I know I haven't written much about Armenia, and I have to be honest, it's mostly because I keep forgetting to transfer my photos from my external hard drive to this computer and I always remember when I'm at school or somewhere without the hard drive, so anyway, I'm not going to put it off any longer! These photos are just the ones that I got printed, so they were on my computer, not that this is important and now I'm just rambling...
Anyway, whenever I talk to someone about our trip to Armenia, they always talk about it like "what a great learning experience!" This is a pretty common phrase I hear tossed around with international trips like this, and I was just thinking the other day -- what does that actually mean? So for me, I wanted to make a list of things I feel like I learned from traveling across the globe to Armenia this summer.
1. ALWAYS make sure that there is running water in the bathroom before squirting soap into your hand.
2. Some people in Armenia (and potentially other places in the world of course) believe that drinking too much water can give you diabetes/make you obese.
3. Clean air is a great privilege and I am grateful that I don't have doctors who smoke in the patient room.
4. The amount of food and water you need to get through a day is really quite less than you think you do. Also sleep.
5. There really is nothing to do when you wake up at 4:30 in the morning and you don't have internet and can't speak the language.
6. At hospitals in Armenia, you bring your own surgical supplies! And the whole family comes and its like a week-long affair (at least).
7. I also learned where the heck Armenia is, which was a pretty big step
8. Global health is a big field with lots of room to grow. But before we go in to another country and start telling them everything they should do, I think its important to evaluate what is important to them as a people, what their current understanding is, and if they even want our help.
8. Armenia was the first ever country to adopt Christianity! Bet you didn't know that one. And it was all because a guy was locked in a pit for 13 years and he made a deal to turn the king back to a human (he was a pig, apparently).
9. All fruit represent fertility
10. It is possible to walk in high heels in many more locations and much more varied terrain than you may believe. Uneven, rocky sidewalks, up mountain sides to ancient churches, and in the snow? You betcha. The Armenian women can do it, and they make it look eaaaasssyyyy.
12. Traveling in a large group can be incredibly frustrating, especially when no one speaks the language or knows where they want to go! I don't think I will ever want to travel in a group of 6+ ever again...or at least for a while!
13. The U.S. is great at a lot of things, and we are also pretty terrible at a lot of things. And that's how it is everywhere -- every place has some great qualities and some things they can work on, and it would just be great if we could all help each other out every now and then.