Armenian Volunteer Corps

Welcome to the Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC) blog. Here our volunteers and alumni reflect on their experiences living and volunteering in Armenia. For more information about our programs, visit our website, follow us on Facebook or drop us an email: .

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Technology Leap

Nigel Sharp
United Kingdom

Sitting here staring out at another hazy, slow and sunny Armenian day it’s easy to forget that my previous life was in the heart of London with all the towering glass buildings and historical bridges. The change of pace is still taking its toll on my body clock, I have a bigger project to work on here than any I’ve done before but I have to work at a much more entangled pace because of the inherent hardships present in everyday actions…

Sending an email waits for the phone line wrapped around a tree to momentarily provide us with broadband internet, The office day starts when people feel like coming to work and the commute to work is at the mercy of the minibus driver’s mood.

Nevertheless, the added challenge is part of the reward of being here, every achievement although maybe never acknowledged brings a sense of personal pride because you’ve done something out of the comfortable western style work environment.

My job is now the Technical Project Manager for the Tumo project, it’s a fantastic project on a fantastic scale, the impact this project may have on future generations of Armenians cannot be understated. We struggle with the basics like an office email system, yet we are designing a cutting edge technology centre which will put similar endeavors in Europe and America to shame, we are building something at least 10 years ahead of its time, and in Armenia the leap could almost be considered as the same jump from smoke signals to 3G communication.

AVC placed me in what I can only describe as a dream project, doing a dream job, I feel very fortunate to actually be able to use skills and my work ethos to have a beneficial impact on a project (especially of this scale).

The initial interaction with workmates was easier than I imagined because English is spoken in the office, and when the occasional switch to Armenian occurs, it’s still quite easy to follow the conversation.

Okay time to stop staring out of the window, the exciting stuff to see is the work on the computer screen in front of me.

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