Peace Corps service is full of accomplishments. Every volunteer has their own reasons for serving and every volunteer has different struggles and victories during their service.
Over the course of my time in Armenia, I will be doing a series called Success Stories. This series will highlight my accomplishments as a volunteer and hopefully show my progress over the course of two years.
Here are my successes during my time in PST:
- Learning to work the washing machine. It’s in Russian. It really loud and pretty scary. But somehow I manage to use it and have semi clean clothes on a regular basis.
- Finding conditioner. Again, all the beauty products are in Russian (which have I mentioned, I don’t know and we aren’t learning!?) Somehow I found a bottle in English, thankfully.
- Finding yarn. One of my favorite hobbies is knitting. However I didn’t bring any yarn to Armenia with me. With the help of a current volunteer, I found the only store that sells yarn in our PST hub site. I also found the yarn store in Yerevan. I may be excited but my bank account isn’t.
- Navigating Yerevan. I’ll be honest, I’m AWFUL with directions. I’ve been known to get lost in my hometown. in America. So navigating the capital city of Armenia seemed like a daunting task. However, I am happy to say that after spending a few afternoons there, I can manage relatively well. Sometimes I cheat and use a map, but its still harder than simply being able to ask Siri to get me where I need to go.
- Taking public transportation. Before coming to Armenia, my public transportation experience (in the U.S. and overseas) was very limited. Figuring out bus routes, bus stops and how to pay was very daunting to me. Since coming to Armenia I have taken three forms of public transportation: mini buses, regular buses and taxis. Although the schedules and routes (or lack thereof) still confuse me, I am now confident in my ability to at least get from my site to Yerevan in a timely and almost painless manner.
- Passing my Language Proficiency Interview. In order to swear in as an official Peace Corps Volunteer, I had to complete an oral Language Proficiency Interview (LPI) in Eastern Armenia. I am so happy to say that I passed two levels above the requirement to be a volunteer. Language lessons were many hours of hard work and it is wonderful to know that it has paid off in my ability to communicate.
Stay tuned for my list of summer successes as I move to my permanent site!