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Letter 20: Hazarapet, the Thyme Entrepreneur (DRAFT)

December 2004
Hazarapet Nazaryan is Mosso Nazaryan’s elder brother and the family’s patriarch.
I met Mosso in 2003 when I had given-up on getting proper water pressure in the castle. Arsen from Vayk said he’d take me to the water authority’s boss and we took a taxi there. The boss was not there, but his brother Mosso was there. After hearing my plea, he said come with me, let’s go see what we can do. We rode in his 4x4 russian vehicle and drove up to the castle. On the way he stopped in some employees’ houses, the much feared water baron for my part of town and told him he was going to get me water. Sure enough, he opened a few water holes, opened and shut a few large taps and when we got to the castle, I had water. Mosso was simply concerned that a diasporan ‘guest’ in Yeghegnadzoe had no water.
He accepted no gift, hardly a drink for celebration. Samson later confirmed that he had been in a heated discussion with his brother (Hazarapet, the boss) and that got him nowhere.
This time …

Letter 19: Haikouhi’s mother’s plea (Incomplete DRAFT)

We are now in November, the days are getting shorter and less hot, very pleasant if you ask me, but cooler for local Armenians. Two years ago, 'Makour Yerevan', the project originally sponsored by the Tufenkian Foundation had chosen to move the volunteer street cleaning time from the usual 10:30 am to a more reasonable 1:30 p.m. starting time, thus avoiding cool weather for the volunteers (many of whom are school children). The usual get-together following the street cleaning effort was also moved to an indoor location (the Youth Center in downtown Yerevan – a decrepit building in downtown Yerevan, whose elaborate façade and sculptures prove that it had seen better days in Soviet times). That Saturday afternoon, Haro Setian, an energetic young volunteer from South Carolina, had brought a large group of orphans from the Zatik orphanage (the kids who make the Christmas cards I sold in Ottawa). The Zatik orphans performed a song & dance show for us while we were offered the u…

Letter 18: Vayots Dzor's & Syunik's Abraham Srbazan (DRAFT)

Octobre 2004

I was so surprised to find a brand new building in downtown Yeghegnadzor when I returned from Ottawa this October. It is beautiful; its architecture is inspired from Tamanian’s Yerevan and Venice’s Palazzo Ducale.

I was told it was the new Yeghegnadzor University, which had been build by the Primate of the diocese for the Provinces of Vayots Dazor and Syunik, Abraham Srpazan (Bishop Abraham).

There was nothing in that spot last December when we left, and the building was now in use for the school year. Although cranes were still there and construction was continuing. Judging by the length of time it was taking us to “renovate” our B&B/House, I was impressed by this building’s realization and was eager to meet Abraham Srpazan, brief him on our activities and offer him our collaboration and any services we could perform.

I learned that the Srpazan is from Rind (pronounced rrind, as in ring), a small village some 20 kms from our home in Yeghegnadzor, off of the Silk Road…