The last few days have been great. I'll just take it one day at a time.
We had about an inch of snow on the ground when we woke up on Wednesday. Having not seen snow in so long, I almost forgot how beautiful it is! Luckily, we bought Nathan a snowsuit last weekend, just in time. It's so big and thick that he can barely move in it, and he can't get up without assistance when he falls down. There's a great scene in the 1983 film A Christmas Story in which Ralph's little brother has the same problem.
On Thursday the parents of one of my students sent me a Christmas gift: a pair of tickets to a wine and cheese tasting event sponsored by the Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development (CARD). The event was held at the U.S. Embassy on Friday night. Jarred really enjoyed it, and even though I don't drink wine OR eat cheese, it was nice to see Ambassador Yovanovitch again (she visited our school in October) and hear her speak about how the USDA is supporting Armenian agriculture. I was also pleased with the live strings and piano, the locally-produced breads, fruit juices, and chocolate-covered dried fruits and nuts, and the opportunity to mingle with other English-speakers.
While at the embassy, I ran into Inna, the mom of another of my students, and she invited me to join her yoga class the next day at Shoonch, a relatively new yoga studio and spa in downtown Yerevan. You may be surprised to learn that I've actually never done yoga before, unless you count the prenatal yoga DVD I used during my pregnancy...I loved it, but after about 7 1/2 months I was too big to do most of the poses anymore! Anyway, I've always wanted to try it, and I figured there was no better day to start such a rejuvenating practice than my 27th birthday -- especially since they give a free trial class to all newcomers -- so I accepted Inna's invitation and attended the Iyengar yoga class at 10:30 on Saturday morning. It was a good workout, and after thanking the instructor for allowing me to join her class, I asked her at what time the beginners' classes were held. She paid me a compliment by replying that the beginners' class would be too easy for me, and recommended I continue as a member of her regular class starting this Tuesday. Jarred had the brilliant idea of buying a Shoonch membership for me as my birthday gift, so I'll definitely be there!
On Saturday night, we had a few friends over for more wine and cheese (Jarred was inspired to make a few purchases after the tasting), pumpkin pie, and a very chocolatey birthday cake. Everyone had a fun and relaxing time, including Nathan and 2 year-old Alex, the son of a fellow teacher who came to celebrate with us.
We're off work now until January 7 for the winter break. We borrowed an old laptop from Josh and we finally set up internet at home, so we'll continue to post blog entries and photos in the coming weeks. Until next time...