So the location we moved to is “up” from one of the main southern roads. We have wonderful clean air and all the houses have significant yards. EVERY yard has trees, vines, gardens, etc. ALL the things! Our property also backs up to a river coming down from one of the biggest lakes around Almaty. We started to recognize that not every house in our area or even on our street are lived in permanently. It is very popular here to live in the city and also own a house (albeit small and rustic sometimes) with land outside the city. This kind of house is known as a “dacha”. It means like “summer” or “weekend” home. People come on the weekends particularly in spring/summer/fall to work in their gardens/harvest trees/vines, etc. They may not even have an inside toilet, just outhouses lol. And the house may be barely put together but at least they have land! We think probably about every 3rd house in this area is a Dacha. We hope we get to know some neighbors soon. Winter is kind of hard since no one is out, maybe in the Spring!