If you know as much about Kazakhstan as we did before we started this whole process you may appreciate a little more info about the country, where it is in the world, it's people, etc. The following is all my own work and is definitely not ripped wholesale from wikipedia! ;)
Republic of Kazakhstan, is a country that stretches over a vast expanse of northern and central Eurasia. Ranked the ninth largest country in the world, it has a territory of 2,717,300 km² (bigger than Western Europe). While located mainly in Asia, a small portion lies to the west of the Ural River and is technically in Europe. It borders Russia, the People's Republic of China, and the Central Asian countries Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, and has a coastline on the Caspian Sea.
Despite its vast size, much of the land consists of semi-desert (steppe) terrain. In terms of population, Kazakhstan ranks 62nd in the world, with a population density of less than 6 people per square kilometre (15 per sq. mi.). The total population has declined somewhat since independence, dropping from 16,464,464 in 1989 to 15,300,000 in 2006.
The city we will be adopting from is a small mining city in central Kazakhstan called Arkalyk around 45,000 people live in the city. Historically Arkalyk was a centre for the Soviet space programme. Cosmonauts would land on the huge central Kazakh steppe and come back to Arkalyk before heading to the Baikonur, the Union's premier "space city".
By monday we hope to have firmer information about when we can travel from our coordinator in Arkalyk, a Mr Baurzhan Mukambedzhanov, if anyone has any suggestions how on earth you would pronounce his name we would be more than happy to hear them!!
We will keep you posted!
Philip & Amanda