After almost over five full weeks since the start of CYMA 2007, the CYMA pilgrims have returned from their spiritual journey with a fresh and new perspective. Their pictures and blogs show the abundance of their journey and highlight all of the amazing heartfelt experiences they have been witness too. Check out some of their blogs: Arman's Blog, Rose's Blog, Armine's Blog, Artsakh, and Armenia Through the Eyes of a Pilgrim.
Meanwhile, still in Hayastan, the interns are in the midst of enhancing their new perspective with their jobs, their excursions and the daily excitement of life in Yerevan. All of the blogs have been excellent that have surfaced from just a few of our interns. Whether its about their internships, traveling, or just reflection in general, it's safe too say the interns are on the right track with exploring their Armenia.
With the five weeks that have passed so far, this exploration into our theme "Bridge the Gap" has begun to take shape. Our interns are beginning to understand our lofty mission and theme. Here are a few excellent quotes that have been passed down along the way.
"Going to the museums and monuments have really inspired me and touched me. I’ve never been one who likes writing non-fiction, but I’ve been taking notes and pictures everyday; once I get home, I’m going to start writing as much as I possibly can about Armenia. That will be the first book I have published, I promise." Mary Keutelian - I Don't Want to Leave Yet
As individuals we should find our own path, we build our own bridges through our experiences, and we should give back to Armenia where we see ourselves contributing best. The only ones in charge of the knowledge we gain from this trip is ourselves. Lena Rakijian, - Why are we Here
"...Genatz to this persistent nation whose ways I’m slowly learning, loving and growing more attached to. The cool thing is, if everyone has a day like I had yesterday where you learn where you came from and how you’re ancestors moved and how your Family survived, lived and grew in other places. You win, and they still lose, whoever they may be at this present time." Vaughn Eyvazian - Julfa. Golden Apricot
"I have been observing Armenians since the minute my plane landed. Their main focus is detail, and although it may hinder them from a quicker development, I love watching and seeing the outcomes of their hard work. " Alene Tcekmedyian - The Talent, the Hope, the Passion
"The last problem that I found particularly disturbing was the apathy expressed by most villagers in regards to the betterment of their respective villages. Most wanted change, they asked and beseeched us for a variety of things, but some seemed hesitant or even opposed to undertaking remedies for the problems they had outlined. It was almost as if they had lost hope, as if they had forgotten the strength in themselves." Alex Giragozian - "Reflections on a Trip to Tavoush"
"At this moment, I felt a rush of emotion come over me and realized why I am so proud to be Armenian and to be a Christian. Everyone in the church no longer was Beirutzi, Hayastanci or Bolsahye but ARMENIAN. All one in the same coming together to share in our culture’s religion and history." Sarah Mergeanian - Etchmiadzin
Each of these quotes from our bloggers are both explicitly and implicitly brilliant and highlight the growth that can only come by experiencing Armenia. Great job Bloggers, you all are awesome and we love to come and read your blogs each day. Keep it up and continue to enlighten us.
To all of the CYMA interns, I am proud of each you... you are all amazing, you are accomplishing amazing things and I know that with three weeks to go there is still much you will learn and gain from this experience. With these last few weeks, I want to challenge you to make the most of you time left, and of course, actively seek to Bridge the Gap. It's not a matter of what you are doing, where you are, or who you are with.
For some, you might be thinking this bridge the gap thing is crazy. Where is this bridge and what gap?
Well, you are the bridge... You are the bridge. Each of these quotes are an example of this and demonstrate what you are all capable of. It's not just meeting new people, but about creating lasting relationships with people. It's swallowing everything your experiencing and them implementing your new experience into your daily thinking. You are seeing more than most have seen and have the opportunities that others have not. Your broader understanding of the church, the people, the government, the culture is all at a higher level. What are you going to do with this while you are still there? What about when you return home?
Secondly, what is this gap? The gap is everything that is new and exciting, or different or strange. It's the combo of the so much history, politics, society, and attitudes. But, how do you process it and how do you act on it. All it takes is that one moment.... That one moment where everything becomes clear and understood, and your focus seems to be unbreakable. It's your warm smile. It's your friendly reaction. It's that gift from across the world. It's just you being you.
So, to all the interns, the CYMA staff, and all the friends we have made along the way... Be the Bridge.
Be the Bridge...