So the second week has passed. During this week i continued teaching the students, doing my regular 7th and 9th graders while also substituting or helping out teachers in their 8th grade for example. But due to the enormous amount of feedback ive received, ill be telling you a little about the actual lesson:
A class basically begins with everyone standing or the children standing and the teacher sitting and then they greet each other and the teacher either says : “ sit down“ or just does like a down wavy hand gesture to the students. When i taught, i was very text book focused since i was actually taking lesson time for them to learn German which would eventually contribute to a examination of a entry exam. Thats why i didn’t have like my own topics and used the textbooks. I cant really describe what they learn abut since it really is like a huge variety of Topics, from Holidays to Collections ( kinda weird haha ) Now during the lesson i really only speak German with the children, since thats what im here for. Occasionally some classes would be loud but over the two weeks ive learned the words for quiet , which is “ Suck“, and write , “ gri“. So with that , i am a native speaker. We usually go through 2/ 3 pages of the book work during a unit which incorporates auditory,vocal and written skills to be used. Of course not all children are always the most eager ones to answer questions or tasks so i try to incorporate everyone by sometimes not letting the usual ones speak and deliberately choosing students who arnt volunteering or are just quiet. I have had pleasant surprises by using that method. There has also of course been more interesting lesson experiences where i had to tame the class instead of teaching them haha, there was one instance in a book club where had a wooden stick and i was banging on the table so they would settle down, but it rarely worked.
So at the moment of writing this paragraph, i am not in Chambarack but in the capital since im having a little exploring week with the Goethe institute. Tomorrow morning ill be getting on a train to Gjumri, a town in the north, to probably check out a new PASCH school and from Sunday to Wednesday ill be traveling south with my contact from my the Goethe center. ( I have returned from that now haha and the next post will be covering all of that) hehe
Sadly i also have a few videos id like to post but they can currently not be posted in here since its too big and ill first have to find out how to do it.
Now to the actual topic of this Post, my three days in Eriwan before my little travel.
I got into a Marschrutka ( the small buses which form a major part of the transportation in armenia) at around 9:30 and we were off! First i was a little afraid that my big traveling rucksack was stolen since it was placed to the very front of the bus and i was having a window seat in the back. reason for that worry was the many warning from local friends and online readings which documented experiences where items and belongings where stolen very slyly on such marschrutkas, but it was all fine haha. It was just crammed behind a seat so my paranoia was unnecessary! SO we tuckered around the Sevan lake and at the city of Sevan, our tire burst haha which was very anticlimactic and so we managed to drive inot a small mechanics workshop at the roadside and waited for like 20 minutes while they fixed the car. Once we drove for another hour or so to Yerevan , we where ushered out at the last stop which for me was like in the middle of nowhere haha, i checked google maps and i was somewhere in he outskirts of the cities with no ideas how to get to the apartment of the others. So i imitated the locals! They where all standing, as i assumed for a bus, so i gave them some company and sure enough, the second bus which drove by was the one where the most people got in sooo i followed them. The rest of the bus way i just checked my google maps to see where i was and the moment i was near to a subway station i got out and from there the way was easy 🙂 I was welcomed nicely and got shown to my bed room, the living room haha , but i must say that the couch is very nice and comfortable to sleep on.
Now the next day started with a very calm and relaxing morning after which we decided to go and visit Garni, a old religious site an hour or so outside of the city so we ate a light breakfast and went to Gai bus station , which even the taxi driver didn’t even know about haha ( taxi drivers in Yerevan are pretty bad in general with knowing the city’s) . There while we waited around 10 minutes we bought some baked goods as provisions during the trip and then we already got on the bus and drove off. he got some hachapuri , like bread with cheese baked into it but the real good one was like this bread which ´was fried and was filled with soft potatoes with herbs, it was fucking lit. The bus was a little crowded , maybe around 16 people, and during the drive we saw the pretty landscape of Armenia and even had a good sight at Mount Ararat.
Once there we walked down a street to get to the entrance of the open air museum and we started to think of how to evade paying the hefty entrance fee for foreigners (1500 Dram or 3 euros) and we pulled out our volunteer cards of kulturweit which were of course designed very official but actually had no value or power at all haha . And so Martin, another volunteer, did the big leap of faith and approached the ticket booth spoke a few words of English and handed in the cad. Interestingly enough since our program also is cooperating with UNESCO their logo was on the card and that caught the vendors eye and he said something with UNESCO and issued us inside. Either he thought we where some super official delegation or the Heritage site was part of a UNESCO branch or program and thus we where granted free entry hahaha, wont complain though 😉
The Upper picture is was taken while having our little hike after we looked at the actual heritage site, the walked for around 2 hours or so and the sight and landscape was crazy. You cant really say anything more, its just very very beautiful.
Now this picture is the actual heritage site, The main attraction is of course the ancient Temple, around there are more buildings like a destroyed palace and a bathhouse. The whole site is located on a small “ peninsula“ kinda rock thing while its surrounded by a winding valley, truly a lovely experience but ill leave it up to you to find out more by yourself when you visit yourself hehe.
Now the real interesting part was the way back haha. After our small hike , we walked back for about 20 minutes through a small village which was pretty interesting to see some if the rural lifestyle in Armenia. Of course we got some stares while walking through there haha from people and animals xD
Now so we are waiting at the bus station for the last marschroutka of the day and martin goes to buy some “ gata“ a kind of mixture of bread ad a cake, a very good dessert and snack and suddenly the bus appears! We kinda panic since its the last bus out of here but fortunately we see martin running towards us in the distance so that problem was solved, but there was another one! I luckily still got a seat when i got into the bus, it was already filled with around 17 people, but along our drive back, the little bus stopped again and again to pick up more and more people. Final count was 31 which is ridiculous haha, children where squeezed into small spaced , people stood bent over and there where like 5 people squeezed into the front, excluding the driver haha. There was one chinese tourist who got one with whom er had a few interesting conversations. She worked for a airline company and had traveled a lot of the world and spoke Japanese aswell as English pretty fluently which was a delight for me of course hehe. After we arrived we took a taxi back to the apartment because we wernt bothered with going to the subway again plus the price difference really wasn’t that big , the taxi ride was around 3 euros. And there we had out next surprise person!
That person was out taxi driver. he first spoke Russian with us but after he recognized that we spoke German with each other he also managed to bring out a few German words and started explaining his past. It turned out that during the time of the Soviet union that he was stationed in Germany and always liked the language but never managed to learn it. Later he also lived in Hungary and could speak fluent Hungarian which also was very interesting. That little encounter kinda like opened my eyes that , people really dont show what they have gone through in their life and that every person really probably has a very cool past.
And after we arrived we exghaustidly went to eat out but since im really fed up with writing this post, it will sadly be a part of my year here you all with never hear about haha.
Till the next Entry!