Turkmenistan is the southernmost former state of the USSR bordering Uzbekistan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan with the Caspian Sea on it's western side. I worked as a geologist in the country initially in 1993 then 10 years later for a period of five and a half years for a British oil company. I made lots of very good friends in my time there, the locals are very friendly. The area where I was working is another story. The Russians don't have the best record for environmental concerns but this was slowly being cleaned up.
In 2005 I held an exhibition of local photographs in the National Library in the capital Ashgabat, hosted by the British Embassy and the Ministry for Culture.