To make the most immersive experience in Armenia, I decided to live with a host family and I can confidently say that it was the best decision I made.
My arrival in a Host Family in Armenia
At first, I had the classic
worries—inconveniences, discrepancies, abnormities. Taking an open-minded
approach to it helped me overcome the anxieties and enhanced my flexibility, so
I was able to let go of my fears.
My host mother welcomed my arrival with warm soup and broke the ice. I realized that this family was going to be an enrichment to my experience in Armenia, because not only were they artists but also intellectuals, so I deep-dived into their stories and their love for Armenia.
Having a host family does not only mean having a roof over your head but also living daily life together. This naturally occurred, like they were my real nuclear family. From heart-warming conversations to exchanges about Armenian culture and society, painting together to visiting the theater or celebrating birthdays. We sat at the table, having tea, and talking about our affinity for Japan and our trips until long after midnight.
My Experience With Them
We took long walks together, on which my host father told me about the history of the buildings we passed and the streets we walked – he is a tour guide after all. My host mother and I prepared Armenian dishes together. Her cuisine had a special twist to it, which I was not used to from my mom because my host mom’s roots are western Armenian. With my host brother, his girlfriend, and his cousin, we visited a stage play from Narine Grigoryan and were able to join the after-party and have wine with the actors and actresses. My host family showed their support by joining my presentation about green tea in Japan and making me feel comfortable enough to talk in Armenian.
Thanks to their hospitality, my experience in Armenian was filled with warmth, support, and beautiful memories. I could not have wished for better conditions during my time with Birthright and am endlessly happy about my decision to take part in this program. The friends I made, that now feel like family, and the memories we created together became a valuable part of my self-growth and therefore my life.