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Dispatches from Armenia - Vanadzor Old Age Home.

Spent Saturday in Vanadzor and we decided to pay a visit to FAR’s Vanadzor Old Age Home, which currently houses 50 senior citizens who can’t afford to live on their own. We traveled by car up a rocky mountain road to the entrance of the home, which overlooks a gorgeous view of the mountains. Residents gathered on the front porch, playing backgammon and talking.

Lunch had just finished and resident chef Alvard and nurse Alisa led us around. Airy, clean, with light literally pouring into pretty much every room and hallway, we were able to see a beautiful project in action. There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor recreation space, activities and round the clock medical care for all. Residents were sweet and welcoming and they tolerated my camera with grace. We were lucky enough to meet the adorable resident couple and I even recognized Ashot, an elderly man who has made appearances in our brochures and annual report. After approaching him he exhibited his delightful nature by reading our palms. (It’s good to know I will have good health and love in my life, but I’m not so sure about his prediction that I’ll bear three children someday.)

The grounds are dotted with picnic and barbeque areas where residents can pass the time; some even take trips into the main area of town if they so please. Our meandering was accompanied by talk of the residents themselves — how they gossip and how the occasional love triangle surfaces. It’s somehow comforting to know that these things go on here because it’s another testament that there’s life in this place. It’s obvious that these residents are well cared for, happy and continually occupied.

- Erin

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