When people talk about 16-year-old Stepanakert TUMO student Meri Mkrtumyan, the first thing they say is that she is “an old TUMOian”.
“I love films a lot, so imagine my joy when I met other movie buffs like me at TUMO. And then to find myself in the workshop run by director Jivan Avetisyan – that was just out of this world! Jivan treated us like adults, as if we were members of his crew, and not like newbie students. That was a huge experience,” Meri admits.
When it comes to the learning labs, especially workshops and special projects, Meri has it made. As part of the special project to publish the cook book “Lavash”, she was one of two successful TUMO Stepanakert students who ventured out to Meghri in order to photograph the process and tradition of producing dried persimmon. They of course also enjoyed tasting samples of the delicious dried and tropical fruits of Meghri.
“The Meghri we saw was like a movie! The balconies were decorated with curtains of dried persimmon. And the light was so lovely. We got some great pictures,” Meri recalls.
Meri confesses that she has acquired something very important for herself at TUMO – self-confidence, which has helped in turn to make her dream of studying at the international UWC Dilijan school come true.
“Until I came here, I did not believe in my own strength, that I could make something with my own hands. TUMO helped me believe in myself. I am going to move to Dilijan this August. To be frank, it will be a little hard to leave TUMO, my friends, and the workshops here.”
FUN FACT: When she was quite young, Meri dreamed of going to Narni in Italy through a magical wardrobe. Now she realizes that she has found her Narni, namely Dilijan. The landscape is just as beautiful and, most importantly, there is plenty of snow in the winter to have endless snowball fights.