When agreeing to move to Kazakhstan, we made a promise to each other to do everything in our power to capitalize on our time here, including opportunities and experiences. And so with this context in mind, we relocated to the capital city, Astana. I started a new job working as a Strategic Advisor to the CEO of the EXPO-2017 National Company. Travis will also be taking on new responsibilities and is very involved with the EXPO 2017 in a different capacity.
It will be Kazakhstan’s first world fair, as well as the first in Central Asia. It’s a unique opportunity where we’ll have the chance to work on very large scale and complex project, interacting with top global firms with varying specialties. Already this past week we traveled to France and Spain.
I’m overwhelmed by all that I want to share. It’s crazy to think that in under two months we got married, moved to a new city and started a new job! Not to mention all of the travel.
So where exactly are we living? Here’s an article titled, “Astana: The world’s weirdest capital city,” that was written last July and sums up the city pretty well. The title says it all. http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/13/world/asia/eye-on-kazakhstan-astana Here’s another article in National Geographic that provides a more detailed history of the city and includes some impressive photographs (some of which are posted above). http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/astana/lancaster-text
One thing that’s top of mind for me and I can explain in just a few sentences (I like to keep these posts short and sweet) is the climate. Astana is located in the steppe of the north region of Kazakhstan, which translates into warm summers and MISERABLY cold and long winters. We’re talking consistently around -40 degrees Fahrenheit (with a wind chill reaching -60 degrees) during the winter months. Astana is the second coldest capital city in the world after Ulaanbaater, Mongolia. Several of my coworkers have brought up the topic of winter, despite it being mid-June. It’s as if they are trying to scare me, and it’s working! I have already spent way too much time searching the Internet for the warmest coats available and it’s not even July.
On a positive note, I am excited to have a new (quite literally) city to explore, and we plan to go back to Almaty throughout the summer to enjoy our garden! I also want to report that I am moving full steam ahead with the business venture I wrote apart several weeks ago. I remain committed to the artists and their work.