As kids, one of our only worries was who was going to make our cuts and scrapes feel better and go away. On the second to last day of our Gyumri Jambar, I took a trip down memory lane. During lunch time we had a little free time, so Sevana and I started racing with the kids. We had to run to the wall and back. Since there were many of us in a confined space, as I’m about to tap the wall, little Vazrik turned around and we clashed and both fell. The little trooper was up two minutes later tying his shoes. I have a scab on my left elbow to remember the blue-eyed, blonde-haired kid by.
It was our last day of Jambar yesterday. Surprisingly, I didn’t cry as we all said our goodbyes. Once we gave all the kids our group picture, I took another trip down memory lane, because they all came running around by the counselors with the picture and a pen like we would do at AYF Camp, so we could write a little note and our info.
All the kids were seriously great, but a few stuck out to me. Jiro was a charageegee, but every morning he would come to give me a big hug and wouldn’t let go, and as we would line the kids up, he would pick out flowers and bring them to me. Vartoohi would always give me a hug and kiss in the morning and hold my hand, or else she wouldn’t walk in to the school. She was the one who actually noticed my elbow and busted out Wet Wipes so I could clean it. The older girls like Leanna, Diana, Ani, Gohar were always talkative, but they would smile and listen to me. Every time they saw my camera they each wanted a picture and we had to take a hundred of them. Gayaneh and Angela made me bracelets that I probably won’t take off until they fall off. Armen was a very handsome kid who would try to mess around, but when it came down to serious things like song practice, he was one of our best kids. We saw him and his parents when we went out to the Hrabarag last night [the Republic Square where people always go to hang out; probably something in between our Glendale Marketplace and Americana] and talked to them. The mom told us that we strongly influenced the kids and shaped them up because they really look up to us and they are going to remember us for a really long time, which of course made us feel even better than we already did.
We played with the kids, taught them a lot, got mad at them, messed around with them, but in the end it was time for goodbye, and I definitely feel like as much as they took and learned from us, we learned from them even more. We’ll miss you Gyumri <3 .