Archive for September 2, 2013

“Drinking Camel’s Milk in the Yurt” – newly released book

I’m extremely excited about this recently released book by Summertime Publishing for expat readers to learn more about Kazakshtan. I contributed a story in the second chapter of six chapters for this book. I’m awaiting my copy to come in the mail from the Italian editor, Monica Neboli. You can check it out for yourself by going to In the 196 pages, there are over 20 authors who have also added their experiences to this book. The chapters are the following: 1) The Arrival 2) Kazakhstan’s History and Traditions 3) Contemporary Living in Kazakhstan 4) Cross-Cultural Exchanges 5) Travelling in Kazakshtan 6) The Silent Steppe.

After reading the first chapter’s entry by Jacyntha England about “First Snow,” I was brought to tears. Ms. England does a good job of showing how the Kazakh people are kind and giving. That’s what I want to remember about the many Kazakhs I met in Almaty and Astana the three and a half years I lived in Kazakhstan. In this case, they welcome the vulnerable visitor who doesn’t know how tough the country can be especially with the first snow of the season. The empathy shown by an old man acting as a taxi driver to a woman who has just arrived from a two week vacation in Thailand is endearing. The warming blanket is the key ingredient in this story. Please check this book out for yourself if you want to learn how other authors portray this well kept secret of a country…Kazakhstan.

Drinking Camel's Milk cover

The following is a summary about this book:
The Republic of Kazakhstan emerged from the former USSR as an independent nation in 1991. It is one of the largest countries in the world and Astana, its capital, is one of the youngest (and coldest) capital cities. In this anthology of expatriate experiences in Kazakhstan, 24 authors from 11 countries show us this Central Asian country as they know it.

In Drinking Camel’s Milk in the Yurt, we travel to the country’s bustling, multicultural cities, to its rural homesteads steeped in rich traditions, and to the Kazakh Steppe, the vast open plain that has for centuries been home to a nomadic way of life. During the journey, we come to understand the importance of the yurt, or nomad’s tent, we are privy to a powerful reflection on Soviet-era labour camps, and we witness the build-up to a traditional Kazakh wedding.

In a variety of cross-cultural exchanges – some bewildering, some funny – we meet locals, try new cuisines, discover the work of a talented local artist, join one man’s quest for a unique piece of Kazakh furniture for his wife, and explore the steppe as it deserves to be explored – on horseback. More importantly, we are introduced to the warmth of Kazakh hospitality and we learn it is possible to survive the extreme temperatures of a Kazakh winter.

Whether you are an expat, a traveller or just curious about other cultures, Drinking Camel’s Milk in the Yurt: Expat Stories from Kazakhstan will introduce you to the Kazakh landscape, people and cultures as experienced by its expatriates – both those who are passing through and those who have decided to stay.

‘A unique exploration of Kazakhstan through the eyes of foreigners, Drinking
Camel’s Milk in the Yurt touches upon cross-cultural exchanges, city living, history, traditions, unexpected friendships, adventure and more. With a generous mix of light-hearted expat tales and reflective stories of adaptation and discovery, this anthology enthrals the reader from beginning to end. Neboli has perfectly assembled captivating stories of uncovering a land largely unknown and often misunderstood, while simultaneously exposing a beautiful destination where selfless hospitality, overt kindness and longstanding traditions are common threads that weave this vast nation together.’
– Alison Cavatore, Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of Global Living

‘Twenty-four stories of impressions, memories, thoughts and emotions by expatriates in Kazakhstan – all topped with descriptions of aromas, flavours, colours and landscapes that trigger the imagination and carry one into this country straddling Europe and Asia…’
– M. Elena Spikermann, Literary Scout & Agent

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