I’m very excited to announce that I am Ayo!’s new ambassador. My name is Talin Yakob and I am 21 years old. I have been living in The Netherlands for the past 18 years, ever since my parents fled the danger in Iraq. They were looking for a safe place to go and this safe place turned out to be Holland. My parents picked the right place, indeed. (Thank you, mom and dad.) Life has been good for us there. Yet, even though I seemingly had all the comforts in the world there has always been something missing in my life. I have been searching for this “something” in vain for a long time, trying to figure out what it is. One day I decided that I might find it in Armenia. Maybe I was missing home? I never felt truly at home in The Netherlands, so I figured I had nothing to lose. Thus, my journey began and I was determined to find my home. Since my ancestors come from Armenia and I have a lot in common with Armenians, Armenia would be the best country to start my journey. I decided to go to Armenia and stay there for six months. People thought I was crazy and that I didn’t know what I was doing. But I knew exactly what I wanted. Now I am here, in Armenia. And guess what? I do feel at home. I do feel complete. Working in Armenia gives me the chance to strengthen my ties with this nation. Working in Armenia gives me the chance to contribute to Armenia’s development. I also want to connect with Armenians in Armenia; I want to find the similarities and differences. I want to learn from them and also teach them new things.
When I first volunteered with Ayo! at one of the FAR soup kitchens I felt like I was changing someone’s life. Before coming to Armenia, it was my goal to brighten someone’s day, to make someone smile, to contribute to someone’s happiness. As it turns out Ayo! is the vehicle I needed to do so. I will be blogging about the amazing Ayo! crew and their projects for the next 2 months. From now on you can call me the Ayo! Ambassador! Please feel free to contact me with comments, feedback or whatever you would like to share with me. I would love to read your thoughts so don’t be shy! I look forward to doing great things, sharing my experiences and hearing from you.