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Faithful Service: The Morning is Gray Again
September 2012

The morning is gray again; heavy clouds hang over the mountains visible from our window. It feels like rain--again. While the U. S. is hot and dry with wildfires raging in some states, July in Dilijan, Armenia is wet, cool at night and pleasantly warm during the day. July is reportedly a rainy month here and 2012 is no exception. It has rained almost every day, but that assures the continued lush greenness of our trees and the prolific growth of the wildflowers which blanket meadows and fields and spring up in small patches of soil or cracks in our town’s sidewalks. It also waters the gardens so crucial to families who grow much of their own food or tend large crops to sell to others.

I really don’t want to go anywhere today, but I have an appointment with a high school student for her weekly tutoring session in English. She is studying for an entrance exam to the university and wants to work on conversation in English during the summer. The avtobus will come promptly at 9:30 a.m. and it is now 9 a.m. The rain starts, first slowly then more heavily as the skies darken. By 9:20 a.m. though, I leave the apartment and the rain has thankfully slowed to a cool drizzle. Gray skies prevail, and clouds drift down from their resting spot near the mountains to almost touch the earth.

As I walk down the steep hill to the bus stop, the striking, fluorescent, brilliant blue flowers growing untended along the street catch my eye. They grow in sharp contrast to sparkling white blooms of another variety and stand out prominently amongst yellow blossoms growing further ahead. Water from the morning rain trickles down the hill as I walk. My shoes that dried last night, are getting wet. The water is clear and clean as it rushes to the bottom of the hill with me. Other people are waiting in silence at the bus stop. "Barev dzez" (hello), I say—to everyone and to no one. They all look at me without response. As we board the avtobus, the uplifting colors of the blue, yellow and white flowers escape my thoughts and are replaced by the sight of black, white and gray attire—the usual somber colors of small town Armenian dress.

As the bus door closes and we early morning riders are all packed in, a young woman in brilliant blue moves to a spot in front of where I’m seated. I quickly realize she is the only person aside from me who is not wearing dark colors. Her blue blouse in contrast to that darkness mirrors the blue flowers which greeted me on a gray morning---------------and I smile. It is another summer day in Armenia. I hope my student remembers our session!

After note:

My student was over an hour late to her tutoring session and almost in tears when she arrived. She lives on a muddy, unpaved road on the opposite side of town from where we meet and her avtobus did not come. She walked 6-7 kilometers in the rain to meet me. This young woman is committed to improving her English and her life’s opportunities. I am committed to helping her, in spite of our wet, dreary morning’s start. She is a "blue flower" in my life now and I will try to help her grow.

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Judy B. Smith, a Peace Corps Volunteer, shares her experiences in this series. Judy and her husband, Dave, have been serving in Armenia since June 2011. Click here to read about Judy and Dave.

September 2013: Peace Corps Closure Opens Door to the Future

August 2013: The Cycle of Service Begins Again

June 2013: Close of Service

May 2013: Ani Speaks English in Armenia

April 2013: Armenia is not a Picture of Health…but there is Hope

March 2013: Arroghutyun—God Bless You

February 2013: Love in Armenia

January 2013: Old Cross, New Cross

December 2012: Holiday Celebrations of Christmas

November 2012: Giving Thanks in Armenia

October 2012: History and Art are the Ties that Bind

September 2012: The Morning is Gray Again

June 2012: As English Speakers

April 2012: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes…..and Lungs in Armenia

March 2012: We Get Letters

Feb. 2012: World Aids Day

Jan. 2012: Thankfulness

Dec. 2011: Religious Freedom

Nov. 2011: Health Concerns in Armenia

Oct. 2011: Grape Blessing Day

Sept. 2011: Transfiguration

August 2011: Safe Travels

June 2011: Arrival in Armenia!

May 2011: Language Lessons before Leaving


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