About my life in Armenia, about being a mom and an activist, working for women's rights.
The challenges and benefits of raising a family in a post-soviet republic.
Finding a place, my place and calling it HOME.


Parks and playgrounds rated by my kids

Yerevan has nice parks and some of them are really interesting for kids and others are not so friendly. Since we decided to spend the summer here this year, we tested most of the popular ones. In this post, I will present my kids’ most preferred green(or not so) areas of Yerevan and one in Ashtarak town.

The process of selection:
After going regularly to most of these places, I sat with my kids today and asked them to rate which one they liked and why? Opinions were different, so you will see at the end of each park the ratings provided by each – (A for  11 yrs old Amassia, V for 9 year old Varanta and Vk for 6 year old Vayk)
Based on their suggestions we formed a chart for parks in our area, here it is:


The “boks” or the hospital of angry nurses

Right after the birth and especially when it is a c-section, you need to spend some time in the intensive care unit that here, we call the “boks” in Russian, for me it sounded like the “box” and looked really like one. 
During my first birthing experience in Armenia at the Erebuni Hospital in 2005, that “boks” was awful. It was a big room with 10-12 beds. Instead of curtains, the windows were painted in brown so the sun doesn’t bother the patients. There was an old soviet era refrigerator in one corner which was making a horrific trembling sound every 5 minutes or so while water was dripping constantly from the faucet beside the door where I had to spend 10 long dreadful hours. When you just had surgery all these noises sound even worse.  To all this, add the moans of women in pain and their pleas for help, morphine, or something to drink. However, I was trying to concentrate on the idea of meeting my baby and trying to forget all the pain in and around me



The day had come; I was going to experience my 2nd childbirth in Armenia, this time in another hospital. I had Vayk my 3rd at Erebuni Hospital. And today I was heading to the republican one.

It was 8 am and the doctor was waiting for me at the entrance. After paying the fees for the room and registering, we took the elevator to the 4th floor to put everything in our room. Then the doctor came with a half-asleep nurse who explained what I needed to do before the operation. This was my 4th child and I was here for a scheduled c-section.  The nurse installed the IV and asked me to sit and relax until they finish injecting 2 bags of fluids to prevent dehydration during the operation.


Armenian Pregnancy chronicles #4

It has been a hectic month with the holidays and the many projects going on at the Women’s Center, I became lazy and ended up not blogging at all.

I am now 35 weeks pregnant and starting to feel heavy and exhausted. To keep myself active and healthy I am going to prenatal yoga classes at Shoonch. It is helping me a lot physically and morally, and giving me some quiet time away from home and work.

Just before the session (I arrive early, most of the time) I sit quietly in one corner and wait for the other participants to arrive. It is actually an interesting time, where Armenian pregnant women gather in one space, sit comfortably, caressing their bellies exchanging information, comparing pregnancy symptoms, doctors and mother-in-laws’ unnecessary (and sometimes scary) advices. In Armenia, it is very common that mother-in-laws will take care of everything once the bride is pregnant; choosing the doctor and escorting her to prenatal visits, deciding what she can do and what she can't, what to wear and what not. The husband becomes secondary and a little detached from the whole process.