A New Point of View
BY SANAN SHIRINIAN
I’m generally not a positive person. While contemplating on what to blog about, I was torn between a few depressing topics.
First I thought I could write about how our host family’s daughters will be married off to an appropriate suitor who comes asking for their hand (dating is absolutely out of the question). Then I considered writing about the woman who lives around the corner from us. Her home is literally a room with four broken down walls. No bathroom, no electricity, no water. We took her extra sandwiches one day after camp and she immediately burst into tears about how unbearable her situation is.
After giving it a little more thought, I decided that writing about the kids at camp would be appropriate; how during a game of soccer a group of boys rallied off the field in anger and frustration because two girls were going to play as well. Then I came to thinking that writing about the city itself might be interesting. I could discuss how we have been warned not to go out when its dark and to never go out alone because apparently Gyumri is very dangerous and we could get robbed, raped or killed. These are the types of affairs that normally catch my attention; like I said I’m cursed with a pessimistic attitude.
But, Wednesday was a special day. After a long day at camp, the Youth Corps group alongside our 85 campers, marched down the streets of Gymuri, each of us waving an ARF flag and singing Mshag Panvor. We were walking to church for a candlelight vigil in honor of the 27th anniversary of Lisbon 5. Today was special, because I was able to see, hear and feel the influences we are having in this city. When we told passersby that we are a group of Tashnagtsagan youth from Los Angeles, running a free day camp for kids, they were absolutely amazed. ‘’Vay abrek tsez’’ they would say, and nod their heads in approval.
On Wednesday I threw my negativity back into the face of the all that is evil in this country because on that day I realized that no matter how bad things are, no matter how corrupt, how unbearable or how revolting, we have the will, the desire and the power to change it. Today, 85 Gyumertsi children and their parents gained a newfound respect, love and interest for the organization and program that has given them a reformed and progressive summer. And with each life-changing experience, I too gain more respect, love and interest for this same organization.