BY ANDRE AHARONIAN
After 22 hours, we finally arrived at Zvartnots airport. The feeling was surreal. I’d been talking about this trip for three months, and now I was finally in my homeland, ready to embark on this journey.
It all started when most of the Youth Corps group gathered at LAX, ready to fly a 15 hour flight to Qatar. Most of us, especially me, took this lightly, but this plane ride was one of the worst I had ever dealt with. Also, the fact that we were flying over Armenia to get to Qatar didn’t help.
Once we arrived in Qatar, we met up with an AYF member from East Coast and made some friends from AYF Australia who were also ready to embark on their own Youth Corps in a village called “Nor-Nork.”
The three-hour flight from Qatar to Armenia seemed like nothing compares to the 16-hour flight we had just dealt with. Once we landed in Armenia, it finally hit me that I will be living that Youth Corps dream I’ve had for the past 3 months. I was ready for the adventure of a lifetime, as were the 30 other Ungers accompanying me.
I have been to Armenia several times, but the feeling I felt once landing in Zvartnots is unmatched. For the first time, I did not feel like a tourist, but rather an Armenian who was doing his part in contributing to the Armenian Cause. I did not come to Armenia to tour the hot spots, or shop at Verneesaj until my hands were filled with bags. I came to Armenia to help those who need help the most. I came to do my part in giving back and showing those who live in our homeland that they are not forgotten about, regardless of the circumstances they face.
After the airport, our group headed to the hostels. We quickly unpacked, some of us took showers in order to wash away that treacherous journey we just faced, and we all laid on our beds happy to be home, yet exhausted.
There was a special atmosphere in the room; a feeling that all of us shared…the feeling of being home. And with that, our first day came to an end, and we were all ready for the journey ahead of us.