Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's me!!

Hey everyone. I FINALLY found time to update this blog (Thanks Kelly for leaving your laptop in my room).

Believe it or not, it's something like day 11 of our trip and I just unpacked my suitcase. Today, the developer, George, gave most people the day off for some much needed rest. It's getting harder every day to wake up early and get to the site. Robert and Erik still went to work today (aren't they awesome?) and Kelly and Janette went shopping (again) with Mariana, a really sweet girl we met here through work. I think Matt went with them also.

I stayed behind at the hotel to clean up our room, unpack, get some more rest (I need my rest) and go to the worksite a little later. Barouir's dad, Mr. Yeretsian, will be coming by the site to check out the construction, and will then take us on a tour of the American University of Armenia (AUA). We'll be going with Point Loma and Baylor Univ. students.

I do have one complaint: My wonderful travelmates whom I love dearly, are all crazy. Even when we don't have to get up early for work, they wake up at 7 and start talking on the phone (very loudly). Then they start jumping on my bed trying to wake me up. So unnecessary....

On another note, I love Janette, Kelly, Robert, Matt, and Erik. It's been a great trip so far, and I think each of us has gained a lot from it in different ways. I wish I could stay another week with Erik, Robert, and Matt, but I am already starting my internship a week late and have to be there on Tuesday morning for my first day of work.

We've been learning a lot about ARDA's humanitarian projects in Armenia (the organization that has taken on this housing construction project) and have had a chance to see for ourselves the work ARDA has done for the people of Armenia. The leaders of ARDA, Steve and Stan Lazarian are two amazing men and I'm very happy that I've had the chance to meet them and spend time with them. The other day, the entire group (Point Loma, Baylor, USC, and leaders) went to visit a church in a nearby village where ARDA supports music classes for local kids. After that, everyone went to dinner except for me and Dena, a PLNU student. We went with Stan to visit a youth group and karate club that is led by a former Armenia karate champion. He holds the youth group and classes in his home, and Stan supports these activities financially. On other days, we also got to visit 2 kindergartens that are supported by ARDA.

These experiences were the highlight of my trip, because I got to see more closely how the Armenian people live their day-to-day lives in various villages throughout the country. It is my third time in Armenia, and I have seen the monuments and main sites of Armenia 3 times now. But traveling the cillages and visiting different people and schools was new to me, and something that I am very happy to have experienced.

I'm very happy to have had the chance to meet and work with the Lazarians, and am inspired by their work in improving the lives of the people here in Armenia.

I have to head to the construction site now to meet with Mr. Yeretsian. I will try to update the blog again if I find time, even though I will be leaving in two days with Kelly and Janette.


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