Sunday, October 08, 2006

"Homecoming"





This weekend I ventured back to my training village to visit my family and see my new 'niece'. On Friday evening I went to the neighbors house to visit and they showed me their new car from Yerevan and their two new baby cows. It was when Leila asked me to name them that I realized my purpose in this country. I'm not actually a Community Health Education Generalist, I'm here to name people's cows! Sorry, no pictures of baby Ana and baby Adam-- although they had me write the names on the barn door so they wouldn't forget (see above).

I thought it would be a quiet weekend visiting the family and seeing the new baby, but Saturday afternoon my brother walked in the house with 10 pairs of plastic medical 'work' gloves. He said they were for the potato garden...

I didn't come to the village prepared for manual labor, so I put on my windpants and my host mom loaned me some old men's house slippers. We went to the potato farm and much to everyone's excitement one of the neighbors was letting us use the tractor for the evening. The same potatoes that I helped plant back in June were all ready to be harvested so as the tractor ran up and down the rows we collected them in buckets and transferred them into potato sacks. In all my life the only interaction I've had with potato sacks has been the field day races in elementary school.

The potatoes came in all sizes. A majority were about a fourth of the size of what you'd find in Kroger, but every once in awhile the tractor would unearth a massive potato half the size of a football. The largest ones always got special recognition. We worked for a few hours, took a break to eat some hardboiled eggs, bread, tomatoes and cucumbers and then finished the field by about 7:30 p.m. There's a very good chance that working in that field was one of my favorite activities in Armenia thus far.

Above are pictures of Nare, my 'niece' born September 2. She is very tiny and they roll her up in about six blankets like a mummy to keep her warm. The yellow outfit was a gift from America, (thanks mom) but I don't think she'll fit into it for a few more months. It's probably for the better though, because her legs are all wrapped together with the towels. They advertise a baby supplement on TV called HIPP and I found them feeding it to Nare this weekend. At first I got really scared to see them serving her tea from a baby bottle, but after reading the label I found that it is in fact intended for infants. Although I don't trust advertising here very much I was happy to see that at least there was a warning: "to avoid tooth decay train baby to use a cup as soon as possible."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sarah the Potatoe farmer! I love it...Nare is precious. What does her name mean?

Take care.

Love Aunt Rad

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarbear,
Looks like Aunt Rad doesn't spell any better than our former Vice President. We'll have to grant you a plot when you come home and you can teach us all to farm. Love, UT & AL

Anonymous said...

Dear Sarah,
It is almost Halloween. We have a couple Halloween decorations up. We have pumpkin lanterns up, and a pumpkin banner, a mummy, a ghost we made, and some bats. We also got pumpkins and apples.

I like your pink house. I miss you. I love you.

mckinley

Mom said...

Sarah,
I guess we won't be having potatoes any time soon when you come home????? You'll have to teach them how to make cheesy potatoes for some variety. Nare is adorable. I was hoping that the outfit would be something that she could wear for awhile and obviously she can.
Love, Mom