I want you to know that I'm merely responding to marching orders from my fearless leader, Raffi, and am logging. I don't know why, but I've had a real difficult time in feeling inspired about Armenia the last few weeks. The latter part of 2003, I travelled quite a bit for work outside of Armenia, and then left for a break over the holidays. Since coming back, I've really had to put in a lot of effort in getting motivated about things. I'd like to chalk it up to winter doldrums, some kind of seasonal mood disorder, but (un)fortunately you can only use these conditions in the west to justify being down in the dumps; here people don't take these issues too seriously.
In all seriousness, it's been hard to conjure up any kind of excitement about being in Armenia, and I've discussed it with friends, and I think I'm at the two-year point, where I have to reflect on the last two years, and make some professional decisions for the next two, and that's putting a lot of things under the bright lights of scrutiny.
Part of the problem is that everytime I get out of Armenia, I see the possiblities of what Armenia could be--a country of law and order, functioning systems, and a healthy society. What Armenia is now is a country on its way to becoming one of law and order, a country that's taking a long, hard look at itself, and one that is trying to get some mental and physical exercise to get better, to improve its health. And this, my friends, is a long process, especially when one is socialized to expect instant gratification.
There are many positive things in Armenia--mostly aesthetics...but I'm looking real hard to find what's beneath the surface these days, to make sure that I don't get this urge to leave Armenia for a long time. My friends are great about reminding me about all that's wonderous about Armenia, and they're excellent about reminding me on the value of having good friends in one's life, and those are important right now.
OK, enough of philosophizing...
The winter has been mild--truly mild. In fact I missed the one big snow storm of the season, but I still don't think that it's "warm." I suppose you can take a person out of California, but you can't take California out of them.
The new session of parliament is opening next week. It should be exciting for all the political junkies out there. Check out the new parliament website at www.parliament.am
, it's by far one of the most informative governmental sites in Armenia, and the English and Russian versions are coming along well.
Keep on keeping!