I had a little bit of understanding after signing up to participate in Birthright Armenia and on the plane to Yerevan. My brother was already there, and he managed to convince me to come and join him. It took me a month to apply and arrive but what a great decision I made that day!
I did not have a lot of expectations, the only things I wanted were to live with the people, to get close to them, to try to understand them, and to discover this incredible country again. I could not have had a better experience! I had an amazing host family in Gyumri that took me in as soon as I arrived, even though it was 11 pm on a dark November night. Everybody was awake to meet me and make me feel at home. My internship sites were one of the best parts of my stay in Armenia. Discovering Youth Palace CNCO and meeting all the volunteers who are coming almost every day to learn new skills or just to spend some time together, was so beautiful. And by making Gyumriks with Arsen, we were talking about Armenia's past, present, and future. The two places were very instructive to me because I was able to directly get in touch with people dedicated to their city and country in such an amazing way.
Volunteering in Gyumri
They are doing everything they can to help Gyumri advance and develop new points of view, new ideas for a better future. They taught me that we can do anything we want with few resources but a lot of commitment, energy, and faith because they believe in what they do; they have transmitted their passion to me. Another thing that impressed me was the generosity of the people of Gyumri. Even if they don’t have a lot of money, not much food in the fridge (according to them), you will be welcomed like a king or queen. They will do absolutely everything to make you feel comfortable, and they are always ready to give up things for you. Whenever I needed help, I found someone very shortly.
I am really feeling grateful to Birthright Armenia for giving me this opportunity to be a part of a bigger project, to help as much as I could, and that now I have my own Armenian grandparents here in Gyumri. I can't wait to come back to see how the new generation will take over and act in the future.