Some more photos …

On my last day in Almaty I visited the international room of the children’s library, where books from many countries, including the U.S., are available in their original language, as well as some originally published or translated into Russian and some in Kazakh. I was given a tour of the building and then left to … Continue reading Some more photos …


I am writing from home now—Corvallis, OR—but I still have a few stories from the trip to share … Many of these posts document things that surprised me—different foods, different customs, different environments, etc. One thing I felt was the same, universal, were the children. Although speaking languages which were strange to me, born and bred in … Continue reading Children

A. Kasteyev Museum of Arts

The Kasteyev is Almaty’s museum for paintings, and some sculpture—the collection includes some European and Russian art, but primarily Kazakh. The paintings to a large degree reflect the earlier lifestyle of the Kazakhs, that is, the life of the nomad, the yurt, the herds, the eagle hunters, the camels and horses, etc., and a visual response … Continue reading A. Kasteyev Museum of Arts

Return to the Central Museum

I was able to make a return trip to the Central Museum, to view the first floor exhibit of the Kazakh nomads, their way of life and history. Until the region came under the influence and rule of Russia and then the Soviet Union in the late 19th/20th centuries, a large percentage of the population lived as nomads—they … Continue reading Return to the Central Museum

KELT performs Cinderella

Besides his teaching activities, Sam spends most of his time with KELT—that is, Kazakh/KIMEP English Language Theater. KELT was founded in 2001 on the campus of KIMEP University, and (from their website) We are a community and student theater … our theater consists of people who speak English or seek to improve their language skills through theater. … Continue reading KELT performs Cinderella

Walking Down the Mountain

One sunny day last week I decided to take a bus 2/3 up the mountain towards Medeu (skating rink) and Shymbulak (ski area)—and then get off and start walking down. I’d noticed some interesting, older-looking neighborhoods from the bus when we’d descended from the mountain last time, and I wanted to see them up close. … Continue reading Walking Down the Mountain


Last week the holiday of Nauryz was celebrated at KIMEP (where Sam is teaching)—Nauryz celebrates the: spring equinox but also renewal of nature. Nauryz in Kazakhstan symbolizes fertility, friendship and love. On this special day people dress up, visit close people and keep wishing well. For eastern nations, Nauryz is the same as New Year, as both … Continue reading Nauryz

Tamgaly Petroglyphs

My first field trip was to the petroglyphs in Tamgaly, 100 miles northwest of Almaty on the steppe. I planned this trip through a local tourist agency, and Sam and I went the night before to locate the pick-up point near the stadium, where I arrived bright and early the next morning, after taking the … Continue reading Tamgaly Petroglyphs

Swan Lake

Last night I went to the ballet—Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky performed at the beautiful State Opera and Ballet House—with two of Sam’s colleagues, Yelena and Constantine, and Yelena’s husband Paul. Here are the photos which generally speak for themselves: first are two young future dancers in the lobby before the performance; then the first act; a … Continue reading Swan Lake