Two weeks in Gyumri have come and gone, our first Jampar with over 200 kids is over and it was all a big blur. As we were leaving the city this morning, I knew that I would miss Gyumri, but as we arrived in Yerevan I realized how different Gyumri is and how much I love it there. Not only the city, but more so the people. From the campers, to the taxi drivers, to the Ungers who were with us every day, in the last two weeks our group has come across some amazing people.
First we have the one and only Unger Kevork, the self-proclaimed manager of Gyumri. He will yell and scream at everyone and everything in sight, as needed. When you ask him for 2 pieces of khorovadz you get 14 pieces, and you will finish all of your plate whether you are hungry or not. If you make the mistake of speaking English in front of him, he will make sure you know that you are a “khiar” and you will never make that mistake again. Such a heated and dictatorial man, but when it comes down it, one of the nicest most caring people you will meet. As I became sick one day in Gyumri, he took me from camp to the pharmacy promising to get me the best Russian medicine that will have me feeling better in 15 minutes. We picked up the medicine and went to his office where he had me drink two different Russian concoctions, which somehow had me feeling better in 15 minutes just as he had promised.
Most importantly we had our 200 crazy campers. From little Larissa, who would steal my hat and wear it backwards around camp calling herself “Unger Levon,” to Hovannes who thought the entire 2 week duration of camp was a Kung Fu movie production as he ran around from class to class doing karate chops and jump kicks. Then we had Gourgen, the Jampar veteran who has attended Jampar for the last 4 years without missing a day, he was always the first one in line, but always the last one to stop talking. These are some of the campers I spent the last two weeks with; the campers that would drive me absolutely crazy; the campers that would say “Unger Levon” about 4,000 times a day; the campers with selective hearing; the campers who had to use the restroom every 15 minutes and could only go in groups of 5; the campers who made my two weeks in Gyumri absolutely unforgettable.