A Travellerspoint blog

Dancing in the rain

Arpi Vartanian, Armenian Assembly's Country Director, hosted a hip hoppin' welcome party for the AAA 2009 interns at Parvana Restaurant. Yerevan is known for its unique and beautiful restaurants and cafes, but even so Parvana, a terraced outdoor restaurant, stands out for its elegance and aesthetic excellence. Yerevan's movers and shakers frequent the restaurant and so we went, to be amongst the who's who of the city.

Arpi, our tamada (toastmaster), welcomed us to the city and the internship program with her toast. She's originally from America but has been residing in Yerevan since graduating college.
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Cheers! The interns raise their glasses for Arpi's toast.
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The main floor of Parvana is a dance floor that we made good use of. For some of the interns it was their first timing dancing Armenian style. But man, we've got some moves! We danced through the evening and not even the sprinkling rain could keep us down - we were dancing in the rain! Left to right in the picture is Gahren, Kathryn, Armen, Sofia, Talene, Elizabeth, and me.
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In between eating and dancing, the ladies posed for this picture.
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And here are the fellas with Vram Karakeshishyants, the intern Program Director. He's our go-to anytime we need help with our internship or Yerevan life in general.
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We loved the food and especially the dancing. Definitely coming back! More pictures estan aqui.

Posted by NatalieSLC 03:01 Archived in Armenia Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Interns, meet the interns

They're a modern stone age family

Due to popular demand, I am posting a picture and description of all of the super cool AAA interns. You're welcome!

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From left to right: Armen (interning at ACNIS), Talene (dietetic intern at Nairi Medical Center), Kathryn (ACNIS and Ministry of Culture), Sofia (pharmacy intern), Arpi Vartanian (AAA Country Director), me, Gahren (International Center for Human Development), Sarkis (Ministry of Justice), Elizabeth (ArmeniaNow and an NGO).

My internship is at the Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) with Armen and Kathryn and at the Ministry of Economy. I spent last week and this week at ACNIS, will start at the Ministry tomorrow, and will divide the rest of my time between the two. Looking forward to it!

Posted by NatalieSLC 23:12 Archived in Armenia Comments (2)

My first Birthright excursion

Birthright Armenia has excursions every Saturday in which AAA interns participate. We hit up popular tourist places around the country, as well as under-the-radar sites. Today we hopped on a bus to Khor Virap (second time for me), then Noravank Monastery.
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In heartfelt patriotism, we harmonized with traditional Armenian folk songs on the bus ride. "Yerevan dartsats hin Erebuni...." Lunch was graciously hosted by a family in Marz Vayots Dzor with enough food to feed a large army. As we sat down with the large group, we got to know other kids' backgrounds. There are people from Canada, South America, the UK, and of course America.

Wine tasting at Areni Wine Factory was our last stop, which was good because we were pretty unstable afterwards. Haha I'm totally kidding, mom. We barely had any wine. But the few we tasted were quite tasty. My favorites were a semi-sweet and the pomegranate wine. Rise your glasses - kenats!
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Some people bought wine under the agreement that we would reconvene at our place later at night to sip wine and nibble cheese. Kathryn and I played hostesses and impressed everyone so much that we had several engagement offers that night.

We went dancing after at a little club just off Republic Square, strutted and swayed to this Armenian reggae beat. Lav a!

Posted by NatalieSLC 09:33 Archived in Armenia Comments (1)

ABBA makes for great karaoke

The Armenian Assembly of America (AAA) interns met up with some Birth Right volunteers when we went out for karaoke. AAA interns interact frequently with Birth Right throughout the week with forums, language classes, and weekend excursions so we get lots of chances to meet other cool kids. All but two of our interns have arrived. Here are the cute girlies - Elizabeth, me, Sofia, Kathryn.
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AAA was belting out ABBA and other rockin' tunes. Here's Kathryn, Elizabeth, and Armen.
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My favorite song to sing? "Take A Chance On Me"

Posted by NatalieSLC 09:09 Archived in Armenia Comments (1)

New house & new roomie

I moved into my new place in Yerevan and met Kathryn, my roommate from Pasadena!
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AAA hooked us up with an awesome pad! I'm sooooo excited for this apartment to be my home away from home. It's in a great location, centrally located just blocks away from Republic Square and other AAA and Birth Right locations. Wanna see how cool the place is? Allow me to escort you through my apartment. As you walk through the front door you will see:
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If you go through the right door, you will enter our living room, which has already been the setting for a wine and cheese party we hosted for the AAA interns and Birth Right volunteers after our tour to the Areni wine factory.
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Past the living room to the right is our kitchen
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From the foyer to the right door is my room. It's a little bit in disarray. I'm still living out of my suit cases because Kathryn got the room with all the closet space. But I ended up with the sweet pink comforter, so we're even.
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And past my room to the right is Kathryn's room. We've got a washer and electricity and hot water, so don't worry about me! So there you have it, my Yerevanian home. The only English-speaking channel on TV is CNN, the European version. It still catches me off guard when they make announcements about Armenia. "Whoa! Did they just mention Armenia?" Oh yeah...I'm not in America, huh.

Posted by NatalieSLC 08:17 Archived in Armenia Tagged living_abroad Comments (1)

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