Thursday, 18 June 2009


Hey everybody!
Arrived safely in Shymkent after spending a few days training in Almaty. It's like week 13 of the exchange now. I know I am really behind with my blog posts. I am hoping to catch up with them. Mine and Gulnaras host home has the internet but it objects to any foriegn sites. I'm working on it but if I can't fix it, which is likely, then it will be internet cafes for me. They only cost around 150 tenge for an hour which is about 60p but still it can take me hours to write up my blog posts and I've got even more to write now I'm in the exchange country. So far the experience is proving eye opening. I have to rely on Gulnara alot here as my Russian is completely inadequate. No one uses maps here but from the ones we have I've just about worked out where I live and a bit of the city centre. The reaction of a local volunteer when they saw my map was 'Oh WOW! You have a map?'. I have also learnt the name of my bus stop which I believe is pretty essential. I'm surprised by now laid back I am being about the whole thing. I used to be the child who worried about going on fun school trips incase I got left behind, but so far I am taking the experience as it comes. As I've got older I tend not to build up expectations about things. It means that I am rarely disappointed. Nevertheless I am enjoying Kazakhstan so far. There are alot of visable contrasts here, the west is punching its way in. I am currently sitting in an air conditioned internet cafe with the logos of doom, war craft and grand theft auto decorating the walls while the view out the window is of the decaying facades of Soviet era apparment blocks which are our home.

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