Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sevan, Ichevan, Work Begins in Marts!

What a joy to be here and to have every fibre of my being pulsating with the energy that can be found here in Armenia. It has been yet another week of progress between seeing the light at the end of the tunnel regarding the CD, getting out to see the natural beauty Armenia has to offer, catching Sayat Nova dance ensemble from Boston, seeing two outdoor music jazz concerts, witnessing the opening of Square One Restaurant at Zvartnots airport which has finally added a splash of colour, style, modernity and cheer at the once gray airport, seeing Arto Tunciboyacyan at what I would consider his best ever concert, meeting Armen Varadian a serious contender for the 2010 Olympic Games as a representative for Armenia (in Skeleton) see http://www.skeletonsport.com/personal/?contactid=1465, camping on the shores of Lake Sevan, seeing the beauty of Ichevan for the first time, going back to one of my favourite monasteries - Geghart and finding my inner peace, and best of all, receiving the news that work has indeed begun in Marts and the old floors are being ripped up and the new material has arrived to be put down.
The last of the news really got me excited because it has been a long process getting the funds together for such a scheme - especially as the big well known charity organisations I approached were not interested in what I was doing and even said I wouldn't be able to handle it on my own. Thanks to Nareg Hartunyan and Yerkir Non-Profit it will all become a reality. Thanks especially to all the people that donated and made this possible. I hope to be able to get up to Marts before my return to England in August and will be sure to photograph the progress. I will also ask the DAC volunteers who are there in August to take photographs so that by September we can show where we are.
Sevan was brilliant. We set up a tent with on the shore and had a feast of barbequed vegetables and fish. In our midst we had the luxury of a man named Khajag who has been in the restaurant business for 17 years and when he got out his barbequeing kit (see photo) we knew we were in for a seriously good meal. We played some guitar, took random swims in the lake, and ended up gleaning the land for wood at 11pm when our wood was running out. In the plot next to ours we could see a raging bonfire surrounded by locals who had the radio going which made it even harder (by the way the radio was playing all night and was also accompanied by noisy frogs and violent birds in the morning who managed to get into our food supply).
At Arto's concert I experienced a song which was cello and synthesiser called "The Olive Tree". This particular piece of music touched my soul in such a way that I would like to write a piece of music just for the cello. I cannot explain the magic Arto is capable of inducing. He is a true musical genius. By the end of the concert he had children from different nations dancing around him and he was like a crazed magical pied piper! His musicians are all indredibly talented and it is a great inspiration to me to see the brilliance of sound and music which is so alive and so incredibly diverse.
I continue to meet interesting people on a day to day basis. I met a couple from Missouri last week who are Allman Brothers fans and as Yankee as Yanks can be yet they have been living in Dilijan for a year and speak Armenian. It was incredible! We met at a bar where the actual pumps for the kegs are on the wall (see picture) and you are charged per liter that you drink. Can you imagine what kind of reaction this would cause in the UK or the USA? All you can drink and the responsibility is yours - amazing it doesn't seem to cause any problems here.
So this is it for the time being. I shall be back with info.
Peace and love, sunshine and happiness


Blogger nazarian said...

Sonya, which bar is it?

4:32 AM  
Blogger Sonya Varoujian said...

Don't remember the name but it is off Saryan - the next block after Stop Club on the same side. After you pass some construction on the right there is a small side street and it's the only restaurant/bar there. (You would be walking towards Baghramyan on Saryan)

10:41 AM  

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