Story Behind The Picture #2: Sarahart, Armenia

Brett and Laura hiking in the mountains in Alaverdi, Armenia

September 2004 (Sarahart, Armenia): This is one of our favorite photos from our time in the Peace Corps. The location is high up in the mountains above Sarahart (Alaverdi), located in northern Armenia. The view of the photo is looking northeast along the Debed River valley toward Azerbaijan.

During this time in our Peace Corps service, we were living with our first host family in Sarahart. The apartment was small, but generally offered enough room for all five of us. On rainy days when it was difficult for anyone to spend quality time outside and our host father would decide to smoke inside the house rather than near a window, the apartment became unbareable and we needed to get out. This was one of those days.

Our host parents were taken back as they saw us putting on rain gear and loading our pack with food. They asked us, “Where are you going in this weather?” To their astonishment we stated that we were going for a hike in the mountains. They reminded us that it was raining and cold, but having done plenty of hiking in the cold and rain back in the states, we headed out.

alaverdi, armenia, peace corps, hikingWe followed a worn rutted road outside of town for a couple miles. Along the way we passed a home along the hillside with a ferocious dog. We cautiously approached the house with stones in hand in case we needed to throw them at the dog. The dog maintained his distance and stayed in the yard. We continued on and passed a tractor and truck with five men in the back heading back down the mountain. It was loaded with wood for the winter. The looks on their faces were of amazement, either at seeing us hiking, seeing us hiking in the weather, or seeing Laura out in the mountains. A little while later we peaked out on a beautfiul ridge that provide the view seen in this photo. The rain had stopped by now and the clouds lifted to provide a beautiful view down the valley. We ate our hatz (bread) and paneer (cheese), drank mango juice and water, and headed back home as the rain turned into hail.

Alaverdi, Armenia mountainsThe views of the debed river valley  provided us a reminder of the beauty found in the natural landscape of Armenia, sometimes not often seen when our daily views were that of deforestation, pollution, and erosion. From up on top of this ridge, everything seemed alright!

View the location of our photo spot in Sarahart, Armenia


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Ethan’s 3rd Birthday Weekend Festivities

Ethan’s 3rd birthday has come and gone. It was a wonderful weekend, yet alone month, of activities for him to enjoy. I think his 3rd birthday is more of a rite of passage. It’s similar to when a boy becomes a teenager on his 13th birthday. Ethan went from toddler to little boy this year. He’s grown so much physically and emotionally. He is engaged in his surroundings, seeking to explore and find new adventures. He questions the world and why things are the way they are. Of course he is also learning to test his boundaries and seeing how far he can take it. But this only teaches him what is acceptable and not acceptable to his parents, family, friends, and society.

Continue reading “Ethan’s 3rd Birthday Weekend Festivities”

She’s having (another) baby!

We’re proud to share with all of you that Ethan is going to be a big brother! Laura is finishing her first trimester and on her way to delivering our second child. She is due March 24, 2010. I recommend that you direct all inquiries about how she is feeling to her. We’re very excited to the next addition of our family. We’ll keep you updated with Laura’s progress on our website and through Facebook.

Brett and Laura YouTube Channel


You’ve probably noticed that none of the videos on our Media page work. It’s because we’ve been transferring and uploading new ones on our YouTube Channel. Until we decide to embed on our site, you can catch all the wonderful action of our lives over on YouTube. Our current videos include a Willie Nelson concert we attended, Peace Corps experiences in Armenia, and lots of our little guy Ethan. Go view all of them and more at http://www.youtube.com/resqbrett