Uncomfortable In My Own Clothes: Part 2

What Will Fit?
I have a finite number of train trips (or other modes of transit) to Yerevan. Though I have not attempted to count them, I was on one last week. As we pulled out of the Sasuntsi Davit station, where there had been a cloud burst just 20 minutes earlier, I saw more storms and falling rain in the distance. Welcome spring!


3+ hours between cities on the Russian RR

In only a few weeks’ time, the landscape had changed dramatically. Fields had been plowed, furrowed, planted and irrigated. Purple, blue, white and yellow wildflowers, interspersed with red poppies, lined the rail bed and filled fallow tracts of land. A sweet scent momentarily filled the car as we passed trees with large clusters of white flowers, even as their pedals gently make their way to the ground. The snow on all but the highest mountains had disappeared and nearly everything was green. This lushness doesn’t last long and I was happy not to have missed this beautiful albeit brief scene.


Between Yerevan & Gyumri

I had been in this position before – returning from a mid-service trip to the US; the first one was over a year ago. Witnessing yet another milestone in my family’s life, I attended the commencement ceremony of my younger son, marking his completion of medical school.

2015.05.09Brent (2)

Dr. Jordan

Returning to Armenia this time was a wholly different experience. Like last year, I feel I don’t belong in either place, although I am able to function in both. Unlike last year, the end of my work and service in Armenia is palpable.


Final training for WFD project participants

This weekend was spent updating my resume, searching for employment, sorting/disposing of papers, a little packing, reading blog posts by my PCV cohort, saying goodbye to friends and writing final reports.

PCV, HCN and me

PCV, HCN and me

In only 47 days, I will face the “great unknown” as this chapter of my life ends. Few of the clothes I brought with me and had altered will return. They served me well but are worn out or needed by other PCVs.

Volunteer to volunteer gifting

Volunteer to volunteer gifting

In the next chapter, yet to be written, there will be a new routine in a new location with opportunities and experiences I cannot now imagine; and a rebirth necessitating alterations of a different kind altogether.

Here I am!

Home for the last 26 months


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4 responses to “Uncomfortable In My Own Clothes: Part 2”

  1. Don Nekrosius says :

    Dear Bobbie,

    Frost has a line, “..as way leads on to way” that mirrors what you are experiencing with the end of PC service and the move to what comes next. For years, it seems, you have been searching for how to make the world a better place, to help in ways you can envision, to have a positive impact on others.
    Given those lived values, unless you’ve changed a lot, there lies your way.
    Catch your breath, reengage with your family, wile away an hour or two, and then get back at it.
    Congratulations on your achievements.


    • Bobbie S says :

      Thanks, Don. The values you site have not changed except, perhaps, to be magnified by this experience. It has been a mostly enjoyable journey and I look forward to what comes next. In preparation, I’ve started reviewing (what little Spanish I know) and working at becoming conversational before my grandson starts speaking! Naturally, I have a huge book list (still) and many people I need to see.

  2. Alice Tulley says :


    When you are ready, come over to talk or just sit and not talk. Although it has been 40 plus years, I do remember the pain of re-entry. That it is so hard to leave means you have made this a wonderful time.


    • Bobbie S says :

      Yes, Alice, I’ve heard. My two short trips home didn’t create the situations RPCVs have described. I look forward to seeing you soon.

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