With the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide happening this month,
I’m re-sharing my personal experience at the memorial to its the slain citizens.
This story appeared in my first book, Spiritual Wanderer, from which this blog gets its name.
The trip was exhausting. We were behind the Iron Curtain and at the mercy of the official Soviet travel agency, Intourist. It was 1984. The Cold War was showing no real signs of flaring up or calming down, and my intestines were wracked with what I liked to refer as the commie crud. I sat in a hotel in downtown Moscow, across the street from an enormous statue depicting Russian space flight and all I wanted to do was bend over the toilet. I felt worse than the embalmed body of Lenin who laid in state just down the street.
That’s what the conflict in Northern Ireland has been called for generations. We’ve been told that everything is fine now. The violence has ceased and both sides, Irish Catholics and English Protestants, are getting along fine.
Our taxi driver painted a slightly different picture.
While visiting my daughter during her term abroad in Ireland, we got to meet some of her new friends. These people, from Germany and Finland (and a couple from Australia), are helping her out so much, we decided to pay them back with silly American gifts.
Every 18 months I have the ultimate pleasure of volunteering at a blood and marrow transplant conference. I’ve written about these conferences in the past, saying “These are my people.” This year, in particular, I felt that way even more acutely.
First, there were all those people checking out my book, which was just a thrill.
There was golfing on our “mancation,” our vacation designed specifically to do guy things. There was also batting practice in random fields we found along the way. Sure, there was a little gambling and an impossibly large basket of bacon that we left half-finished on the table. But the whole stated reason for our trip was to visit Minor League baseball fields around the state and in Ohio.