30 Jan 2009

the Mountains :)

Almost heaven

Hikes in the mountains

My new home

My own borsch soup. I get to buy and make my own food, so hopefully I'll learn to make more new kinds of food.

The view from our balcony window. We live on the 5th floor.

The family I live with: Lilya and Tatiana. Very sweet people.

The view from my window!

Looking south from my window

The sidewalk along one of our main streets, Abaya.

3 Jan 2009

New Year

It's already 2009.
I have one more whole day at home before I go...

...to Kazakhstan.

I really don't know what to expect when I get there. It's like stepping through a black hole...

Kazakhstan is a large country, 9th largest in the world, after Argentina. Population is somewhere around 17 million and Almaty is the largest city, though no longer the capital (Astana). A former USSR state, Kazakhstan is south of Russia, west of China and north of all the other "stan's". On the west it borders the Caspian Sea. Almaty is in the southeast corner, somewhat close to Kyrgystan.
The main languages spoken there are russian and kazakh, I hope to learn at least some russian.

That's about all I know about the place. By Tuesday I should already know quite a bit more.