Armenian Volunteer Corps

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday Recap with SunChild Rebecca

Rebecca Kandilian

On Wednesday, three of my coworkers and I said our farewell to the rest of the staff and hopped on the green bus (which is a misnomer as the bus is white and not green)—on our way to the Tavoush region; on our way to provide environmental education to Armenia’s youth one region at a time.

A typical day-- 7:00 AM our clocks go off and after having a meager breakfast we head out to a nearby village. There, we ask around and find the village headquarters. Thus far, they have been extremely supportive and they provided us with a native to lead us to the nearby school. There, we set up everything to show a short film or two on littering, deforestation etc. Then, we TRY to lead a discussion, ask the children to write a fairy tale with nature as its theme and for the artists an opportunity to paint on the green bus. Clean up and to another village. Around 5-7, we head back to Ijevan where we screen a movie (Avatar, Wallee and Home). The number of people that came to the movie increased exponentially each night. If we had stayed there for a week, I am pretty certain that we would have had a full theater.

Our day officially ends around 10:00 PM. Unofficially, 1:00 AM and I am already deep asleep at 1:02—that tired! I must say, our days on the green bus truly feel like a week as we seize every second of our day to educate and raise awareness for the innumerable environmental issues that Armenian is faced with. Overall, during the past five days we’ve visited 5 villages (Achajour, Khashtarak,Lusadzor, Yenokavan and Sev Kar) and have become celebrities in Ijevan.

It is now time for me to vent a bit. Driving through the untouched beauty of our nature and going all around Armenia to educate the children sounds pretty ideal right? Don’t get me wrong, the experience so far has been absolutely amazing and the project touches on almost all of my personality traits and interests. But, it’s only fair that I state the ‘downers’ as well. My co-worker Satenik tells me, I (her too) look visibly saddened every time we hop on the bus after visiting a village. The truth is seeing those kids, knowing how much potential they have and at the same time realizing and seeing that the potential is absolutely not being nurtured just breaks me to pieces. No, we can’t choose where we’re born (it’s one of those human conditions) but it still doesn’t take away from the fact that these kids are in dire need of independent thinking and a better education. We ask these kids what their thoughts are about the films and they just look surprised—no one has ever asked these kids about their OWN opinion. They just look for a way to agree with us and say exactly what we are saying. To end on a good note, we loved those kids, they loved us and as a wise person once said it has been a big love fest.

We just left Ijevan this morning and are now in Noyemberyan. I must say it is already evident that Noyemberyan is a couple of years behind Ijevan in the littering and environmental awareness department.

A reasonable happy but with a dash of sadness SunChild thanks you for reading...

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