Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Weekend

We are finally all sleeping through the night, and are for the most
part all in good health. We celebrated our first week here by a
family trip into the city. We traveled by Mashutka, an old russian
passenger van with 11 actual seats but normally hold about 20 people!
The fare is 100 drams ~ $0.35 as far along it's route as you want to
ride it. (We have since learned that for our family a taxis are much
better since the min. fare of 600 dram, ~$2 would take us faster and
further and to more places than the shuttle.) Since I am on
transportation the subway system is also excellent, clean, temperate,
and cheep 50 drams ~$0.16 per ride.
So we arrived at the Vernesage which is the most famous open air
craft market in Armenia. There you can find everything hand carved,
woven, painted, sculpted, etc. We had a nice walk and then ate lunch
at the City Diner, serving hamburgers, fries, salads, and other
American food, it was founded by an Armenian woman from Glendale.
This was a treat as our bill was equal to all of the groceries and
supplies we bought during the week.
Sunday was interesting, as we got to church promptly at 11 am "the
time that all churches in Armenia start" as my cousin instructed, only
to participate in the last 10 minutes of prayer before, the service
that started at 9:30, was ending. So we walked 15 minutes to another
church, where the doors were locked and people were not to be found.
Jonelle and the kids returned home and my cousins and I went to the
Car Bazar to look for a vehicle.
Imagine a giant parking lot the size of a couple of football fields,
then imagine cars covering every possible square foot of it with
little rhyme or reason to why or where cars are parked. Trash,
littered the muddy ground, the freezing air smelled of khorovads
(BBQ), and the sound of revving engines and bartering filled our
ears. Approach a car, window rolls down, "what year," "how much," and
on to the next one. We were looking for a Russian (I hesitate to say
SUV because it is so small) mini SUV, the Nivas are all white, and
maybe 10 on the hilltop parking lot. The fourth one we saw fit our
budget and condition. Meeting up with the owner we continued the test
drive and looked under the car. It passed the test and we gave the
owner half of the money and he kept half of the paper work until we
transfer ownership the next day and we took the car. I struggled to
keep up with my cousin, as I drove without proper documentation, past
about 10 police, dodging potholes and people, driving and passing
without the benefit of marked lanes, all in a strange vehicle. It was
a little stressful to say the least, I made it.
We will host our family at our apartment Tuesday night to celebrate
the new car and express our gratitude to them for extending such
tremendous hospitality.


Cindy Freeman said...

Hi Kazarians,

I am sorry I didn't get to give you all a hug goodbye before you all left. I finally got hold of your website address; Nikki Fiestal emailed it to me. I had searched "Armenia Hope" on google as well as the HFH site but I couldn't find anything about your project. So now i've got the connectiona and am glad to stay updated. Blessings on you all.

Curious George said...

We have NPF on Saturday, 5:30. Please bring some authentic Armenian food.
See you then,

Mick Fuller said...

do you need an Armenian DL there?
I told Charles and Lillian that Judi was feeling a little homesick so Charles prayed for her last night.
How much longer before you can start to build?

Janet said...

Hi there Kazarians -
WOW - a car - YEA!~!!
Now you are on a roll!!
Jonelle - let me know if Judi needs a penpal from the U.S. - Jaclynn would love to write her!!!

Hugs & Prayers & Blessings from the Kiessling family from Fresno, California

Garo Family said...

Praying for you, missing you, and loving you.

Karen G. said...

Add us to that penpal request. I don't think Gia's ever had a penpal. Although she DOES have a "Flat Stanley" (tell me you know the book) that she made at school, and that she's supposed to send away so that friends and family can take him on exciting adventures (where, of course, they take photos with Stanley before sending him back to Canada). Let me know if you'd be game for a very flat visitor. I'm sure her "Stanley" would be the best travelled in her class!

Love you guys...
xxxxx Karen