BY PUZANT BERBERIAN, participant of AYF-YOARF Eastern USA’s Camp Javakhk
I woke up as our bus stopped in front of an unfamiliar building. As I took my first step, I noticed a sign that grabbed my attention, “Akhalkalak Armenian Youth Center.” I was immediately reminded of my Youth Center in Los Angeles and felt a sense of belonging.
We entered this beautiful, newly renovated center and spoke to members of the Armenia Relief Society for a few hours. We discussed their work, the history of Javakhk and the day to day realities that the people of Javakhk are faced with. After our discussion, members of the youth center took us on a walking tour of the village showing us Akhalkalak square, their church, school and other important sights.
At the end of our first day, my perception was that the weather here is cold but the locals are very warm and welcoming. I can’t wait to start our three weeks of summer camp for the locals.