Friday, December 07, 2007

It is great to spend one year of my life in Kazakhstan because...

Having re-read my few previous postings, I’ve noticed that I sound rather negative in them. To not confuse anyone and myself, I would just say that my experience in Kazakhstan in unique and I would not change it for anything else at this moment of my life.

It is indeed hard, sometimes harder than I thought it would be. But as one writer said – “Our best teacher is the one called Life”. And I completely agree with that. Life has brought indeed quite many lessons into my life during past five months.

How to lead the processes in an organisation in conditions of lacking any kind of resources?

What does it mean to build an ideology of an organisation?

How does it feel when you need to be an example for others in times of emotional exhaustion of yourself?

How to manage relationship of key people of an organisation, who don’t care about each other, are having past conflicts in mind, and you are in the middle of it all?

How to combine dealing with establishment of hundreds of small details, while not losing the focus?

How to be able to find lots of information by yourself in a foreign country without getting upset that things are moving far too slowly?

How to build trust to yourself on behalf of people whose trust you need?

How to see beauty around you in conditions when you can’t accept ugliness of certain constant actions of others?

This is the list of some lessons I have got during recent months. I am grateful for that.

Now I feel like I want to share the things which I like and appreciate about Kazakhstan, because there can be impression from my previous posts that I don’t feel myself very comfortable in this country. Although there are things here which I honestly dislike and I don’t see myself living here in the long run (like in any other country except Estonia, which is still my home and there I plan to be), I find that Kazakhstan has many things making it worth spending one year of my life here.

  • Kazakhstan and its people are quite tolerant towards different nationalities, religions, diverse outlooks. Kazakhstan has around 130 nationalities and they all live in peace. That is one thing local people are proud about. As nationalism and ethical/religious chauvinism is the thing I probably hate the most in this world, I appreciate Kazakhstan in this sense. Unlike almost all post-Soviet countries (including Estonia, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Tajikistan, Moldova and others), Kazakhstan has not had any serious internal conflicts on ethical or religious ground. I believe there is quite a lot to learn from Kazakhstan in this sense.

  • Internal tolerance is reflected in peaceful external relations of a state. Kazakhstan has good relations with Russia, China, EU, Turkey, even USA. The country is not building its foreign policy on having explicit or implicit enemies (like many states including Estonia or Russia unfortunately do).
  • If one wants to experience complete freedom and amazing unity with the Nature, he/she must come to Kazakhstan. Its steppes, deserts, mountains, wonderful lakes and rivers all constitute amazing space to be with your thoughts and with yourself. Enormous territory of the country offers many amazing spots to be discovered…
  • There are a lot of well-educated, smart people who care about their country and about its people. One great thing is that some of such people I know are AIESEC members and AIESEC alumni.
  • Although with some local specifics, there are quite favourable conditions for doing business in Kazakhstan. If you have entrepreneurial spirit, your own head and knowing right people, you may be able to make good profits out of many untaken spots.
  • Probably single the most important reason why it is worth to spend one year of my life here is that by now I’ve got few people who became my friends, whom I trust and who I care about.