Thursday, October 13, 2005

We are back in Yerevan after our return from America, which led us to Martuni to get over our jet-lag and for me to catch up with my obligations there.

Due to the high price of gasoline these days, I decided that I would leave my gas-guzzler of a Mercedes in Martuni and took a taxi to Yerevan.

The ride back was very fast and uneventful. We slept most of the way since the night before we had gone to a birthday party for my wife’s cousin who turned 16 and didn’t get home until 1 a.m. Packing didn’t finish until 2:30 a.m.

Before we made our way into Yerevan, one of the passengers in the taxi was dropped off in a village West of Yerevan named Sayat Nova village. It is an former Azeri village and is now populated by refugees from Baku. It seems to be a very large village and the one thing that really stuck out was all the asbestos roofing panels that the majority of houses are using as fencing. It’s quite evident how chipped up and knocked around these panels are. Clearly this village as well as many others are polluted with asbestos fibers. What a mess.

Anyway, it’s great to be back in Yerevan and to find that the gas in our apartment has been turned on. This means no more having to bring in tanks of propane for cooking. Best is that this year we will heat with natural gas, which heats much better than electricity and I’m told will cost us less than half.

I’ll be working for the next couple of weeks on opening our anti-human trafficking coalition office. I did a bunch of the preliminary work while in Martuni by telephone and e-mail, but there is still so much more to do before it will be up and running.

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