I met my best friend while she was doing Birthright and I was studying Dental Technology in Armenia. She always told me that Birthright changed her life, made her connect with her Armenian roots and made her feel like a real Armenian. I never understood what she was talking about because for me I was already living in Armenia at that time and I already felt connect to Armenia. It wasn’t until I became a birthrighter myself that I understood what she meant.
When I moved back to Armenia as a birthright volunteer, I had no idea how I was going to talk to people or connect with them, I was very shy and very uncomfortable with meeting new people, so I decided not to go on any excursions and this situation stayed like this for a month and a half until I was talking to Sevan and he asked me a question that actually changed my life, he asked me “how are you getting along with the other birthright volunteers” I took a long breath and I answered “ I haven’t actually met anyone from birthright “ he quickly asked me with a concerned face “why Is that “ so I answered by saying that I don’t feel comfortable meeting new people.
He told me that I should start going to the excursions and try it and that’s exactly what I did.
My first excursion was the trip for 3 days to Artsakh, the first day of the trip I was sitting alone in the bus and not talking to anyone because I didn’t feel like I belonged or anyone would be interested in talking to me. The second and third days were really different from the first day, everyone was nice and interested in talking to me and to get to know me.
On our last night in Shushi we went to Saro’s house (Saro is a good friend of Birthright Armenia who lives in Shushi) for a dinner party and at that time I really felt like I belonged and could open up to people and talk because everyone feels the same about meeting new people. So, at the dinner party I was the first person to make a toast and express my feelings about the trip by saying : I want to thank birthright for bringing us all here to Artsakh a beautiful place where it makes you feel more connected to Armenia, I want to thank Saro for having us in his house and I want to thank all the volunteers here with us on this table for making me feel like I belong. I was very scared and uncomfortable meeting all of you guys but you guys made me feel welcomed, I have been to Artrskh before and I loved it but this time because of you, you made it more special, thank you all “ and of course I ended it with (Ginats ) cheers
Birthright can truly change your life. Everyone has a different experience and for my experience in birthright helped me to open up and get out of my small bubble and talk to people and make friends.