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Goodbye Armenia

1 Sep

I was able to change my flight to Sunday from Saturday – giving myself one day for my self to take in the last sights of Ararat and Yerevan. Of course Mt. Ararat refused to show itself, hopefully tomorrow when i take off in the morning. It was a perfect day – complete with breakfast in bed, exercise,  food and more food, walk around, visit my favourite church and drive around in the rain.

Today was a perfect end to my last week which was packed with goodbyes to my donor partners, my Ministry counterparts and our implementing partners. We shared common vision and challenges and recognised that there is so much potential and need to to do so much more.

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I am not going to say any parting words as i know i will be back in Armenia, as a tourist.

Empty houses

1 Sep

All is gone. Flowers and memories remain. My day was packed with goodbyes to wonderful colleagues and friends. I will miss being here. Right now on my balcony, near full moon, clear sky after a bit of a storm and the city bright and alive.

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Three more days left in Armenia

28 Aug

The day started normal enough with a working breakfast and then the packers arrived and nothing was normal. With each item that was packed away, i bid farewell to my time in Armenia.  i have enjoyed my three plus years, made friends that will be friends for awlwasy, travelled to the near and far places in Armenia and hopefully my work and efforts made a difference. Time will tell. 

We started the pack out with some celeberations with my staff, Varia and Hamlet who have been with me on this tour and when i was here before 12 years ago. Some shots of my pack out – hope all of this makes it to my condo in Madison. 

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Saying good bye to Armenia

21 Aug

The reality of my departure started to set in with my going away party organized by my Armenian staff.  I spent the next evening taking down paintings and photographs, some of them taken by me of places i had been too – some by artists i know. Another chapter in my life comes to a close.  These memories will stay with me for ever. But with each image that i removed from the wall, a part of me re-lived the moment and i wished that i did not have to do this.  

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Packing and moving

18 Aug

Working in international development means  having to move every couple of years.  Its emotionally draining to say goodbyes to friends. It’s heartbreaking not knowing if you will see them again.  My plan is to leave quietly and pretend that I am just going away for a short trip. What makes it bearable is social media. You know you will stay in touch and not dependent on having to write letters that might take months to cross the oceans or may not get to their destinations, as was the case in the good old days.

Leaving my great balcony with a wonderful view of Mt. Ararat is going to be very hard. Not to mention the many wonderful images of people and scenes

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Mashtot Market

13 Aug

My life has not been the same since.  On Sundays when the light was just right and floating through the great windows of the Mashtot market, is when i used to go to buy some dried fruits and take pictures.   Will that light return and will it ever  be alive with fresh and dried fruits again,  and where are the vendors who use to sell there?.  My Qs for the day.

How much money is enough for reforms

31 Jul

I read today that the Armenian President believes that there is not enough money by donors to implement long lasting structural reforms. For being amongst one of the countries that receives the highest assistance per capita, i started to wonder how much is enough. A bigger question that comes to my mind is “how much is enough for political will”, some reforms dont take much money. Just a thought.

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