Friday, May 26, 2006

More From Armenia Continued

There is an interesting characteristic in cemetaries in Armenia that I suppose one should be made aware of. There is the tradition of etching a photo of the deceased on the tombstone. Some are full standing figures, some are portraits, some do actually choose not to have a picture and simply have their name or a sculpture similiar to the graves in Europe or America. However, when I came across the tombstone above (first photo) I could not help myself and had to take a photo. Obviously Garlen Yeritsian was a chauffer or had a truck or something.... I think it's great. God Bless his soul.
The second photo is taken at Lake Sevan. Although it was much too cold to even consider going into the lake it was still beautiful to do a bit of horseriding around the area. (I need to mention that the horses were reluctant to do much walking around so it was more like forcing donkeys across the terrain). However, one cannot deny the wonderful feeling of traveling naturally and furthermore - there's nothing like being saddle sore for a few days. The lake was gorgeous and the snow capped mountains surrounding it were stunning.
The remaining photos are of Sanahin monastery. It is hard to believe that this sort of architecture existed in Armenia in the 1200's. The loftiness of the columns in the main part of the church reminded me of cathedrals in Europe. Here were the Armenians building in this advanced way and all of it on the top of mountains overlooking lush green valleys. They knew what they were doing.
I got a phone call from the electricity board this morning - they got a bit personal and irate with me because I wasn't aware when and where I was supposed to go to pay my bill. At the place (which is I think like a post office) there is no concept of waiting on line and people push through to get to the window first. I had to physically remove a woman's hand from in front of me while she waved the money in the tellers face. Despite telling her that she was rude she managed to get her way and pay her bill. Not every single thing in Armenia is wonderful!!! Now with the fear of having water, electricity or telephone cut off I can carry on living in my apartment but nevertheless continue to have the fear that they will randomly decide to cut the water while I am showering or cut the electricity while I am cooking. It has happened but I have pulled through like a trooper!
Armenia continues to be magical. A full schedule of recording, performing, and keeping an eye on the school renovation exist ahead. June will be a hectic month and I am sure it will fly by. Hoping I can get it all wrapped up by the 8th of July but will have to be prepared if I need to stay on. That means end of August. Just as well I am almost officially a citizen and passport holder here! I have the joy of returning to the Ovil (government building), where ex-Soviet style Armenian officials are awaiting my arrival with what I am sure will be sheer joy and hospitality. (not).
Can't wait.
Will keep you all posted on progress and perhaps more reportage style photos in future.
Peace, love, free-flowing water and endless electricity!!!


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