The Mada's Articles
May 12, 2005 by The Mada
Hey everyone,
Barring any big unforeseen events, this will be the last group letter I send before coming home in July. A lot has happened since my last letter in March, so I’ll pick up where I left off. We went to Shymkent on March 22nd for the Kazakh New Year’s holiday. I took a night bus by myself to Almaty, then traveled with all the volunteers from Ust Kamenogorsk from Almaty to Shymkent. Back to back nights on busses is not fun. Anyway, we arrived to find green grass and warm sunny w...
March 13, 2005 by The Mada
Hello again from KZ. I apologize for the long delay between letters, I have had a lot of trouble with the phone lines and internet connections, and I have been waiting for a good time to update everyone on what’s been going on. It’s been nearly 3 months since my last letter, which I can hardly believe. Time is flying by, and I am amazed when I think about the fact that in a little more than 2 months, I will have been here for a full year, and I will be halfway home. Let me pick up where I l...
March 13, 2005 by The Mada
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

This letter marks 6 months since I left the states. I’m a quarter of the way through my time here, so I figured it’s time to reflect on what has happened so far and share some interesting events I’ve been a part of here.
A lot has happened since my last update. First and foremost, I have switched to a new host family here at site. The Tartar family I was living with became cold and unfriendly for whatever reason, and after 4 months I decided ...
March 13, 2005 by The Mada
Greetings again from Central Asia. To say the least, it has been a difficult and eventful month since the last time I wrote. I don’t even remember exactly when that was. I will begin with the basics. If I’m repeating myself a little bit, and for those of you who have already heard this information, I apologize. Honestly, I just don’t remember what I’ve already told you. I am immersed into the teaching routine now, and was essentially thrown in head first with no life jacket. I am teaching...
March 13, 2005 by The Mada
Hello again from Kazakhstan,
I just wanted to send a group letter to let you know my situation. I’m writing this letter on Wednesday, August 19. Tomorrow will be my last day in Turgen, as we are leaving for our permanent sites on Friday. I will be taking a bus about 10 hours north of Almaty to a small town called Kabanbai, which will be my assignment for the next 2 years. It is a village of about 8000 people, mostly of the native Kazakh ethnicity. This will be a stark contrast to Turgen, ...
March 13, 2005 by The Mada
Hey everyone! Let me first start by apologizing for not answering individual letters and being out of touch for so long. The last 5 weeks have been extremely intense, and I have had essentially no free time. We go 7 days a week, 6-8 hour days, and we do not have any internet access here in my town. The nearest town with internet is 12 km away. The connection is very unreliable, and obviously we cannot call ahead to see if the internet is working, so we rarely travel there. Every day includ...
March 6, 2005 by The Mada
Hi everyone! On this site you will find a record of all my group letters as well as updated happenings and pictures from my experience here in Kazakhstan. I will update this weblog as often as possible to keep everyone informed, interested, and coming back. I will try to keep negative comments and feelings to a minimum, but as I intend to use this as both a forum to share my experiences and also a personal journal, I can't promise that there won't be some pissed off ramblings from time to time...