Contributor - Lucy Janjigian
The two weeks that I worked at camp in Shvadnizor were exciting, enjoyable and gratifying.
To see the children’s happy faces responding to the dedicated counselors who played, sang, taught and worked with them was a beautiful sight. Face painting that Sirarpi did thrilled the children. They really enjoyed being painted on.They ran around showing each other, comparing the paintings on their faces and arms.
Houshig and I worked with the children in the afternoons giving them small fun craft coloring projects. One of the practical crafts was making fans to cool themselves. I enjoyed getting the mothers involved. They would bring their children, sit and pass the time talking. I invited them to come to the craft room and introduced them to crocheting necklaces with special yarn I had brought. They learnt very fast and were happy to wear and gift necklaces to their friends and children. It was fun seeing necklaces worn by many around camp.
My other assignment was to prepare breakfast and lunch for the counselors. Actually for breakfast they were in the dining room before me many times and helped themselves to bread, cheese, jam, peanut butter, nutella, hard boiled eggs with either tea or coffee. For lunch we used fresh vegetables for stew, we made lentil rice, pasta casserole and served them with tomato and onion salad and or yoghurt. We were able to purchase milk and yoghurt from a local woman who owned a cow.
A young man, Samuel, was most helpful in purchasing eggs , bread and vegetables for us from some of the villagers. The local grocery store did not carry the items we needed. The grocer had mostly canned goods and ice cream. Also the store hours were not dependable.
The counselors had coffee/tea break time at mid morning. Some of the mothers would send us baked goods that were much appreciated. We were very fortunate because they also brought us lots of fresh fruits from their orchards - apricots, plums and figs. Sometimes they brought home made plum juice. They are very hospitable and innovative. The counselors were most appreciative for the meals Houshig and I prepared. We tried to remember to say grace before meals. It was fun times to be together at mealtimes to hear stories of what was going on and how the children were doing. We were glad to have four local young girls among us as junior counselors. Hopefully they will continue some of the camp projects for the children during summer holidays.
I have lovely happy memories of my time spent with the counselors, the children and their mothers under the able supervision of our camp director Nanor. I thank her for the opportunity to serve our beautiful children. More power to you Nanor. Keep your vision to serve those children. You bring much joy to the whole village and transform their summer days.
Lastly, I loved my name at camp- I find it most endearing "Pari Dadig".