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I am social development consultant from the US working in education in Astana, Kazakhstan. I like to keep myself as anonymous as possible so that I am free to say both good and bad things about my life here and about the news, without hurting anyone’s feelings. Everything here should be understood as my opinion or in some cases, my reporting on other people’s opinions. I am not interested in badmouthing the nation, individual people, or institutions just for the sake of badmouthing, and I do not serve any special interest or political group. Nor do I think I know everything, so I love comments and corrections.
I hope this blog does several things including providing some insider insight into current issues and news items including what the rumors on the street are. I also like to provide some information that may not be up on the Internet and thus not accessible to the world outside of this nation. You can also find entries on life here as an expat and sort of helpful hints or common culture shock experiences. Very few blogs focus on Central Asia, especially in English and even fewer focus on Kazakhstan, so I hope to fill that gap. You can check the Blogroll for other blogs by expats, by Kazakhstani, by experts and lay-people alike. I try to keep my blogroll comprehensive–so if it’s about Kazakhstan I’ll put it on there.
I highly recomend Registan.net and Neweurasia.net (in Russian and English) as the most authoritative and the best for covering news in this area. Chris Merriman is one of the best for relating what it’s actually like to live here as an expat. I try to put anyone on the blogroll who deals with this region, so let me know and I’ll add you too.
If you’re looking for info about life here, check out the Life in KZ category. If you’re looking for Culture, you can check out the Culture category.
By popular demand, personal details in the form of common questions asked by me here
- How old are you?
33 (from the 76th year)
- How long have you been here?
More than 5 years now.
- Where have you been in Kazakhstan?
Far too few places. Mostly I’ve been in Almaty and Astana but I’ve also visited a few villages around those cities, been up to Burabay several times and out to Kurgalzhino. And I have gotten away to the Caspian Sea finally and swum in the world’s largest lake!
- So do you find Astana cold in the winter?
No, it’s really warm. I love -30 weather. Where I come from it never got above -40 so I just sweat the winters away outside naked…of course it’s frigging cold here!
- What part of America are you from?
The Northeast, so I am actually used to snow and cold and strong winds and spending winters bundled up.
- Are you married?
- Is your wife American?
No, she’s Kazakh.
Really she’s Kazakh, I’m an American qyubala
- Ha, ha, ha, Molodets!
- Do you like Kazakhstan?
I really do. I probably wouldn’t be here still if it wasn’t for my wife. But it’s a nice place. It’s perfectly comfortable, even if I complain in these pages from time to time. The people are kind, the food is good, the culture is fascinating, the language is beautiful and I feel that my work makes a difference. Most of the time.
- Your blog is so beautiful and perfect. However did you do it.
No, no one has actually ever said that to me, but in case you care details of what plug-ins, themes and stuff I use are on my Set Up page. Also if you look at posts in the About KZBlog category, I often document changes that I have made here.
If you want to write for this blog, send me an email. I don’t get to blog as often as I would like and I am happy to give space to people who are willing to write about Kazakhstan. However, so that I have some idea of what you do and how you write, I am only inviting people who already have a place they blog. So email me a link to your blog and ideas about what you want to write about and we’ll see how it goes.