Posts tagged ‘Spitak earthquake’

March 16, 2011

“People my age don’t receive benefits or a pension and we don’t have work. How can you live?”

This is the transcript of an interview with Ruzanna, recorded in Stepanavan, Armenia, on February 13, 2011. You can listen to the interview (in Armenian) here:

I was born in here in Stepanavan. My granddad arrived as a migrant. Not my grandmother, she came from an orphanage. They got married. They had three boys and a girl. Everybody lived here. I have one sister. We are the children of the oldest son. I graduated from the pedagogical institute. I worked in Stepanavan as a teacher for 22 years. I studied in Kirovakan [currently Vanadzor]. I had five children, five girls, who all have higher education. Two are working, one is married and the two others are studying: one is in the last year of her master’s studies; the other is in the second year at Brusov [State Language University] in the Tourism Section. My husband works in a gold mine. First he was head engineer at a building management office. In those difficult years after the earthquake [of December 7, 1988] in which I lost one child… After that we kept livestock to maintain our existence, we gave our children a start in life, we gave them education.

Did you lose your child during the earthquake?

Yes. It was a year and a half old [interviewee did not specify the sex of the child]. The child died during the earthquake in my mother’s house. A five-floor building collapsed. My mother got out. Another of my girls also got out, but my young one didn’t. After that I had two more children. I was pregnant [at the time of the earthquake]. I was evacuated to Ukraine. I gave birth there. They received us very well there. We stayed in Ukraine for three months, until forty-days after the child was born. We went in February; I gave birth in March.

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