Almost two months since I departed from Armenia and arrived in Uruguay, finally today I found the courage to write in my diary again. Diary that accompanied me during the four months I lived in Armenia.
The return has been hard, many emotions, missing... Finding oneself in its country being someone different, having grown and changed.
I want to tell you some of my experience in Armenia, but before I have to go back to the origins, they are fundamental to understand the present.
I grew up immersed in a family of Armenian descendants, a home full of symbols, Ararat paintings and “khatchkars” everywhere hanging on the walls. Some members of my family use to speak "hayeren". For me, it was the language of secrets. It was frequently used when someone wanted to talk about something that children like me couldn't understand. Back then, I could only understand a few words.
As a kid, I use to take part in some Armenian community activities, but always under obligation, to make my grandmother happy. So when I started to have control of my own decisions, I quit them.
Until I found dancing. It was my type of thing; I didn’t have to understand it. Just feel it. I was always good on the sensible things. Something was flowing inside me every time I listened to Armenian music.
But once again, I had to quit it. This time because of the daily routine. My interests had changed, and I started to focus my energies on design and drawing.
Until I found Birthright Armenia, it was perfect. Am I going to Armenia to design? For sure! Once again, I found the possibility of getting to know the culture and the country, linking it to my passion. And it was just like that, every day in Armenia represented a change in my life forever.
That is why I want to encourage everyone who is reading this text to take the step, this exchange is an incredible opportunity, and I can make sure that you will grow and learn in every sense, emotional and rational. And even though it is impossible to describe it with words, I want to leave here the first fragment I wrote being in Yerevan, to make you feel those first sensations... So which ones are going to be yours?
I LOOK UP - 16/02/2019
This country is incredible. I think it's going to be really hard to document it in pictures. Today I traveled by metro in Armenia (my new sister), we went to Republic Square where we met Ani (an Uruguayan friend) and Asdjig (her new mother). We went to the Cascade; I want to get to know more about its history. All the architecture invites oneself to look up, many ornaments, and amplitude. At night, Asdjig invited us to have dinner with her family; everyone shows great hospitality here. I feel like I don’t need more than good company and a warm shower (it's very cold here). I already miss my family; not being always connected with them makes me feel they will forget me (it's weird, I know). I think I have jet lag, it's 3 AM and I don’t even want to sleep, I don’t know. Ani is leaving for Gyumri on Wednesday; I will miss her too. Here I am speaking Armenian, English, and Spanish, I usually get confused and merged words, ha! What intrigues me the most is the design agency, am I going to do well? I feel like here Graphic design is much more appreciated than in Uruguay, it’s nice :). AH! Today is Surp Sarkis day; it’s a man who goes on horseback, I want to get to know more about him. He fought a lot to get back to his lover and that’s why today is a well-known saint that fulfills the dreams of love (...) I am writing what I remember about the day, so the one that reads this may feel something of what I am living here. I hope I could draw more. I’' ll try to sleep.
Uruguay, Montevideo, 2019