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 😉

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