For three months, the 28 kids currently residing at the FAR Children’s Center in Yerevan have been confined to the Center’s campus where they have filled their days with home school, support and discussion sessions, cooking, gardening and other activities. But last week they were finally able to get out to see a bit more of their world when they spent a day exploring Garni Gorge.
As with most of us, after three months of sheltering-in-place it becomes more and more difficult to stay positive and productive. The kids, each of whom come from tough backgrounds, were no exception. They needed a boost and hiking was the chosen remedy.
At the gorge they walked for about four hours, played outdoors, went to the river, skipped stones and then picnicked for dinner, before returning to the Center in the evening.
“The kids mostly wanted to hike somewhere close to Yerevan, so we decided to go to Garni Gorge. You should have seen their excitement. They were so happy and relaxed that we think we will try to do such trips more often as the lockdown continues,” said Center social worker Tatev Ghazaryan, who accompanied the kids, and also noted that there was no one else at the gorge, and that staff and children still took all precautionary measures.
“The Symphony of Stones was very gorgeous; it’s astonishing to see how harmonic and combined they are. I’d also wanted to swim in the river down in the gorge but the water was too cold. I did enjoy just sitting and admiring the serenity and the sound of water. I also enjoyed sleeping on the grass,” said 9-year-old Sona C.*
“I liked the unity. We looked like one group--like a family--who came to picnic to have fun, interact and just enjoy nature,” said Hakob Janerian, 18, who added that everyone helped one another while climbing the mountains or preparing their dinner to go.
*Last name has been left out for privacy purposes.