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 see that the younger generations abroad did not forget them and I was glad to show that I haven’t. Their appreciation and endless kisses made it worth the visit. It was also touching to see this community of natives who had faced a tragedy together trying their best on a slow journey to a normal, pre-earthquake life, be it 22 years later.
I’m more than happy to help them on their way.
Ts’tesutyun for now!