Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Picture a Day: Candle or the Mirror
I started writing this post last week but instead of finishing it chose to spend time with my friends and host family before I left Gyumri for good. I am currently in Yerevan for about 14 more hours, so I figured one more blog post before I left the ground was appropriate.
When I was preparing to come to Armenia, Sharistan, the hardworking AVC coordinator, told me that I'd be placed in one of two places, one with no other volunteers or one with many other volunteers. When I emailed her back I told her that either place would be fine, but inside I was kind of hoping that I'd be alone. Even though I'm a pretty social person in general, I was scared that I wouldn't be 'Armenian enough' for the other diasporans, or that I wouldn't relate to things in the same ways as them.
Then, a couple days after being here, in my first real blog post I wrote, "Any doubts I had about being able to last these coming 10 weeks were significantly lessened by meeting the people I would get to interact with," in reference to the other volunteers here. Now that I am on my way out the door, I can safely say that sentiment was an understatement. The only reason I can leave the country feeling I did something worthwhile is because I had the help and support of the other volunteers I interacted with everyday.
The volunteers I've lived and worked with here for the past 10 weeks represent the best the diaspora has to offer— the brightest and strongest people coming from all around the world, here to give up their time to help complete strangers. From the fun-loving Canadians, to the conservative from New Jersey, my long-lost brothers from Jordan and Argentina, all the pretty girls from LA, the Florida heart-breaker, each one has brought something unique and amazing to this experience and has passed on that light to the people who need it most.
Edith Wharton said, "There are two ways of spreading light-- to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it." The people I met here, the other AVC and BR participants, have spent two months being both, and I can't thank them enough for doing so.
Thank you everyone. I'll miss you incredibly. Hadgogh.
at 3:43 PM