Touch Base Soon, Tbilisi?

This year, I visited both Georgian capitals for the first time. It may go without saying, but Atlanta doesn’t hold a candle to Tbilisi. My trip began with several amusing transportation debacles reminiscent of prior European journeys. I had planned to leave on the Thursday night train from Gyumri, arriving in the Georgian capital on Friday morning with a full day ahead of me. Naturally, … Continue reading Touch Base Soon, Tbilisi?

Five Months and (Trying to Be) Fearless

“How long have you been here, Sarah?” my colleague Vaghan asked me. “Two months?” “Che! Hing amis,” I responded. Five months… has it already been five months?  I was drinking wine with several of my close colleagues after work, when Vaghan had posed the question. “Five months!” he reiterated in English. “Then why…?” his question trailed off and I finished it for him in Armenian: “Inchu chgitem … Continue reading Five Months and (Trying to Be) Fearless

Killed with Carbs and Kindness

As I looked at the faces around me, I felt a supreme sense of joy. We were gathered in a circle, our hands linked in unity: men and women, youth and adults, abled and disabled, directors and volunteers, Austrians, Armenians and Americans. In the center, clearly glorying in the spotlight, were two dancing dudes with Down Syndrome, our baker and barista: Mikayel and Hovhannes. Crowds … Continue reading Killed with Carbs and Kindness

Between a Rock & God’s Grace

My friend Mari has coined a term that we Spyurkahays (Diasporan Armenians) use with wry affection: WIA or “When in Armenia.” WIA, you may: Buy a pair of red pants right off a manikin and delight in them… until they shrink in the wash, split in the crotch (and become more useful as a red flag to other customers) after only a few wears. Be … Continue reading Between a Rock & God’s Grace