What I Did on My Summer Vacation July 1, 2017

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

By: Izabel Trizlova

It was mid-April, I was still in Madrid, Spain and my final exams were right around the corner, when many of my colleagues asked me what I was planning on doing during my summer vacation. “I’m just going to relax and go to the beach,” I said eager to begin my summer break. Now, two months later, when friends, classmates and relatives ask me how my summer vacation is going, I reply with “It’s great. I’m in Astana, Kazakhstan now”.

I had not imagined that I would be spending my summer vacation in Kazakhstan but after seeing a Facebook post about the USA Pavilion looking for student ambassadors, I decided to apply immediately. Now here I am, inside the USA Pavilion at Expo 2017 and still trying to take everything in.

To begin with, I had no idea what to expect from the country, the people and the overall atmosphere of Expo. I began researching about the culture, the history and the lifestyle here. There is only so much you can learn about a country from the internet, so I came with an open mind.

Thus far, I have come to realize that the locals here are extremely friendly, open to meeting foreigners and always helpful. One of my first encounters with a local was at Expo Village. As I was wandering around trying to find the exit of the housing site, a security guard came up to me and asked if I needed help. As soon as I said yes, he escorted me to the exit, asked me where I was from and what I was doing here; he even gave me advice on what restaurants to go to, what food to try and what sites to see. From that moment on, he was more than a security guard, he became a friend.

As Expo started and pavilions began opening, I met participants from all over the world. Whether I am working at the USA pavilion, exploring other ones or walking downtown, every day here is a new experience, which allows me to learn more about the country, which I will call home this summer.

This post reflects the opinion of the author and not the USA Pavilion and its sponsors