“Asonk en mer hye bzdignereh”
This is my first time in Hayastan, and my first time joining Youth Corps. I definitely have bottled up feelings of everything: happiness, sadness, excitement. I must admit I was nervous before starting Youth Corps, even though I’ve worked with children before. People had painted a very particular picture of what to expect when I arrived in Armenia however, once we pulled in the school on the first day of camp, and saw those kids outside waiting impatiently for our arrival, I thought to myself: “asonk en mer hay bzdignereh,” (these are our Armenian children).
Immediately, I thought that all I wanted to do is play with them, and spend time with them. When we walked to the fields to play a game and we were singing “mer hayrenik” on the streets of Gyumri, one of the children pulled me aside and asked if I had done this before and I answered, “no, why?,” she said “because you are very dedicated”, and I replied “I’m dedicated because I love you all.”
The children of Gyumri don’t even have running water to drink in the school, yet they’re so excited and ready to play and spend time with us daily. It warms my heart and opens up my eyes and makes me realize all the things we take advantage of in Los Angeles.
The fact that Unger Caspar didn’t deny any child to participate in our camp, even though we are understaffed and lack sufficient supplies to facilitate the number of children, brought instant happiness to my heart. All he said was, “well figure it out.”
Today we had about 180 people in the hall of the school with no electricity to play music from an ipod for “butt volleyball.” Ungeroohi Siroon, who had no piano background, was playing the piano for the game. Talk about improvising.
Nothing or nobody’s comments will affect me in a negative way during this experience. Every day I turn around to my teammates and I say, “we’re in Hayasdan,” and this was only day 2 of 5 more weeks.
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