As usual, residents were so happy to see visitors. They particularly love to see students as they remind them of their grandchildren. Our visit also happened to coincide with May 1st, which is celebrated in Armenia as Workers Day. For residents, this is a holiday that conjures up fond memories of parades, family feasts and other happy times. (And, of course, they love to share these sweet memories with their visitors.)
In spite of the heavy rain during our visit, the boys actively cleaned VOAH’s yard and the girls washed the windows, cleaned the doors, floors and walls.
After about two hours in the company of the residents, the entire atmosphere was warm and friendly. Grandmothers were lovingly instructing the girls as they cleaned. Chess and nardi matches were in full swing on the balcony, too. And all of this was accompanied by interesting conversations, during which we got acquainted with the life stories of many.
During dinner, the girls helped to set the tables and serve food to the residents. They also took the meals to the rooms of those confined to their beds. That day, FAR also presented VOAH with four TV sets, which had been donated by Armenia’s Marriott Hotel, along with candies and other sweets.
Before our departure, we organized a joyful party for the elderly. FAR Educational Programs Coordinator Eduard Karapetyan played the accordion, as the students danced and sang, inviting residents to join them. Some of them even volunteered to recite poems and sing.
All in all, the day was full of delight and festivity. We were pleased to see joy in the eyes of the elderly and sincere smiles on their faces. We were happy that we could make their day and awaken their sweet memories.
Veronika Mkrtchyan is a former Mathevosian Scholar.