Sunday, December 30, 2001

Well it appears that I�m quite the linguist and didn�t even realize it. Tonight I went to dinner at the Mayor�s house and following dinner, we sat and watched an annual Russian talent contest. As the contest was going, the Mayor�s daughter was asking me how much of the show I was understanding and then told me to name off all the words I knew in Russian. It started with colors and ended with auto parts and household appliances. I came up with 101 words in no time and could have come up with another 101 words with no problem. I gave her an assignment to remember all the words I called out, write them down and translate them into English. So it seems that I�ll be spending my New Years here in Martuni with the Mayor�s family. I�ll drop into a few places, but for the most part, I�ll have dinner at his house and be with his family to welcome in the New Year. I guess I�m now an intricate part of his family, as when I was trying to decide on if to go to Stepanagert this year or stay in Martuni, his mother was concerned as who was going to kill the turkey. She is too old to do it anymore and a couple of years ago taught me how to do it, as no one else in the family can get themselves up to doing it. So when it looked like I was going to maybe go to Stepanagert, she was trying to figure out who she could ask to kill it. Well thank goodness for her sake I will be here for New Years and tomorrow at 11 a.m., I have to go sharpen the ax and read old Tom his last rights.

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