we hopped of at the road leading into the Peninsula we were hit with the Wind. I had warned everyone to put on some extra clothes because it would be cold and the wind would be strong, but I wasn’t ready for this haha. We walked for 15 minutes through the icy wind to the steps of the Hill and climbed them. That part was even worse, i was afraid to get some ear infection or a cold because of the strong wind. Once up, we huddled into the sides of the old monastery and hid in the chapel, where we enjoyed the idyllic silence and light smell of candles for a few minutes before making our way down again. It was kinda wack because normally the view from the chapel over the land/seascape is quite stunning. ( If you have been with me from the start of this blog and know the couple of first pictures, you’ll know) and on that day, it was just quite murky, haily and cloudy.

Here are some Pictures of the bad weather and view:

We got ourselves a Khachapuri and a gata from the small bakery below where the baker could surprisingly speak German before we hopped into a Taxi back to Yerevan.  At home we just hunkered down and drank some Hot chocolate and marshmallows and Johanna got a hair cut and well, the evening was quite interesting in many ways because of a few medical issues xD No further Comment. And that was Monday.

Tuesday was a pretty simple day. We headed out to the national Gallery of Yerevan to look at the permanent exhibition there and it was quite cool. I didn’t know that they had ancient Roman or Egyptian artifacts there. But looking at the history, it makes sense haha. Otherwise we all admired the works of Aivazovsky and Saryan for example. I dont include pictures of the Artworks because first of all it would ruin the „Yerevan experience“ for you and ill maybe even make or post into an „Art“ Page ill make here where ill post pictures ill draw based on things ive seen in the Museums! So well see.We did sadly leave too early because we all skipped out on breakfast kinda, me and Johanna had Instant noodles haha, and well just wanted to eat. Which we did of course, at Tashir Pizza. After that we went and looked at the Church of St.Gregor the Illuminator, which is right at the Metro Station Zoravar Andronik , which we then used to get home haha. The evening was quite interesting too! That evening was the „March against Turkey“ Protest, which aimed at getting attention towards the fact that Turkey hasn’t really accepted the fact that they committed genocide. We joined them around 8 pm. , and joined Martin and two of his students who were already in the march. There we also got DIY torches and just walked the Kievyan street down to the Genocide memorial Park. We chilled there for a bit before just heading back home because we where cold, hungry and tired. `We managed to Order sushi and other Asian delivery food at 23:30 and well, waited until around 0:30 until it came. I swear, i was so fucking happy once the delivery guy called haha. We enjoyed our Asian cuisine with a small cup of 10 year old Ararat and after the dinner, Johanna , Elisa and Me still had one Cha Cha shot, where i almost threw up, but lets forget that. We talked for a bit more before going to sleep and ending that final full day.

Genocide day, or this Wednesday was very relaxed. We just basically sat around. Julian, a Volunteer from Georgia who had only had a half-year service had come around to visit so we joined out little party aswell. Around lunch time we headed out to the city to eat some traditional for Elisa Guest and after that, with an Ice cream, headed back home where we also had to leave immediately so that Johanna could catch her connection to Tbilisi , where she would be flying home from. So 30 minutes later and standing at the Kilikia Bustation, we waved the minibus good-bye where Johanna was in.

And that basically summed up the „Visitor week“ i was planning on reporting on.

Oh and another two facts  during the week:

I had quite the problem with sleeping, always waking up between 5 and 7 mostly, which had its personal and emotional reasons, but that always was a bit frustrating haha.

Oh and I started learning “ Time in a Bottle“ on the UkeleleUkelele is quite  easy and fun instrument to learn with which you can do quite a lot. And with the help of the Internet, Johanna and Elisa, I did quite well, Apparently i learn it very fast so I guess good on me 😉

dont know with Johanna there it really was a change of pace. Maybe because it was another „new“ German, maybe not. Who knows 😉 haha. Anyways, here are some of the memorable jokes which were made while she was there:

  1. Killing Martin by simply placing a pillow onto his face while he sleeps. because he sleeps like an Egyptian mummy and doesn’t move.
  2. Complimenting with “ Inkompitent
  3. Learning Jenisch, and mostly using „fesch
  4. Having lovely people like Murat around Johanna
  5. Generally patriotic Armenian jokes like the toast “ Auf Hayastan und Tod den Türken“ and being admitted as an Armenian citizen when you have seen, drank and taken a drag of Ararat.
  6. Stell dich nicht so an“
  7. „Hier wird nichts verziehen“

But there’s quite a number of many other things , but those are too much to mention. Besides, its best kept in oneself. Anyways, the general visit was really another highlight of this FSJ so i hope ill be able to see Elisa and Johanna next year again after this service during my „Transgerman Bike tour“ But that’s maybe a post for itself.

Illl be having another pretty stressy and busy end of the week and Weekend with the Goethe Institut and maybe even Elisa so thatls be coming up next!

I cant wait to see the sea of comments haha, hope you enjoyed reading, I apologize for the bad grammer ,spelling and ill see you soon!

A ты куда пропал?

„A ты куда пропал?“ or rather “ where did you disappear too?„was what one of the Groundskeepers of the school asked me fleetingly on my second day back at school and well, I thought it would be fitting for this Blog post, since I have been gone from my duty in Armenia aswell as neglecting my blog duties. (He didn’t mean it as passive aggressively as it sounds like hah)

Well, ill just skip the things that happened in the time where I was non-active on here, because first of all know that not alot or no special things had happened and plus, it was in the past and I should rather report on things that are current… which brings me to this week really!

So I arrived back in Chambarack on a Wednesday and well, I decided to stay over the weekend because it would make me slip into life here again. And well, it did help! Towards the start of the second week I was bustling and busy like never before. Eline was pressing too because im a lazy Armenian learner and I had my own projects, visions and lessons which i wanted to complete and plan. But before I elaborate on developments there, I would like to address something.

I noticed that people here are extremely humble, for example, emma. She works a full day job, cooks basically every meal at homecleans and makes sure everything runs smoothly and in school. Not only that but she often sits at home, late in the evenings after she had done every chore, reading german text books and planning future ideas and lessons. Its really insane how… committed? She is towards certain things she is passionate about. Not only does she care about students, but also fro a school as a whole, which brings me to a thing I was working on quite alot this week.

So a while back, Emma told me that she came in Contact with a Foundation in Germany which was looking to support and finance something for schools who needed upgrades in every aspect possible, and she asked me to help her out in matters of communication. Of course I agreed! It seemed like quite an interesting thing to work on. And well this week Emma told me that the foundation had sent her the Contract, how it was until now. I looked over it, explained it to her and translated a few parts she didn’t understand, because she then had to go to the director and convince him to be onboard and sign the Contract. We would be getting am Amount for 10 new computers (including mouse, keyboard and screen) and that would be quite an upgrade to our existing Computer room. SO she went to his office and talked to him about it before coming to me a bit distressed because he didn’t agree to the agreement. The actual terms were fine! The issue was how the transaction would proceed. Before the Foundation would give us the money, they would have to receive the completed contract between the school and the IT Company aswell as the schools bank information. The problem is that signing a binding contract without having the actual funds to pay for the agreement is in a grey area in the Armenian financial laws and out director didn’t want to put his financials at risk. After being in contact with the foundation nd the company about this problem, we came to inserting a clause into the agreement between the SChool and the IT Company which read that this contract will come into action after the school recieved the full amount of funds onto their bank account.

And well i wrote that contract between the school and the COmpany. It was alot of work haha and I was quite nervous because it was quite a sum of Money. After around two hours of formulating, thinking and using german words I haven’t heard in quite a whilewe finally printed out three copies which the director and the bussiness owner signed in his office. One for us, One for the business and one original for the foundation in Germany. So now what we will have to see is if the foundation had updates their contract and when they will send it to us so we can sign that as fast as possible aswell to start the processing and transaction process. That happened on Thursday afternoon. There are quite a few other things that happend this week haha.

So I also started my Armenian lessons again with Eline. One good accomplishment though! I managed to finish the lst set of Letters in the Alphabet.  Yay! Haha, it’s kinda sad, but im very determined to further my Skills alot! We started to learn more specialized vocabulary in the upcoming lessons and im very sure that ill be getting into conjugating verbs in the diferent times aswell!

Aside from the two above mentioned things I also was planning a new project which will be written about and made part in a new page and got approve to continue my „Zerbrochenes Gemälde“ Project so that was quite an issue aswell. Here was a picture of my quite messy desk during the week haha.

Oh and another thing that is finally happening here is that the snow is slowly disappearing. Last week and the start of this one still had the mountain sides in the distance and Chambarack being covered in a good amount of snow. From Wednesday on around, the sun started to show itself again after a long winter again and the snow slowly started to dissapear again. That though, brought up another problem. All the melted snow came down flowing through Chambarack, the football field in front of our balcony was quite swamped and overrun by water and streams of water was flowing over the streets and gushing down the nwely installed gutters. It probably flowed down into the direction of the Sevan lake. Here two pictures of that natural phenomenon happening. I think ill call it the „Great snow migration.“

 

Otherwise, spring has really started to show! Things have started to bloom and grow while the Animals are out again aswell. Now groups of chickens roam the streets while new born calfes and their familys happily are outside. Ive even seen some Horses and goats roaming around! Ill try and take pictures when I can for the animals fans there! ( you know who you are)

Alright, so that was the week. Now to the weekend!

AS always, it started with me heading of to Yerevan. That happened when TigranEmmas sontook me with him after I finished writing the Contract between the school and the IT Company. He took me with a friend of his, she was really fucking annoying haha if I may say so and I hope they don’t read this, back to Yerevan where he even called me a taxi to take me to the aprtment , because I didnt have internet on my phone. Heres a picture of the Gas station we stopped to tank:

had some plans for the weekend which where:

Go to the Goethe Centrum and return a book while also taking some cds which broke in Chambarack to replace them.
Go to Vivacell MTS and get a Simcard to fit my old phone because my old one had broken and the slim slot was too big.
Have some fun!
Now to how those plans worked out!

I went there on Friday and did exactly what I needed to do! Now ill just have to replace the audio and make sure that the CDs i took are the ones we actually broke h.
Somewhere during Friday evening with a talk with Elisa I think, I brought up my prolem and she blurted out that she had like a SIM stencil where I could just put my Simcard in. She went into her room and soon after brought me back the stencil. It fit after a bit of work nicely and now im back to my old moile plan! Stupidly, I realised that I had exactly the same stencil in my backpack in some corner, hidden away haha.
didi had a good time catching up with Kira, Martin and Elisa again. We went to a PASCH event, got drunk and went out and of course cooked together, below is a picture:

(Hope they dont sue me)

So in general, it was a pretty good Week! Just very busy and alot of work and things to do, good and bad haha. Well, I find that this Blog entry is written a bit weirdly so I promise to make the one next week as it was before!

Till next Week!

The German Hitparade

Well,

This has happened about 1 and a half month ago. There was this big build up to the event Holga, an employee of the PAD, who worked as like an organizer, „cultur-worker“ and teacher in Armenia for German education and culture. He planned out this big event which would bring together two students from all PASCH schools around Armenia for one big singing contest in Yerevan. So of course, my school was also invited to it. The contestants of my school where Ashot and Milena.

Ashot had gotten the song „Augenbling“ by SEEED and Liana had the song „Wie schön du bist“ by Sarah O Conner. While Lianna had already experience in singing. Having a quite good voice, attending Singing school for a couple of years and singing in front of bigger crowds multiple times, I focused my attention on Ashot, who well was really doing his best. I still thought that he had quite the potential in the whole act so I really started thinking about many aspects. Thoughts about his actual performance, not only the singingso the dancingcostumes and appearance came to my mind and I started to really feel the task I was given.

So, over a few monthshe and I started practising together.

First, I started by just being there with him as he sang the text, by looking of the text, occasionally correcting his pronunciation and other minor mistakes. Next, I told him to learn he text off by heart, which was not an easy task, not even native germans, know it perfectly. The tricky part was that the last segment of the Song was in Patwa/Patua english, which already is ridiculous because he never had English lessons in his life.

While he was being a good boy and practising the text out loud at home daily, I focused the practising lessons on getting his act up. The first time I put him up onto the small stage and said“ Lets go!„He just awkwardly shuffled around my mumbling the text and not raising his head at all. So,I did the cliche movie move and got up there with him. I started dancing and singing on stage, without showing any sign of embarrassment and well just told him to follow me, or look at me or just do what he feels like. That action really got me pumped. Like I really felt like a teacher or like someone who could so something. I don’t know, its quite a weird thing to explain haha

Well anyways, we continued to practise away. I knew that it was going to be a tight fit. Sadly we did miss a good amount of time because

 a) I was gone                               

 c)bad communication

 b)he was not there                      

d)Me not  pressing through to hunt him down and ask when he had time.

e) Only meeting once a week

But none of that now, let’s continue! We decided to dress Ashot up as like the Main Singer Peter Fox as he was on a different Album cover. It would be a slick suit with a tie. Over time, the act slowly came together. He learnt the text of pretty wellhe even learned the english part unbelievably well. His behaviour on stage started to get better, so I took us to the next step. We scanned through the text together and found parts in the lyrics where he would do small dance moves or gestures to reflect the contents of the song. We had quite a few cool things. He had a part where he would act like someone should call him or h would point at a random person when he would say „You“. I sadly cant go into every single little detail of the whole performance which we planned out. If I find the copy of the Lyric text ill be sure to post it here, There you can see all the comments, marking and parts we changed, planned and how we interpreted them.
The time ran through our fingers and for the last two weeks before the Event, I wanted to ask the Class teachers to tell the kids to go into the big auditorium where Ashot would be practising so Ashot could prepare himself to perform in front of a big crowd. Because the event would at least be attended by 200 peopleI wanted to do anything, so that Ashot got used to perform in front of a crown and being comfortable in that positionbecause that plays quite a big impact on the actual performance. Sadly, that did not work out and well, I was a bit disappointed at myself, but I was sure that the performance would work out in the end.

Well the day of the Event came around, it was a Saturday, and we (the two performers and me) had to be there at around 9 for a final check. So we all three hopped into Ashots parents car who where friendly enough to drive us there at 7:30 and made our way to Yerevan. The rest of the people invited, so a few teachers and students would be driven to the“Arno Babajanjan“ concert hall at around 11 where the performances actually started. We arrived a bit early and well soon after the other volunteers and Holga, the organizer I mentioned above , arrived and we were let in.

Of course we volunteer where dressed up all nicely, all in dress shirts, black pants and a tie or a bowtie. (just as a side comment haha)

Anyways, we set up the hall a bit and waited for the other participants to settle in so we could start the final checks. Here is a picture of the establishment while it was still empty:

So the people slowly arrive from the other schools aswell, and we start the whole final check up process. When it was my turn for the kids to come and practise, I made sure that they would move enough (plus points for the act) and there was another problem. The microphone was very sensitive with the distance of the sound, which meant that you really had to hold the mike close to your mouth, so it would work, Sadly even during the final check up, Ashot was struggling with it a bit and well, that kinda was a small foreshadow of what would happen later.

The whole process at the start was too chaotic already. Martin and Elisa where put in charge for the slides and music and I was just helping out here and there where I could. We had too little time and well, there where teachers pressing us to be the next one to practise, while others wanted more time and etc.. It was chaotic haha. Anyways, we managed to get through the Bulk and the guests also started to settle in. We had quite prominent guests like the Minister of Education, the Mayor of Yerevan and the German embassador. Nikol Pashinyan was also invited, but he sadly didn’t come haha.I would rather skip the actual description of the Actual performance and explain it a bit, before elaborating on some pros and cons of the whole thing and other notable events that happened.

So the event would be built up with each performer/group performing their song on stage with their music in the background, and after their act, would get a score from the four Judges that where there. (all of them, musical professionals and in the Armenian Music and industry business, well-known people).

Now that was the Original plan, and well frankly, mostly things don’t go as planned and it didn’t haha.

So well everything that went wrong/was bad:

1.The judges complained that it was too difficult to judge each contestant and would rather have a summarized feedback after every 3 acts or so.

2. One Judge just left after 15 minutes or so and didn’t come back.

3. Lianna never got her evaluation because of. (1)

4. We forgot to give the presents out in the end.

5. The event was pretty unfair since there was a big age gap present. The youngest performer was nine and the oldest 18. Otherwise, there was a big difference in the skill level. Some of the performers did what they did professionally, while other just did it for the first time.

To all the good things:

1.Despite the Chaos, it was a pretty successful Event. It was published in Armenian Tv with Interviews and even back home in several prominent newspapers.

2.The judges handed out personalized awards to their favorite act, Like a Photoshoot or music video shoot.

3. I cant reiterate tis, but Holga. I know I have not talked alot about him but he really put so much work into this. Not only did he plan the whole event, he even contacted all the original artists of the chosen song and asked them to record, a message for the performer. One artist even ended up coming to Armenia. He really deserves alot of the credit here. A great man!

But now to the performances of Lianna and Ashot:

Lianna: Lianna performed quite well, even though she wasn’t anything „special“ she definitely had her best act on stage. She sang wellhitting all the high notes in her text while being active enough on stage with her body. Sadly because of the judges complaint about the evaluationshe didn’t receive one, even when we asked multiple times after her act. A shame really. We even considered her pretty high up for the award „Winner of the Crowd.

Ashot: Ashot, as mentioned above, had a small problem with the microphone. That sadly was hearable in the performance, or shall I rather say… unhearable;) haha. But really it was a shame, and I must say that he had much better playthrough during our practice sessions, but I don’t really blame him. I could see, and he also told me that he was extremely nervous and well it just got to him. Im very proud of him, though!

And that concludes the summary of that extraordinary event. What matters is that everyone had fun! And everyone did!

P.S. A professional media crew was hired to take pictures and videos during the event and once I have a link or access to the material, ill post it on here!