Archive for June 28, 2010

Opening of New University in Astana, Kazakhstan

Today was a most auspicious occasion for many people at the newly built university campus with the official opening of the huge building complex in Astana.  Very high security was around because the president of the country was in attendance doing the honors, after all this university is named after him.  The photos can tell all (my words get in the way) about what the Kazakh students will experience once the main doors are actually opened to them in September.  I am very excited for those Kazakh students who have been accepted thus far. They have passed through some very rigid but necessary testing (IELTS and TOEFL exams) to make sure their level of English is prepared enough for taking in all the lectures and classes in English.  Many qualified English teachers in different subject areas from U.K. and U.S. will be overseeing the students’ instruction.  The future of Kazakhstan depends on these enthusiastic, young people to learn very quickly in order to compete with the rest of the world in business, technology and industry.  Many American “partners” from western universities were in attendance and others who could not attend gave speeches through closed circuit t.v. in big, airy rooms.  These are exciting times for all of us in Astana and throughout Kazakhstan where many of our highly qualified students are coming from!!!

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Summer Weddings and Astana Brides at Baiterek Mall

When living in the former Soviet Union one gets used to seeing Kazakh and Kazakhstani brides all decked out in western style wedding dresses.  They are driven in elaborately decorated limos going around the city accompanied by a motorcade of other participants of the bridal party identified by ribbons and streamers on their respective cars.  The wedding parties will go to different monuments in the city, show off their dresses while having photos taken of them with family and friends. You can have as many as ten brides in the same location, each vying for people’s attention. Right now in Astana, Kazakshtan, there are brides and grooms everywhere with the promise of future Kazakh children to fill the schools and universities being built up as I write this.

These photos of flowers which are landscaped and decked all around Astana were taken by my husband.  Enjoy the nice summer breezes as you look at these thumbnail photos. Better yet, fly to Kazakhstan (@ $2,500 round trip by Lufthansa from the U.S.) now while the temperatures are bearable. In four or five months it will start to be very cold again.  

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