I've been moved from my previous training barracks to a host family in an outlying village.
Prior to my arrival in Armenia I had heard tales of the legendary kindness and excessive hosting of Armenians. All true. My host mother wears glasses, and I truly believe that they must have some special tint on their lenses that makes all 26 year old american men look emaciated and in need of 13 meals a day. I do not use the term "meals" loosely. I'm talking full on feasts. Within 4 minutes of arrival in my village I had a bowl of bread, cherries, apricots, cucumber, tomatoes, Lavash, 3 types of cheese, some sausage wrapped in cabbage, a big bowl of soup and the enormous shank of some unidentified animal thrust in front of me. Just coming off 5 days of training on how to adapt to a new culture I partook in all that was offered. I have not stopped partaking. Nor has my host mother stopped offering.
The village I live in is small and everyone is very close to one another. Last night my host father, brother and I visited various neighbors and friends. At every single home I am treated as the guest of honor. With this catagorization comes certain responsiblities, namely the consumption of all food offered. This food has thus far included A bowl of bread, cherries, apric...... (see above)...and I forgot to mention ice cream.
For a community that has so little, to offer me so much is very touching, and it speaks to the kindness and hosting prowess of her people.