One family's diary, journeys and thoughts

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Circus Circus!

About two weeks ago, Mom decided to go to the local circus before the season ended. So of course, I went too. I know there you guys are used to standing in a normal line while you get your tickets , with 3 or 4 ticket booths open. Here, there was one tiny one open, and every one was gathered around it. Literally, around it, with people elbowing there way to the front. Outside, there was a dude selling toys, hats, light-up ball, etc (see pic below). There were also guys selling popcorn and cotton candy. 'Cause what's a circus without toys, popcorn, cotton candy, and light-up balls. Right? (By the way, do you notice that, in the pic, everything is grey except for the colorful dude in the center. This is not a trick of light. And look at the guys' expression!)

Inside, it smelled like a stable but I kinda liked that smell. Once you enter the actual place, it's like minimized mayhem. Families with little kids and babies, all yelling and screaming and chatting. And a dozen school groups, yelling and screaming and chatting. And the kid sitting behind me kept kicking my chair. But once the show started (later than scheduled), it was okay.
First, there was a gymnast doing amazing tricks and flips on a metal ball spinning through the air. My favorite part was when she spun around holding on by her teeth. Then, there were various little acts, like these two clowns that came from St. Petersburg (see pic below). They did cute tricks and played around with balloons, and made fun of people in the audience. The outfits were kinda weird, but they were quite funny.

There was also a horse rider, and an array of various animals, like bunnies, a baby lion, and two llamas, one of which absolutely refused to jump over obstacles. The trainer had a long whip thing, but it didn't help much (see pic below).

Then there were a couple more acts, like a poodle/pigeon ensemble, two hat jugglers who were pretty good, the same gymnast doing tricks on a rope, and a bear walking over this obstacle thing (see pic below, again).

All in all, it was pretty funny. Besides the tacky and very armo costumes, I had a good laugh there. By the way, did I mention there's a new addition to our family? Stay tuned for details.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Vicky's Birthday and how it was spent

With grandma and little half-sister...

With dad...

With great-uncle and aunt at the teahouse where Vicky works...

And of course, what's a birthday without one's favorite sister!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Vicky!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

QSI school

Tuesday, Mom and I went to the only international school in Armenia, called QSI- which stands for Quality Schools International. The director, Mark Hemphill, is a Texan who was in Ukraine last year. So random. Going in there was like being in my elementary school again. It was exactly like an American school. I have not yet been accepted, but Mark said I was an ideal candidate. We took a look around, and it was so cute-looking. I was surprised to see a deer on the property, and even more surprised to learn that it belonged to one of the people there. Apparently, the only 9th grade class has 7 students, 2 of which are girls. They have a shortage of girls. But it seems like the ideal solution to our current problem. The only drawback is the price. I don't know how much the full tuition price is. We are applying for a scholarsip, which gives us a discount. Even so, the price is like $3,700. The bus costs extra but is optional. I don't know how it's going to turn out, but it seems like a great school.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


This is us playing badminton in a B-E-A-utiful place called Byurakan. A friend of ours has a very nice villa there, which Vicky described as "civilized". (Finally, some pics of the rest of the family!) There will also be pics of us harvesting apples at our relative's summer house a bit higher up in the mountains.

Vicky lunging for the birdie.

Roxy in her "sumo wrestler" pose, ready for anything. (She was playing with me.)

Me enjoying my favorite game.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Vicky at work

Another Vicky pic... (I promise, there will be some images of the other family members, soon.)
Roxy and I had lunch at Teapot, where, as it happens, Vicky works. So, we tried to take pics of her working... but the light was low and she wasn't very willing to pose, so - you can see the result.

BTW, I just had to close my 95.9 The Fish radio stream, so that the pic will upload (because the Internet capacity is really low!) So, here is a math question for you from Roxy. If the download stream A leaves Orange County at 3 am and the upload stream B leaves Yerevan at 3 pm, how soon will your computer crash?

Prize for the best answer.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Armenia 2020

Armenia 2020 is a development project for Armenia. Under it's umbrella, there was a competition for the best essay about the future of Armenia. The winning essays were published. Here are some excerpts from one of them (I will be skipping through chunks of text and replacing them with ellipsis):

"Through the foggy clouds of time I see the future of my homeland... We put behind us the 1700 years of Christianity, which is, in fact, reformed Judaism. It hasn't brought us anything but troubles (neither it did any good to other nations: Greeks, Romans, Germans)...
Armenia, year 2020. Christianity no longer holds the minds of Armenians. It did not meet the political, economical and social needs of the new society...What replaced it is free of dogms and is built on purely religious spiritual abstractions: The Deified Virtue..."

(Here the author takes an imaginary tour of the renewed homeland, stopping to see the giant statues of ancient kings and gods, the restored pagan temples, to notice the return to the oldest known form of the Armenian language. Finally, he stops by a giant statue of the Mother-Goddess.)

"Yes, it is Her, the Mother of all virtues and and benefactress of mankind, the daughter of the very God that we missed so much over the last 1000 years... So, He lead us out of the desert after all. He had indeed chosen us. With anxiety and care He looked upon our mistakes throughout history, ever since the mislead king Trdat destroyed all the nation's idols, killed everyone who remained true to them, and bowed to Judean Yahweh (hidden under the harmless title of Father God) in the person of his prophet Jesu Noshri, better known as Jesus of Nazareth...
The blood of those killed for the sake of spreading Christianity from IV century and on, was calling to us... Wasn't that the real genocide?"

(And on and on he goes, describing how technologically advanced and prominent the nation has become, how the Turkey is no more, and finally ending with Zeus being the Saviour of the nation and Athena - the Keeper of the people. And expressing a hope that this fantasy will one day become reality.)

Do I need to comment on this?

Monday, October 02, 2006

What's happening?

Just a quick and not very organized recap of happenings last week.

The Independence Day-parade-concerts-lots and lots of foreign guest in town-traffic jams-streets closed-police having a field day....

The ship returning... (there will be more about this, I promise)

Vicky found a job!!! She works as a waitress at a small restaurant/tea house called Teapot.

I found a job, too!!! After 4 months of e-mails and 3 interviews. Here is the place that hired me as an office manager: www.ameria.am

AND I have to supervise 5 people!!! Pray for me.

French president visiting. A year of Armenian culture opening in France. More traffic jams. Police having a field day again.

Did I mention that police here drives little blue-and-white Korean Hyundais equpped with sirenes that sound like cheap videogames?

AND they love their loudspeakers. They use them a lot, screaming stuff in slangest of all slangs.


Roxy went into hibernation mode beginning of last week. She sleeps all day and wakes up in time for dinner. She is working on returning to the human schedule.

And as of right now it's raining cats and dogs. Mostly dogs.

Finally, for those of you who liked Pirates II - I don't know you!!!!!!!
It's terribly horrible and you won't prove otherwise.

With this I remain.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Carved trees

Special for pastor Daniel - two of the many carved trees found in a garden by the big Orthodox church.