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Vivian Ounjian
United States participant
19 Mar, 2021

What it's Like to Volunteer in Gyumri

What are some opportunities you discovered at your volunteer placements in Gyumri?

How much I loved teaching and spending time with my kids. They gave me a sense of direction of what I want to do with my life so I have decided to get a teaching certificate or degree to continue bringing joy and English to kids. With Nazuk Cafe and Bakery, I had the opportunity to create a website for them and give me the chance to explore another side of me along with helping share Nazuk with all of Gyumri and Armenia.

 

Any stories with locals?

Every time I’m with my kids, it is always a crazy day. Learning new Armenian and Russian words too! We play some games after class and they try teaching me the games too. There was one game that ended up kids pouring water all over each other and all the kids were laughing and running after each other. You don’t see that at all in Canada or America, everyone was enjoying being outside and not glued to their phones (don’t get me wrong they love their phones too) but it was very pleasant to see them at the moment.

 

What did you like the most about Gyumri?

Having people invite their neighbors over for coffee and having these family gatherings with their kids, really made me feel like apart of the family. Even when you meet someone for the first time, they invite you into their home for food and coffee, very hospitable people.

Of course also the dogs, every day I pet a new dog and I even see ones I’ve pet before and they remember me and come up to me all excited. Also, the fact that I found my forever dog here “Bonchik”. I found her on the streets when she was just over a month old, covered in dirt and crying. Now she has grown so much and is full of energy running around and playing and getting bigger and bigger every day.

 

Vivian Ounjian

USA, 2021

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