Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 11.38.50 PMToday’s experience started off like a typical day, working with our Armenian interpreters and going through our presentations, etc. Then as the day rounded after 17:30, we were excused and allowed to walk around. Many of us went to get Indian food, where I met a nice Japanese lady that either owned or cooked for the place. We chatted for a little bit and she shared with me some wines that were made in different villages in Armenia and also shared a sample of her coffee liquor that she had personal concocted. As we talked about alcohol and eventually asked what had brought me to Yerevan and I told her of what we were there for. She sounded very excited about sharing with me some of her thoughts. She started to share with me about the typical Armenian diet and how much salt the people like to consume. She talked about the cheeses, the water, the meats, near everything contained an exorbitant about of salt. The Japanese lady talked about the mass amounts of carbohydrates in a typical Armenian diet, due to all the breads consumed. She also mentioned that because of the harsh winters and the lack of money, which forces Armenians to pickle many vegetables during the wintertime. Because of the cold and snow and the lack of money, this also contributes to the increased intake of high-salt meals. But what I found most interesting, is that she talked about how many of the poor people of Armenia are not able to eat meat regularly, and those that do, may do so once or twice a week. However, she also mentioned that the people here are poor, yet they wear the latest fashion, dress very well, males and females, and drive nice cars. It was interesting to hear the echoes of Dr. Wright, about Armenians and their priorities in life. Just as we had learned in class, this is often the case. They are showy, yet they may live from day to day, whether not they eat is a different matter…

What I hope to get the most out of us coming here is that we can continue to plant the seed of healthy living and to get the Armenian people thinking more about their health. This is definitely an uphill climb, but with all these efforts and students who want to make a change, things are at least progressing towards a healthier and more sustainable future for the Armenian people.

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