Returning to Armenia, after four years, has been wonderful. I’ve already visited my host mom, from my Peace Corps training site. I also paid a visit to my host family, from my permanent site. I lived with the latter for two years. I would visit my training site family, a couple of times each year, during my service. Once back in Yerevan, I decided to see if I still remembered how to walk to Peace Corps Headquarters. It took me a minute, but I figured it out. Unfortunately, I went there on a holiday and the office was closed. The guard let me in the security area and told me to come back tomorrow. I took a cab there, the next day, before a nearby dental appointment.
A few days later, I received an email from Peace Corps. I was invited to attend an event for the current Peace Corps trainees, the day before their swearing in as volunteers. Trainees spend three months living with host families, taking Armenian language lessons four hours (Monday-Saturday), along with sessions on safety, Armenian culture, and job training. The invitation activity was to refresh the mural at Peace Corps Headquarters. Almost every volunteer serving has taken a photo in front of that area. After the painting task was done, the former volunteers (RPCVs – Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) in attendance were asked to leave their handprints, outside the wall of the volunteer resource center. That area is like a volunteer’s home away from home. It’s a place to decompress, when things seem a bit crazy, or hang out before a medical or dental appointment.
I was also invited to be a guest at Peace Corps volunteer swearing in ceremony, held in the National Gallery Museum, in Yerevan. It was the first time that I’ve attended such an event, when I wasn’t currently serving in the Peace Corps. I was so happy that I was able to get to know some of the trainees, during the mural painting. It made watching them swearing in as Peace Corps volunteers very special. I’ll be leaving Armenia for Moldova, in a few days. Then, heading to Italy and meeting with friends from the USA. I’m so happy that I’ve had the chance to visit Armenia, my old Peace Corps site.
And, seeing that I also used my time here to get a dental implant …. I’ll be back! XOXO—GGT