Winter, 1997, in Karatau, Kazakhstan, was the coldest I ever experienced in my life. I was at my Peace Corps site for just a little over two months when winter struck with a fury. Even the local Kazakhs and Russians were surprised at the harsh winter. It got down to -40 C which was not normal for my southern Kazakhstan town. Around Christmas I remember that the walk to take this photo was entirely covered by ice.
I was wearing my new Russian fur hat, Canadian winter boots, thermal underwear, a sweatshirt and Eddie Bauer winter jacket. I was still cold. My student, Ainura (left), and host sister, Aizhan (right), took their hats beanies off just for the picture.
We walked fast back to our houses after this for some hot tea.