Being involved in the 2012 Javakhk Jampar was by far my most rewarding life experience to date. Living together with new and old friends in an unfamiliar environment and creating lifelong ties was just scratching the surface of how worthwhile the trip was for me. What I saw in Javakhk was not what I expected at all. From the breathtaking scenery to all the loving and accepting people we met in the towns, I felt a sense of belonging that you feel walking into any Armenian home. The best part of the experience for me was working with the kids. Even though they made me want to tear my hair out at times, they taught me so much and made me feel so appreciated and I can never thank them enough for it. Not to mention, they always keep me laughing and excited to see what they would do next.
If I had the opportunity to go back I definitely would. The combination of time spent in Yerevan preparing before, the actual Jampar in Javakhk, and the time spent celebrating, reconvening, and relaxing in Yerevan after made this the best trip I have ever taken. A lot of work went into making this program run and a lot of work needs to be put back into it to become better each year. Unfortunately I will be unable to attend this year due to work but I am willing to help out in any way I can and I hope the AYF communities and the Armenian communities of America will also be willing to lend the same hand.
I would like to take this opportunity to fulfill the wish of an elderly man I spoke to daily at a park in Akhalkalak where the kids played soccer. He told me he was very proud of me and that we are always welcome to come back and encourages all Armenians to come visit and to never forget that the Javakhktzis are still there. His parting words to me which I would like to share with all of you are: “Bolor Hayeroun Barevee.” So from Javakhk to America, Hello.