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: .

Monday, December 06, 2010

Not the end but the beginning: Meghrig's Journey

Meghrig Jabaghchourian

I still remember the 13th of September, I was in the Aleppo international airport, saying goodbye to my parents, when I left them I couldn’t look back, as I didn’t want to see my mom in tears. (Working and living in Armenia) I was thinking about it and how difficult it could be being away from my family for 9 weeks.

When I arrived to Zvartnots international airport, Vahram (the driver of Birthright Armenia) was there holding a photo of mine… then after a few minutes another volunteer (Haig from Canada) arrived, Vahram was frustrated with heavy weights of our luggage he was saying. (Tuk qar ek perel tser hed????)

I went to the home where I was going to spend my next 2 months, I met my host family, they seemed nice people, The first night was strange, I was thinking about so many things my life here my work...Everything… The next morning I went to the office of BRA and AVC, I was welcomed with a BIG smile and Hugs, Sevan, Sharistan, Vahan and Gohar. They treated me very nice and they made me feel at home.

My Work in Armenia

[Yerevan State University] where I was going to volunteer in Armenia, at the center of culture and civilization studies and at the same time teaching (Islamic history and Arabic)at the Orient studies department. When I went to the center for the first time, my boss even didn’t look to my face he just asked: vorkan es mnalou Hayasdan?

I said: minchev noyemper 15.

He said: ok, so you can prepare a research…

(oh my God….)he even didn’t look at me…when I came back home, I was totally hopeless, but then I decided to proof to him that I can accomplish this research in two weeks not two months, He was really surprised when I told him 2 weeks later that I finished my research, after that we started making good friends, I think that my boss is very wise man and helpful, that he even tried to help me in my masters studies, I respect him very much.

My colleges at work were very kind with me, we were close friends to each other during the lunch time we used to talk about different subjects.. The most exciting thing that you eat a lot during the work time

My second work (teaching) was very exciting, I was in touch with many Armenian students and know their mentality there wasn’t difference of age between us, so we were friends. This was a good experience as well.

The things that I will always remember about Armenia

1-the taxis: when you take a taxi, you always have a nice conversation with the taxi drivers, or when you take aMarshoutka you have also nice conversation with the people in and the driver even if you don’t know the way they can always help you. I still remember how they were surprised when I was telling them that I am a volunteer (working without taking money) they were wondering (baaaa vontses abroum???)

2-the football matches: the best place where you feel you are Armenian, you feel that grate energy, when you shout HAYASDAN you don’t courage any other country or other nation, you courage yourself your nation Armenia.

3-Yeraplour: the place that I couldn’t stop my tears, a place where you ask yourself
a simple question: (what am I doing for my homeland while they gave their most precious…) I bow down for all these martyrs who died to keep Artsakh and Hayasdan safe.

4-Artsakh: the heart of every Armenian, our proud, the victory of us, You walk very proud in Artsakh because you feel the victory on your skin, and you also touch the pain of all the Martyrs.

I still remember that old lady at the museum who lost her son, at the beginning I tried to stay strong, but when she said (I lost my son) my heart was going to explore …. If you simply compare, you see that we are doing NOTHING beside what they did..
I also remember the dinner at Saro’s house in Shoushi and how we danced and sang… and talked with Saro he’s a patriot.

Kantsasar monastery one af the most beautiful places special at night, you feel it, this is yours you belong to this place, I just can’t forget Sevan’s words that night while he was talking to us.

5-My last excursion (to Haghpad and Sanahin):
when I arrived to the office that morning, Asqanaz (from the stuff of BRA) told me that this excursion was for me, he was right… I was living my last days in Armenia. The way to Sanahin was magic while I was listening (Parov mnak) a song of Arture meschian, I was trying to live each minute, each second without missing anything. I will never forget the lunch that day(was really delicious especially the honey…)

My host family:
At the beginning it was hard sometimes to understand each other, but after sometime we were very close to each other, my host mum had to work a lot to save money to pay for her daughter’s university, at the afternoon we used to drink coffee all together (me my host mum and Armine) we used to talk about our life, the problems that we face and our joy….everything.

I didn’t have a sister but now I have Armine my host sister, every night she used to come to my room so we can talk for a long time about our dreams….

Now I came back home after leaving a huge part of me in Hayasdan, now I know where I belong, I know what it means to have a homeland, I understand what it means to be Hay (Armennian) even that I’m far away…

BUT this is not the end, It’s just THE BEGINNING.

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