All of my life I have dreamed about someday visiting Armenia. This summer my dream has finally come true! Thanks to CYMA, I have had the wonderful opportunity to visit my homeland, and all of its wonderful beauty. Armenia is everything that I have expected it to be, and so much more! As soon as the plane touched the ground I knew that I was finally home.
Coming to Armenia was always a dream for me that I was never able to make into a reality until this year. I am finally able to tell my family and friends that I have seen my Homeland. Although I was a very spiritual person before this trip, I have certainly deepened my love for the Armenian Church and God by coming to Armenia.
Looking back at the past month I have to say this CYMA trip has been very humbling and enlightening.
The most impactful part of our trip for me so far has been the visit to the Tzovinar village in the Martuni region. The culture in the village amongst the residents was unlike anything I've ever experienced before.
When my father first offered to send me to Armenia, I was extremely exited. He always stressed to me that I needed to be proud of being Armenian but I never quite knew why. I had a lot of ideas about what it would be like to be in my home country. Once I got here I quickly realized that I underestimated everything. The first thing I noticed was the smell. The air is so clean in this country, I felt like I can breathe for the first time. When we arrived at our house and was able to really sit down and get to know the people we were on this pilgrimage with I was surprised.
When I arrived at the Specialized Children's Home of Kharberd with three other CYMA participants, I knew very little about the institution. With slight trepidation, I walked up the ramp at the entrance of the "mangadoon" (orphanage), and so my nine-day, eye-opening experience began. Upon walking into the first room with disabled children, a girl waddled up to me and tightly wrapped her arms around my legs - I struggled to swallow my tears while I stroked her hair and patted her on the back as comfortingly as I could.