With the program coming to an end in two weeks, I still feel that there is so much of Almaty that I have yet to see. In every direction, there are still spaces and crevices that I have yet to explore, parks to visit, restaurants to try, monuments to see, the list goes on. To be fair, my lack of research about the city before the trip gave me the illusion that the city would be smaller and easy to quickly navigate, but alas, I was wrong. I am upset that there is still so much of the city left to see, and realistically speaking, there is no way to see most of it in the two weeks left. But I still have hope to see more of the city in the future.
This two-month summer program has prepared me for the yearlong capstone offered by Russian Flagship. The year-long program will give me significantly more time to explore the parts of the city that I have not yet seen. I know when this program is over in two weeks, I’ll miss the ability to constantly explore the city, and for that reason I will longingly anticipate the beginning of my capstone year in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In the last few weeks, I have also been dreading the idea of not being able to consistently return to the places I have already visited, like the excursion locations in the mountains or lakes. Plus, there are restaurants and shopping centers that I regularly go to with my friends on this trip, and it’s upsetting that it will all be over in the matter of two weeks.
Overall, I am pleasantly surprised with how great this trip has turned out; it surpassed any expectations that I had before showing up in Almaty. The city has offered me more than I could have ever asked for, and it’s strange to think that there are still new things that I haven’t tried here in Almaty. On this trip I’ve met a lot of great people, I’ve enjoyed my classes and progress in the Russian language, and I’ve created many new and joyous memories, and I’m happy for it all. I will cherish the next two weeks to come, and despite this trip coming to an end, I still have the capstone year to look forward to.
By: Felipe Amirola
Program: Advanced Russian Language & Area Studies Program, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Term: Summer 2019