After an incredibly LONG train ride (25+ hours), Sarah and I made it to Astana this morning. There will probably be more on the train ride later...let's just say that it was quite an experience, and reminded me of why there will never be a danger of me coming home with a Central Asian boyfriend (as some of you commented before I left for Kazakhstan).
Astana is a rather strange city--very new and futuristic, with construction everywhere. It really looks more like Ashgabat than anything else I have seen in Central Asia. We spent the day wandering around looking at all of the bizarre architecture before returning to our hotel to take a nap. Tomorrow, we have a conference on the Oil Fund, and then head off to Almaty (another 24 hour train ride) before returning to Shymkent on Saturday.
More soon..with pictures!