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Eelke Venema
France participant
11 Aug, 2021

Volunteering in Gyumri: Rehabilitation, Gardening and Archeology

3 min read

It was three months ago that I swapped the Grenoble Alps for the rocky region of Gyumri. I was warmly welcomed there by my host family. In addition to making me gain a few pounds, they introduced me to Armenian and the dialect of Gyumri.


Internship


Being a physiotherapist by profession, I volunteer as a physiotherapist in the city's rehabilitation center and at the Emili Aregak center. In the first place, I had the chance to organize a workshop with Teny, a colleague who is also a volunteer in rehabilitation. I also do more manual work: gardening. Recently, I have participated in archaeological excavations in the vicinity of Gyumri.


Gyumri


Gyumri is a very pleasant city to live in: it is not too big, the city center is charming, the surroundings are bucolic. One Sunday, while exploring the countryside with two volunteers, we stopped next to a shepherd near a spring to quench our thirst. First, by exchanging a few small things with the shepherd, I discovered over the course of the conversation that he was a cousin of a distant cousin of mine in France. The world is small ... especially in Armenia!

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