Monday, January 29

Hiv-info in Armenian schools

Some 70 pupils and students in Vayat Dzor region learned about hiv/aids from the Red Cross Youth during December.

Together with some of the local volunteers we visited schools in Yeghegnadzor, Vayk and Jermuk. I had meetings/seminar with the volunteers and we also visited the Medical college in Vayat Dzor region within the framework of "Bridges of friendship" (Active Choice/Aktivt valg i Norge).

We had activities/games and discussions about hiv/aids and STIs to raise more knowledge among youth. In addition to give information, our aim with the school visits are to make it easier to discuss sexual health and condoms and to prevent stigma against those who are hiv-positive.

These goals we try to achieve through activities such as the "High risk/low risk/now risk" activity. The participants have to make up their mind how risky it is to have sex without a condom, kiss an hiv-positive, drink of the same glass as an hiv-positive, get a tatoo, hiv-mother breast feeding her child, blood donation at a hospital in Armenia and so on. The participants have to stand on the "risk note" they feel is correct for them and give arguments for the choice.

We also had open question rounds, hiv X-word and we gave out leaflets about hiv/aids.

But I guess I scared some of the girls in Jermuk when I told them about STIs. I tried to give the information in a neutral way, but I guess the info about risk of sterility (Chlamydia and Gonoreha) and open sores (herpes) that can never be cured made a great impression on young girls...

Hopefully, the info they got from us can help them to take care of their sexual health in the future.

Tuesday, January 23

Bari 2007!!!

I was lucky 2 spend my last day in 2006 with a charming Armenian family in Yerevan and our friend Fouad Achiba de la France.

Ingrediens: Armenian dishes, so many that you could not see the coulor of the table.... (Shat hamova!!) Armenian music, Armenian dances and other dances, Armenian wine, Russian vodka...presents...

I got a new pair of jeans and silvery bracelets from my dear Red Cross sisters Emma and Lia. They got a photo album from Kaja and me: a lot of pictures from our stay in Armenia with our new friends. They loved it!

At midnight we started eating, and of course we had many toasts. At 1 am we toasted for our friends in Mosow, and 2 hours later we drank for Norway and France. After all this we danced... shat fun!

We also danced with the cute teddy bears and the mice in the house... You can see one of them behind Emma...

Monday, January 15

Vi var paa TV....

The youth channel Nor Alik in Yerevan invited us for a talk about Beads for needs and Norwegian youth exchange in December. It was fun being on air, all in all for almost an hour!!

Emma from the office and the leader of the Beads, Metax, told about the Bead project during the first half hour, starting at 10 am while me and Kaja waited in the producer room....

After a couple of music videoes and commercials it was our turn.... We talked about this and that, the Red Cross youth exchange program, what we liked and disliked in Armenia and so on... We talked a bit in Armenian, but mostly in English. Emma was the translator for the viewers...

And here comes the golden corn from Kaja: (gullkorn altsaa.....)

When the host Samuel asked if we could speak Armenian, Kaja wanted to answer "mi kitch" which means "a bit" in English. But what really came out of her mouth live on air was: "Mi BITCH"!!! :::))) Of course we laughed... And of course we will never let her forget it... ;)

105 000 AMD!!!!

We sold Beads for needs-jewelleries for more than 100 000 AMD on our exhibition/sale in December. I have already given our inance-queen Lia a kiss.....

105 000 AMD is more than 1 800 NOK, a lot of money in Armenia!! But we had to pay taxes, some 25 pst, and of course the material and beads are not for free....

Some of the money we raised will be used for bus transportation for more than 30 kids from the dormitories when they are going to the Puppet theatre later this week!

We did not manage to sell all the items, but the Norwegian council, Mr Tim Straight, wants to cooperate with us, and we gave the left overs + some new items to his shop in Yerevan. Hopefully people will buy them there as well.... And we are planning a new sale, either for Valentines day or for Womens day! :) STAY TUNE for more beads!

Christmas party for tatiks and papiks

Kaja and me celebrated our Christmas eve with almost 20 eldery and many Red Cross volunteers from Armenia. It was a Christmas eve we will remember for the rest of our lifes.

The group that Kaja initiated managed to collect 17 000 AMD from local shops and firms. It is almost 300 NOK, and the money we spent on sandwiches, fruits, candy, drinks and Christmas decorations.

The guests were elderly with little money, and many of them are refugees from Asjerbajdsjan. They really appreciated the event, and thanked us many times with both nice words and many hugs.

During the day we sang songs (among them the Christmas carol "Glade jul"), and we had a quiz about Norway and Hayastan which was very popular. Some of the elderly tried to convince the volunteers to give them the answers.... The winner team got pulse warmers which the knitting group had made.