Upon arriving it was nice to see familiar Coca Cola and KFC signs; some things are universal. After enjoying breakfast at the Ani Plaza Hotel, we hopped on the tour bus, some of us still asleep, and hit the road! Those napping were awakened by a minor collision between our bus and a taxi. Don’t worry, the situation was 95% dramatic and only 5% destructive; it consisted of a bump and a bus full of people screaming and laughing. We visited the Tumo Center of Creative Technologies and the Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School and Community Center. Visiting these educational centers was truly informative and inspiring. At the school a few children who are insanely musically gifted performed for us. I smiled at one of the young boys and he smiled back and I found that even if I don’t speak Armenian, a smile can say everything. That brought sense of joy and a smile to my face for the rest of the day. It is amazing to see the beautiful work that God is doing through donors, some even from our own church, and through the teachers and volunteers at these schools. God definitely is providing. The education that these children and teens are receiving will help empower them and promote Armenia’s future well-being.
After the educational centers we went on to visit the gorgeous Geghard Monastery and the pagan temple of Garni. The group enjoyed a delicious dinner (except dear Asdghig who fell asleep at the table!) and then headed back to the hotel. It has been a huge blessing to explore Armenia and have these first couple days to learn about our culture! Excited to head to Vanatzor tomorrow and set up our first clinic!