Come here often?
a) Election turmoil. Since I remember the immediate fear and reactionary caution people take in the US when hearing of any conflict taking place around the world, I can only assume that parents of these volunteers and tourists are taking precautions. My reaction: unnecessary. My mother is the most cautious, but there's no other way to say it than this... Armenia is safe as it was before. There is nothing to fear unless you plan on giving up your US passport, taking on only Armenian citizenship, becoming a journalist and protesting publicly and daily against the government. Even then, you're not likely to see a reaction unless you rally thousands of people to join you.
b) Been there, done that. There was a boom in diasporan travels to Armenia. It seems everyone has made their journey and are content with just that. That's good and all, but there is a lot more to do than what most people achieved in their 2 week visits, including extreme tourism such as hiking, biking, camping, and even hand gliding, skydiving (i think they do that here), etc. I just heard about a few Polish guys planning on visiting a second time specifically do complete the full Karabagh Janapar (www.janapar.org). It might not be for everybody, but there certainly is much to do that you might not have achieved the first time around.
c) Booming Prices. Can't argue with you there, many of us repats struggle the most with this since our local salaries barely reached the cost of 1 flight a year plus rent, etc. Food prices are through the roof and even eating at home and being cost efficient isn't helping us make ends meet. For this I have no answer, this depends on each individual. Sorry.
d) The Novelty is Over. What was it in the first place that we lost anyway? I've been fighting with this for so long. Back in the days when things were so much more tasking, difficult and uncomfortable, most people seemed to enjoy their visits more. Somehow the experience of just "being in Armenia" sent chills down one's spine. Now I see more and more people who spent months out of the year in Armenia, just packing their bags early and putting their houses back on the market for sale. Sorry, I'll remind you, I share the cold harsh truth here, don't look to me for complete optimism and sugar-coating. It's true. Lots of loyal repats and visitors are turning away. The rest of us feel it and are pained by the reality. So it's not a utopia, we finally figured it out. But as I stated in a previous blog, most of the vibe here is based on our mentality about it... It's still a great place to live, if for nothing else, the amazing people you meet every year from all walks of life... that and the AMAZING nature.
So, friends... to conclude, come here often? Come here MORE often. :) And yes, book progress is coming along.