We are preparing to leave Armenia. I hope we can come back some day.

I had the good fortune to meet Margaret's family, people she grew up with and who grew up with her. Her nephews Avo and Harut, their wives Liana and Gohar, her niece Margarita and all the kids, Mos, Habet , Milena, Silva, and Katerina. Of course, Margaret's sister-in-Law Silva was sooooo nice to us. I have found new family. Even though I do not speak their language and they do not speak mine, we understood what it means to be part of a family and I was made to feel very much a part of their family. I found everyone to be loving, kind and very family oriented. They welcomed us with open arms. I am sure they would have done anything for us; we only needed to ask, but Margaret did not want to impose. It would be great if they could come to visit us some day.

We also got to meet Tatev's friend Emma. She is a beautiful and talented person. Tatev's aunt and cousin had us over for dinner one night too. The whole family is in the medical profession. They have a big house in the hills of Yerevan with great views of some of the more significant monuments. They were very welcoming and we had a nice time with them.

The wedding party consisted of Margaret's great niece Svetlana and her family. They had us over for dinner after Svetlana got back from her 3 day honeymoon and it was wonderful to spend time with them and talk to them about life in Armenia. Svetlana lives in Paris and leaves for home soon.

In our travels around the city and outside, we saw many different kinds of people and many different sights. In the city, the infrastructure is in a variable state. In some places, it is very good, in others, it is very bad. However, the people go about their business day after day without complaint. Everyone we encountered whether on the street or in a shop or at a swap meet type place was courteous and pleasant. Overall, the Armenian people are wonderful.

I got to go to the local courthouse and watch a short criminal proceeding. I did not understand what they were saying, but I knew exactly what was happening. The prosecutor was not ready to proceed and requested additional time. The judge was inclined to grant the request, but the defense attorney wanted to go forward. He argued well for his client, but in the end, the case got put over for 2 months to accommodate the schedules of the prosecutor and the judge. Curiously, the attorney dressed only in slacks and a polo shirt. No suit or tie. Margaret and I sat in the audience for the short hearing. I tried to get a word with the judge, but he was too busy, but I got to speak with the defense attorney. He was frustrated that his client had to wait for justice. courthouse wedding dress

Overall, my impression of the country is a good one. It has a deep and storied history, worthy of telling. The people have suffered great hardships and have persevered and overcome despite the hardships. They have built monuments to the success of the nationality and culture of which they are justifiably proud. I know that Margaret, Kristine, and Michael are proud of their heritage and I am glad the kids got the opportunity to come her to see it in person and that Margaret got the opportunity to come back after being gone for so long. I am happy I was able to be a part of that as well. I will go home satisfied that I have had one of the great experiences of my life.