I haven't been super up-to-date with the blog for a variety of reasons, but hopefully this coming year will feature more content from Kazakhstan and the surrounding Central Asia region. I did this interview with the awesome site ProFellow.com a few months ago, hopefully it gives you a little more explanation about why I'm here, and why I'm staying.
After watching the two other American students perform brilliantly talking about unique topics different than my own, I took the chair and started to talk about how the Treaty of Paris in 1947 was one of many treaties signed at the end of the Second World War that had to do with how the Allied Forces would divvy up the land that had been invaded by Nazi Germany. Within sixty seconds of complete bullshit, I realized that the two proctors had no answers in front of them and were not checking a single thing I was saying.
Turns out I was to stay on the second floor of the shack, which turned into a night from hell. Russians and Kazakhs have a firm belief that heaters need to be on full blast at all times, and windows should never be opened for any reasons (this is also causing some sweaty problems at my apartment in Almaty). It was a long night between trying to sleep in a sauna and the sound of mice scurrying in the walls.
Time was getting close to 4pm, which was when we were supposed to be back at the bus. All of the crew was ready to head back, but I spied some cars further away that looked like they were at a pretty good viewpoint. I left the others in a slight jog to check it out, and sure enough, it was probably the most beautiful views of the entire trip.
The date was September 2nd. This was an important date for me because my visa, as well as the visas of my hiking companions (all three were foreign students) expired on September 1st. In addition, none of us actually had our passports because our new visas, and therefore our passports, were in processing with the immigration police. This information was telepathically realized between the four of us after seeing the gun, and after a few quiet conversations about it, we all started to feel pretty uncomfortable in the given situation.