Discovering Tavush part 2
The afternoon we started for Chinari was hot. We drove more than an hour up into the mountains, getting ever closer to the Azerbaijani border. From the road we could see the hilltops where the Azerbaijani posts are placed in an ideal position to launch daily terrorist attacks on the unarmed villagers.
Entering Chinari we stopped to buy food to bring the family we were going to visit. The shop owner greeted Ter Aram warmly and invited us to stay for fresh juice and apricots to refresh us after our long drive. They exchanged news and greetings while we ate.
The children of the local family greeted us shyly when we arrived. Ter Aram had told us that the family was in a difficult situation with a disabled child, grandparents to support, and only a small salary for the father who served as a soldier on the border. All this was complicated by the stress of such a dangerous posting. However, as we've often seen, Armenian faith and spirituality runs deep and the family had experienced a miracle which had given them new hope. Their 4 year old disabled boy had been unable to walk and no available treatments had helped him. A mass of baptism had been performed for all the youngest children and this little boy had finally been able to be baptized. Shortly after the baptism he had begun to walk, an answer to the family's prayers. Despite their situation they welcomed us kindly and were positive about their difficulties. We left with smiles all around.
Ter Aram's father invited us to a delicious lunch with food and wine from their land. His sister Marina was visiting with her children and she made a wonderful dish of local cress that I couldn't stop eating. We had coffee on the porch and Marina showed me the lovely view of the mountains. Fortunately the house was constructed of strong stone on that side, because the beauty of the landscape was marred by the Azerbaijani military posts. From there they fired on the house, leaving the bullet holes, stark reminders of their terrorist campaign. Still, the Armenian countryside is lovely and we left reluctantly to return to town.
Once in Berd we said goodbye to Ter Aram, grateful for his kindness and friendship. Luckily for us, he came for coffee on our last day in Berd and so we were able to visit with him again before returning to Yerevan. If you make your way to Berd and look for him, meeting Ter Aram will help you discover the spirit of Tavush-hospitality, kindness, warmth and friendship. With its amazing nature all around, this is the true beauty of Tavush Marz.
Leaving Berd for Yerevan