Monday, July 30, 2007
Green Camp in the village was successful. The kids had a great time learning about plants, water, animals, the ecosystem and their personal responsibility to the environment by playing interactive games and journaling at the end of each day. Most kids whined that five days was not long enough while I danced for joy when the closing ceremony came on Friday evening. It was great for the community but it wore me out. Fortunately, the fun doesn’t end with the last round of boom-chicka-boom (the camp song). We invited 10th form students to speak to the campers about water and nature preservation and in September we hope to start an afterschool club of Green Camp graduates who will take the knowledge they gained and become mentors to the children in the kindergarten.
I think I was successful in keeping everything in order and making sure the other PCVs had a nice time with my host family. It was a 24 hour job balancing 60 people at camp all day and coming home to 19 in a five bedroom house. Somehow it worked (as most things do in Armenia). Grandma got a little grumpy by Saturday but I think that was just because the final-day BBQ/dance party kept her up too late.
The best part of our Green Camp was that it made me realize how much I’ve grown to appreciate my community. There are some very active youth (and adults) here and they take excellent care of me.
On Friday we had personal responsibility to the environment day and we did a school area clean up. Alla had the idea to organize the kids so that part of the time would be spent cleaning the area where we hope to build the playground this month. I thought I was going to get to take a day off on Sunday but Saturday night Alla came over to inform me that the YCAP group decided to begin cleaning and taking out the old fence in the playground area starting at 8 p.m. (that’s when it begins to cool off enough to emerge from the house).
We cleaned until 10:30 and then went home for some fried eggplant and salty cheese wraps. Oh how my schedule (and tastes) have changed. Fun summer nights!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
We were introducing participants to our home states in America. I'm introducing Ohio but look four people to my right. Who know the cardinal, carnation and buckeye could be so hilarious? What a public speaker...
The intense judging panel. We're serious about those team challenges.
I taught an optional nutrition class. The students had never seen the food pyramid before which led to an interesting discussion about the differences between whole wheat and white bread, red vs. white meat and why you can never get enough veggies. I'm wearing my shirt backwards on purpose.
On the 16th we had a camp-wide culture fair and the students in 'sharing cultures' classes made this quilt of symbols of Armenia. My favorite is the big pomegranate at the top.
Saying goodbye to tomorrow's leaders.
Onward and upward. Ani (far left) is headed to TN in a few weeks. Take good care of her America!