The “AYF Summer 2017” section of the Armenian Weekly’s Youth page will highlight the 2017 summer programs of the Armenian Youth Federation – Youth Organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (AYF-YOARF) Eastern United States.
A Hike to Remember
By Chantelle Nasri, 2017 AYF Intern
Walking through corn stalks, climbing up rocky mountainsides, following beaten trails, all under the scorching heat of the Armenian countryside sun, the only way we would accomplish an 11-mile hike was by taking one step at a time. Often, it felt impossible and at times like there was no end. However, I can attribute our success of climbing the Tjokhki Tsor Mountain Range not only to my fellow interns but to the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) members of Yerevan as well.
Approximately 40 of us took on the challenge of climbing this mountain range. Although not an easy trail, the difficulty of it was easily ignored as we bonded as a group. This excursion was different from the past two we participated in, since this was done alongside the AYF members of the Yerevan chapter.
At first, the group of interns and AYF members of Yerevan were quite divided, but as we embarked on our adventure, we learned more about one another in which no barriers existed—including language. Once we reached our destination, the 11-mile hike and 8 hours under the scorching sun was the last of many things I will hold memorable to this experience.
The breathtaking scenery, in which a professional camera could not even capture, was a vision of Armenia that you will not fine anywhere on the internet. The beauty and history that this country holds and the pride and love of its people is beyond imaginable.
My involvement in this summer’s AYF Eastern United States Internship is my very first interaction with the AYF on a worldwide scale. Two weeks into the program, as I grow closer to my fellow interns and meet the people of Armenia through these excursions, I am learning to grow to be more prideful of my heritage. These two weeks have shown me what it means to be a part of a community and just how powerful it can be. Joining the AYF is no longer an option for me, but a responsibility for me to fulfill, living as an Armenian-American.