I guess I was naive in the summer of 2005. Or simply unobservant.
Every morning at 10:30 am I take a 20-minute walk down Tumanyan to arrive at the ArmeniaNow office. Besides to sweat in the blistering sun, this brief stroll allows me to soak in Armenian lifestyle and culture. I do love it. But sometimes I feel as if people are missing the point.
I feel like people put their energy into meaningless tasks, or simply don’t use their energy at all, when there is so much that can be done. A man was sitting on the sidewalk today cutting grass with an oversized pair of scissors. I estimate that he spent 25 minutes cutting 1 centimeter off the top of a 5x5ft patch of grass. A waiter was sitting outside of his restaurant wiping the menu’s down with a towel when there were customers waiting for service. The inconvenient construction on Abovyan Street was occurring in 2005, is still occurring, and has undergone very little progress. It just all seems so ironic.
Armenia is taking steps forward, but they are baby steps. Everything could be done more efficiently. There is so much manpower here, but no one knows what to do with it. On my way home from work a few days ago, I stopped for a quick bite. There was literally 7 employees “working”, and I was the only customer. One man took my order, and it took 20 minutes to prepare my salad, while the remaining 6 employees conversed while sitting at their round table. I was in no hurry, so I did not mind waiting. But like I said, it was ironic.
I visited Orran, the day care center for which I volunteered in 2005, and I was conversing with one of the employees there. He asked me to explain why America was so much richer than Armenia. Besides the obvious, I explained to him American work ethic. I said that Americans work long hours and they work unbelievably hard. He gave me a blank stare and responded, “And we don’t?” Once again, it was ironic.
On another note, I am thoroughly enjoying my internship. I have many exciting assignments lined up, and you can see them soon at ArmeniaNow.com. I encourage everyone to read this paper frequently, as it is very informative about happenings in Armenia.
Also, according to the Public Radio of Armenia, today (Wednesday, June 27) is ANCA National Call-In Day for American Armenians to urge Congress to pass the Armenian Genocide Resolution. Make a difference and call in! Visit www.anca.org for more information.