My Trip as a Volunteer to Armenia - with the Land & Culture Organization

             1995            

    In 1995 I made a decision to go to Amenia.  I contacted the Land & Culture Organization in New York and completed the application and not long after, I was on my way to Armenia with one stop in Paris.  Back then, there was only one flight to Armenia on Thursday's.  It landed in the early (dark) morning.  Departing the aircraft, it was an erie feeling.

    Back then the power was not always avalible.  And water was only avalible for very short periods.  The locals filled what ever they had to have enough available for the days usage.  Electrical power also was limited each day for two hours.  It was a different world we walked into once we landed in country.  I'd do it again if I was younger.  I was about 54 then.  It was a great feeling being in our home country.  My grand parents actually were from Eastern Turkey in the city of Van, bordering the 2nd largest lake in Turkey, Lake Van.  Having no outlets, Lake Van is a saline soda lake with only one type of fish in it.  Van is 97 miles from Mount Ararat to the east.

    Back to Armenia, I was to stay and help restore an Armenian church (Sourp Minas Church), 17th century, but not long after arriving, about a week into the trip, I got sick and went back to the capital city of Yerevan and stayed until I recovered.  While there, I was taken around the city by two local ladies (girls) and was I shown the city, I journeyed to Etchmiadzin Cathedral in Vagharshapat, about 14 miles from Yerevan (capital of Armenia) went to a flea market, quite different than ours in America, went to a local family's house for dinner, went to a museum where many ancient Armenian documents were housed and overall, I have fantastic memories to cherish.

    I knew I would never make it to Van so I decided to take a photo of my Grandparents (Sarkis & Nazlu Bedrosian) and put it in a zip lock envelope and inserted it into one of the walls that we were restoring in the church, in honor of them.

    I was only in Armenia for two weeks but it's a period in my life I will never forget.

More photos to see (click 'em to enlarge)

           

         

           

           

     

 

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