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AYF-YOARF Eastern Region USA / News  / My Javakhk Experience – U. Tamar Alexanian

My Javakhk Experience – U. Tamar Alexanian

After years of participating in youth seminars, attending Saturday school, sitting through Sunday church services and hearing my Medzmama’s countless stories in broken English, I finally had the opportunity this summer to visit the country I’ve felt a deep connection to since before I can remember.  On the plane ride to Armenia, I felt giddy with expectations.  At eighteen, I felt too old to be visiting for the first time; all of my other friends having already visited and feeling that deep connection to our homeland.  Finally, I now had the opportunity to go to Armenia and Javakhk to work with the underprivileged children there.

Working with the children of Javakhk was, indeed, a rewarding experience.  During that time, I worked harder than I’d ever worked before—working with the children, speaking with the parents, deciphering the dialect differences between my Armenian and theirs.  I took pictures, cut out masks, taught songs, practiced dances, and fed twenty-eight mouths for a week and a half.  I learned about rotting teeth, the lack of hygiene, and only having a few pieces of clothing.  I also learned that “waiting in line” was an impossible concept to teach.

My experience in Javakhk is an experience I will never forget for countless reasons.  But mostly because of the children that touched my lives and the AYF experience of a lifetime.

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