Sunday, May 24, 2009

Back in Kazakhstan

Who would have thought that just a few short months after leaving Kazakhstan, I would be back here? I certainly did not think so! But here I am in Taraz (southern Kazakhstan), where I will be for the next few days before heading to Shymkent.

It has certainly been an eventful trip this far. It began with an ATM retaining the card of one of the professors with whom I am working--we had to go across the city and make multiple phone calls to get it back. Then, the driver who was to have taken my research group to Taraz yesterday never showed up. Apparently, he had a better deal. We had to go to plan B--but there was no plan B. Eventually it all worked out and we arrived here at 4am. The alternate plans involved the president of the Central Asian Geographical Society arriving at our hotel to assist us, which included a lengthy conversation in which my Russian skills were put to the test. I have certainly expanded my vocabulary on this trip!

There will be more from the road, as I have time. For now, I'll just add a picture of my "Russian family", with whom I had a wonderful dinner on Thursday. It was wonderful to see them again, and I'm looking forward to meeting up again when I return to Almaty.