Kazakhstan-bound for the 2011-12 Academic Year

I have received an academic fellowship for the 2011-12 AY to study in Kazakhstan. Prior to my departure for Almaty in early September, I’ll be studying Kazakh at Indiana University in Bloomington. Although I have no exposure to Kazakh, I do know other Turkic languages – Azeri and Turkish. I served in the Peace Corps and worked in Azerbaijan for six years. At present I am law student, but obviously I’ll be taking some time away from my legal courses to study Kazakh and Russian and to conduct some academic research.

Right now, the paperwork process is in full swing. I got a physical today – I am healthy. Tomorrow some shots – perhaps Tetanus, Typhoid and a Polio booster at the county health center. My next major task is to figure out how to get a round-trip plane ticket for a date so far in advance a ticket still cannot be purchased. I’ll probably just end up paying a fee to change the ticket in the future. I am also trying to prepare all of my non-Kazakhstan-bound belongings for storage. This mainly involves trying to get rid of as much extraneous stuff as possible. I dropped off two bags of used law school supplements to the library today, shipped some used textbooks to Amazon and have a sack of secondhand clothes ready for Goodwill. I have no idea how I acquired so much stuff in a mere two years in the U.S., but it’s liberating to get rid of it. I am uprooting again…

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