Monday, November 4, 2013

Starting an adventure

We are headed to Kazakhstan for a year.  To a new job, a new city, a new climate.  Yes, really, Kazakhstan!

Borat aside, here are some quick facts:

Kazakhstan is big.  Really big.  It's got the same landmass as all of Western Europe.  But a population of just less than 17 million.  A lot of wide, open spaces.

Kazakhstan is rich. Or at least becoming rich.  They've got oil, gas, gold, copper, lots of minerals. and 5 billionaires already.

Kazakhstan is, for the most part, cold.  It's just south of Siberia, west of Mongolia, with long winters and hot, humid summers.  and wind, lots of wind.

Kazakhstan is populated by Kazakhs. and Russians. and lots of peoples from the former Soviet Union - ethnic Ukrainians, Germans and more.  The national language is Russian, but increasingly the Kazakhs are reasserting their culture, and their language along with it.

Kazakhstan is part of the old silk road, lots of historic trading routes across its plains. and it's the most developed country in Central Asia.  Its neighbors include Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and it's not far as the crow flies from Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan.

Kazakhstan is where all astronauts/cosmonauts (and the 2014 Olympic torch) launch into space via Russian Soyuz rockets.  American astronauts included.

And, Kazakhstan is where the first apples come from.  Genetic biologists have traced the genome of our apples today to apples that grow on the mountains close to Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city (whose historic name Alma-Ata means "father of apples").

Are you ready to come visit?

1 comment:

  1. So excited to follow your adventures, Robyn! Bon courage!