Really, third week of coming back to blogging and I'm already late? Shame on me; shame. So here's the post, 4 days late.
As you should all know by now, I've been working with an organization for the last 8 months called Peace Dialogue whose work focuses exactly one what it sounds like. In that time we've managed to do a couple of research projects that were quite interesting (check out our activities page to see them if you're interested). But the perpetual source of frustration for me is our inability to come up with funding for our major projects that go beyond mere research. One of the major problems we have is a funding trap in which we can't start projects until we get funding for them, but organizations won't fund us unless we have past evidence of successful projects--this regardless of the fact that my director previously worked on projects for the past many years in another organization before starting Peace Dialogue. I suppose this is the bane of any new NGO, so we're likely not unique in this, but it is incredibly irritating regardless. If any of you out there happen to know organizations funding conflict resolution or peace building work, please pipe up and let me know (or have some experience in starting an organization and finding funding). It doesn't help that most of the current funding in the Caucasus is going towards the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict, but I think that's actually the least of our problems right now.
More to the moment, we had another earthquake here the other day (I say another, but I didn't hear about the one that happened a couple months ago). Actually, the epicenter was in Georgia but we did feel it down here in Armenia. It was extremely light by the time it hit here, and I'm actually surprised that I even woke up and felt it. I think it's perhaps because I haven't been sleeping well, but I awoke to my bed lightly shaking and then realizing that it was the whole apartment that was lightly shaking; it was really nothing to get terribly worked up about, but the fact that I live in a Soviet-era apartment building (though a friend told me that they're at least designed to handle these minor quakes), that it was 4 or 5 in the morning and I had just woken up, and that a large earthquake in 1988 decimated the nearby town of Spitak as well as parts of Vanadzor and Gyumri (also resulting in the shutting down of the nuclear power plant) all combined to make me right paranoid until I fell back asleep.
Goal for the next post: do it on time (ie: by Monday morning). See you then.