Day 3 - Connecting to a Culture

For all of my life I’ve never been outside of the country until now. Everything about this trip has been new to me. Sure there have been events where I didn’t know anyone o had to embrace the uncomfortableness of meeting new people, but I would say this has topped them all.  What do you do in a country where you don’t know the language? How do you connect with a people that experience life on the other side of the planet? Thoughts like these surrounded me as I went through my first 48 hours here.

Today, we spent the first half of the day exploring the genocide museum in Yerevan (see photo below). This was something I had no real understanding or previous knowledge of. It helped give me some perspective on Armenia and its people. I felt, a communication start to link between them to me. Not in a way that I have had something like this happen to me directly, but that all people no matter where from, all have scars from the past. That we all struggle, we all hurt from the sin and pain this world causes us.

We finished another session with the sports doctors, emphasizing areas in rehabilitation. After I give my talk on an overview of strength training, I take a seat to the side and watch as my other team members present on the next topic. As I watch, I start trying to compare conferences I’ve been to versus the one we’re hosting here. A realization starts taking place…even though these people may look, act, speak, or learn differently than me, they are doing exactly what I’ve doing. All they are trying to do is become better to be more effective for their given career. That’s exactly what I’d be doing. Another connection is made and now I’m not as intimidated by being in this “galaxy far far away.”

All in all what really opened my eyes was initially looking deeper and seeing that people desire most of the same things. We hurt form the struggles or tragedies that have occurred either presently, or in the past. And that we are all striving to be better (mentally, spiritually, etc.). That’s all it is. Everyone will “show” it differently, but when I see the similarities from Armenians to me, I don’t see as much superficial differences most of us do. When this connection starts to happen, wall break down and life begins a new path. I know this is the start for me.

  • Noah for the team (Noy means Noah in Armenian!).