Tags Archivesarmenia tourism

[Hayastani Kidak Society]: FAR’s Intern(s) in Armenia – Samantha – Farewell. standard

By Samantha McQueen The cliché must be true… my travels truly have changed me and Armenia will always be a part of my life. At the same time I think I left a chunk of myself there, too. Not only in the sense that my sleeping patterns are still stuck in Yerevan time, but I don’t think I could feel complete without returning again. I finally see what the Diaspora has been fighting for. Armenians love their land and they are a crucial part of it. Through the wars and genocide, they have fought for the right to remain Armenian while holding onto the values of hard work and family. Farmers climb uphill for four hours to find fresh grass ...

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[Hayastani Kidak Society]: FAR’s Intern(s) in Armenia – Samantha – Nagorno Karabakh. standard

By Samantha McQueen I’m back in Yerevan for the final time before flying back home to America. It’s bittersweet to return for a third time, as this city is starting to feel like a home base for me, however short lived. The seven hour trip from Karabakh was a little painful but knowing I have one full day left doesn’t allow much time for laziness. I need to be in full tourist mode. Karabakh was definitely a change from other areas we have visited. The people drive flashier cars and show extreme desire for independence of their land while struggling with international recognition as an individual state. It’s a blossoming territory; with modern sculptures along the central square of Stepanakert ...

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[Hayastani Kidak Society]: FAR’s Intern(s) in Armenia – Samantha – En Route to Karabakh. standard

By Samantha McQueen We left Yerevan to head to the Syunik region down south on our way to Karabakh. The roads were filled with actual Armenian cowboys and donkeys devouring the surprisingly green grass. It was interesting to see the different and naturally-occurring resources in the Armenian hills. The natives use the weeds to make Ourts tea and the valleys are filled with pomegranate, walnut, and hazelnut trees. It was breathtaking. Armenians are a very resourceful community. And now since we’ve arrived… Tatev is my new favorite tourist destination! Not only did we drive through the world’s most exciting (and notably motion sickness-inducing) roads, but I actually touched a cloud. It’s disappointing that only 20% of Armenia’s tourists visit the ...

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[Hayastani Kidak Society]: FAR’s Intern(s) in Armenia – Samantha – Holy Etchmiadzin and FAR in Yerevan. standard

By Samantha McQueen Today we toured Etchmiadzin and had the opportunity to meet with His Holiness Karekin II. He was casual in his conversation and I think he truly impressed the group with his personality. I was a little nervous to ask about the Church’s involvement with social issues that have become political debates in America, but he was very diplomatic in his response and said that he understood the world is full of different opinions. I didn’t even mean for him to actually discuss the issues, but he was willing to share his thoughts. He seems to understand the concerns of the younger generation. Later in the day, I met with the FAR staff to work on some accounting ...

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[Hayastani Kidak Society]: FAR’s Intern(s) in Armenia – Samantha – FAR’s Children Center. standard

By Samantha McQueen I’m back in Yerevan just in time to catch up on some sleep after an exhausting (but totally thrilling) first week. The Children’s Center was our final stop before coming back to the hotel and it was honestly one of the most unbelievable experiences I’ve had…I know, cliché, but seeing the faces of children excited to see some fresh visitors was uplifting after a long van ride. The kids loved to play with our cameras and I now have some great shots of legs and walls after they had their chance behind the lens. It was almost cruel to take my camera home with me. The most touching moment happened after my first step off the bus ...

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[Hayastani Kidak Society]: FAR’s Intern(s) in Armenia – Samantha – Visiting FAR’s Projects. standard

By Samantha McQueen I left Gyumri this morning and feel a bit different about my Armenian heritage for it. After visiting FAR’s GTech center, soup kitchen, and Octet School, it seems that there is so much I can do for this Armenian community, even from the Diaspora. I’ve volunteered at nursing homes in America during my middle school days and was usually greeted with sentences beginning with “When I was your age…” and “Kids these days…” At the soup kitchen, I could barely understand the Armenian but I valued the “merci’s” and with the help of some friendly translators, I found out that the participants were thanking me for visiting them and giving up my time. They truly wanted to ...

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[Hayastani Kidak Society]: FAR’s Intern(s) in Armenia – Samantha – The Armenian Alphabet and Gyumri. standard

By Samantha McQueen I had an exciting day of firsts. I finally learned to spell my name using the Armenian alphabet at Ashtarak, the burial grounds of the famous Mesrob, who wrote the Armenian alphabet. I even climbed the castle Amberd! The rocky roads and motion sickness were worth the sites. We made our way to Gyumri today and I had the chance to ride a horse with a real Armenian cowboy, watched a fish gutting, and saw my food and bread cooked in open stoves in front of me. This city has a lot of character and you don’t have to search far for citizens of Gyumri who truly love their city and its traditions. These are the people ...

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[Hayastani Kidak Society]: FAR’s Intern(s) in Armenia – Samantha – Garni & Geghard. standard

By Samantha McQueen It’s day two in Yerevan and I’m loving this city more and more…I’ve even managed to avoid sun burn (knock on wood). We went to a jazz bar for dinner and met some locals. My grasp of the language is still awful but everyone has been surprisingly tolerant. Even the physical atmosphere is great. The sun never sets before 10 pm and parks are filled with families until 2 am. Armenians are night birds, like me. We were lucky to have the opportunity to visit Garni and Geghard today. It was interesting to see the remains of an Armenian church physically built on the side wall of a 1st century B.C. pagan temple. It makes me proud ...

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[Hayastani Kidak Society]: FAR’s Intern(s) in Armenia – Samantha – Arrival. standard

By Samantha McQueen I’m in Armenia! It still seems surreal. Everyone on FAR’s Young Professional trip seems great so far. We have a diverse group with only three Armenian-speaking travelers and two fluent in Russian and I don’t think my knowledge of Italian will be helpful (even if we are staying in an Italian-owned hotel). It’s been a long day of traveling and I haven’t quite established my footing yet, but I’m excited to start exploring Yerevan. So far I’ve been on a van tour through the “Little Las Vegas” of Armenia, right outside Yerevan (gambling, interestingly, is illegal inside the city) and we drove between the brandy and beer factories. Needless to say, I need to leave my hotel ...

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[FAR New York]: Air of Armenia – Top Souvenir! standard

Via Envoy Hostel Blog You’ve travelled many wonderful places and come across many different ‘must have’ souvenirs. A NYC T-shirt, a mini Eiffel Tower, a toy koala perhaps? and the list goes on, each a treasure in their own right, a memory of a experiences you’ve had. But what’s the one souvenir that sticks in your mind? The one you cant wait to tell people about? The one you try to work into conversation with friends for a bit of a ‘show and tell’? It could be a bullet pen from Bosnia, a Soviet relic from Russia or a piece of the Berlin wall (at least that’s what they said it was when I paid 10 Euro for the micro ...

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