Sunday, June 18, 2006

In the Swing of Things

And so the last few days I have tried to concentrate on not melting....The heat is pretty intense especially when rehearsing in hot classrooms and recording in hot studios. I was finally offered some relief at the Congress Hotel Swimming Pool. (Building on far left with pink roof in the photo of Ararat Mountain bordering the city). After much batting of the eyelashes and flashing of the teeth I was given a space amongst the idle, the wealthy, the self-pampering types and probably a very fortunate and clever crowd. One dip into the pool and the payment of $100 a month became very very justifiable!! I shall eat less and swim more!!

Recording is going brilliantly though one forgets exactly how much time it takes to put these things together. With the heat nerves can wear thin although it is a joy to hear all of it unfold. We have been invited to appear on "Pari Looys" on Armenia TV with Garen on Wednesday morning. (This is the Armenian version of the Good Morning Show). We might do a gig on channel 2 also - possibly Friday. The concert is nearing and I am trying to remember my song lyrics which I have had to alter many times and so I may sing a few interesting things on stage!

The meeting with the mayor of Martz and Yerkir non-profit organisation regarding my school renovation project in the village of Martz went brilliantly. They are officially preparing the wood flooring (drying the wood to prevent it from warping, cracking, etc..) The tiles for hallways and kitchen are to be shipped over this week and once the kids have finished their exams work will start in the building. Estimated finish time is September the 1st. It seems the mayor, the non-profit and myself are cooperating brilliantly and so hopefully a will go as planned. Thank you to everyone who has contributed - we are making a real difference! We are still short of funds in general and for desks and chairs - another $2,000 would be useful. For anyone who would like to participate please email me as every little bit goes quite a way here. Further information regarding this project can be found in previous blogs (August 2005, One Month to Go, To the Village and Musical Advances).

Finally we had a farewell party for a dear friend of ours from Syria called Sam. It was my first official late night in Yerevan. The evening consisted of more interesting fruit concoctions, apple flavoured "nergileh", much much dancing, new faces, great conversations and a good night overall. We followed it with a barbeque the following afternoon where Sam's host family kindly threw a get together in his honour for about thirty something people. The food was divine and soon shots of apricot vodka went around and the singing broke out. The host of the house made a toast to all the Armenians who have come here from outside of Armenia - he felt priveledged that we should gather under his roof. When we come here and try to make a difference, people DO actually care. It means a lot to them. And so we come full circle to say that after this exciting barbeque, several of us decided to return to the pool and cool off for one hour. This was followed by a helping of Square One chocolate cake (the kind that oozes when you stick your fork into it).And so the days merge into one another - I shall be Yerevan bound the next few weeks as the days are full of rehearsals and recordings (and random dips into the pool).

Coming to you chlorinated and cooled.



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