Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 11.36.38 PMBeep, beep, beep….. the alarm clock signaled that it was time to embrace a new day on this Armenian adventure. Bleary eyed I hit the snooze and tried to sneak a few more minutes of sleep before rolling out of bed. Normally I am up well before the alarm sounds but I took advantage of a late night video chat party with my wife and kids. I can’t believe how rapidly the time is passing here. We have already exhausted a week of our time here! After arising and getting ready for the day I enjoyed a couple of pieces of french toast that Ashleigh was kind enough to make for our house, then it was quickly out the door and down to the Yerevan Medical School to resume our preparations for the outreach presentations. The presentations really look great!. Everyone has spent a lot of time polishing their delivery and working with the interpreters so that we can have the type of impact necessary to help advance Armenian healthcare. We watched and critiqued the presenters on their content and execution. Man of us were also working on additional assignments that Dr. Wright had delegated to us. After 6 to 7 hours of run throughs we finally called it a day. With a group as large as ours there are often two separate directions taken. Half of us typically head back to the houses to get changed into more casual clothes, while the other half will head straight to a restaurant to grab some food. I departed with the group heading to the restaurant. It really has been nice getting to know the other members of the group better. I feel that everyone gets along very well. There is never any harsh judgments or unkind words exchanged, and we all seem to associate with multiple members of the group, effectively floating from conversation to conversation without any bias. Telyn and Kyle have been great interpreting for us whenever we have had any questions, and Alec and Tina have also been great in helping the group to get along in foreign circumstances. After we had the opportunity to share dinner at the restaurant we decided to hike the cascades. What a beautiful sight that was. It was fascinating to see how varied each of the sculptures were and to behold the beauty of the cascades from the bottom. The view form the bottom, however, could not hold a candle to the view from the top!! It was absolutely breathtaking! You could see most of Yerevan from where we were able to stand and (according to the tour guide at Zvartnots) Aragat (the sister) must have let her guard down because we could see Mt. Ararat perfectly! We all took the opportunity to get a picture of ourselves looking out over Yerevan with Mt. Ararat in the background. Our evening did not end here though. We decided to walk a little bit further so that we could see the statue of mother Armenia up close. It was well worth the walk! While we were walking Telyn filled us in on the circumstances surrounding the construction of her statue and the destruction of Lenin’s statue there. After another few photos we explored a little bit further and found a free carnival. There were many unique sights at the carnival, like a full size angry birds carnival game, a giant Angelina Jolie mural, and a shooting range with Osama Bin Laden as the main target. After a ride on the ferris wheel for a few of our group and a delicious ice cream treat, we decided it was time to head back to our homes. We hailed a couple of taxis since we had walked so far. Simon, Eric, Blake, and myself shared a cab. Of course we let Blake sit in the front seat since he is so much taller than the three of us. It was a great ride home. The driver of the cab kept asking Blake if he spoke any languages, while speaking in wither Greek or Armenian, and Blake kept saying “uh-huh” or “yeah” while the driver kept talking. This led the driver to ask more and more questions of Blake, who had no idea what the driver was saying, but still he was answering in the affirmative. I wish I could have reached my phone so that I could have recorded the exchange. It was really funny! We really do have an excellent group of people here in Armenia. I believe that through our efforts we will be able to make a difference!

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