I start back at work on Monday 17th of August. I feel like I have had a good break from both teaching and the responsibility of owning and running a business. I have tried to suppress the many and varied thoughts such as: where to from here? what about this or that? who is going to . . .? I need to . . . etc. I know there are some huge hills ahead, but the good thing about climbing up is the view from the top. We have two weeks of planning, signing up students, timetabling classes, buying curriculum. I want to say I’m excited about this up-coming year, but the truth is right now I’m not. I know I need to be. .



This year I went to Crimea twice. The first was in my van with Sergei, Sasha, Masha, Tanya, Lena and Anya. The van had been running ok for the last few months so we bundled all of our camping gear in and headed south. About 7 hours down the road the van conked out. To spare you the details, it took us 3 days to get to Crimea and the van broke down over 10 times during the whole trip. I learned a few new things about fuel lines, pumps, carbuerators etc. and also how to do emergency wiring with a switch under the bonnet I have to turn on before I start the car and off to turn the car off. Can be fun. But outside auto adventures, it was a great time to enjoy the sea – the first time to Crimea for at least 3 of our group. It was great to see people need to problem solve and watch people learn new things about themselves and others.

My second trip to Crimea was via plane and a rented car with Ruth, Jon and Gaven. We visited Feodosia, Sudak and Yalta. The highlights for me were a castle in Sudak with a really impressive medieval show complete with a full on battle, and the cable car to the top of Ay Petry (though the wait in the queue was less than impressive).


That’s right – I have bought a cheap little (made in China) Scooter or Moped as they are called over here. It plugs along about 40-50 kms and even 60 down big hills! It is so economical on fuel I reckon I’ll pay it off quite quickly by using it around town and for going to school and student’s houses. The van is also due for some repairs so this gives me mobility while I wait for that.


It was fun to be at Alyosha and Oksana’s wedding just before camp. Alyosha lived in my house for about 4 years. He has continued building and increasing in knowledge and experience in this industry. Oksana has finished her degree as a fashion designer and will be looking for a job. Bruce caught me doing something called dancing or something like that and put it up on you tube.

Next Saturday I’ll be best man for another wedding. Sasha Kucherenko is marrying a different Oksana. There are so many people with the same name I used to call him Weird Sasha and her Crazy Oksana – and that was long before they were together. Sasha rang and said he needed a ‘normal’ guy to stand next to a ‘real’ man so would I be his best man. Sasha not only thinks outside the box – he lives outside of it. Should be a fun day next weekend.


Oh it’s a wonderful world we live in. My computer has been fixed by the Asus support centre in Kyiv – the best service I think I have encountered here. I got a long way behind in answering emails but will try to get back on top again. Thanks to those who prayed and thanks to anyone who ever writes me an email or letter or facebook note. I do appreciate it.


Because of holidays I have managed to read quite a lot recently.

I finished Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. It was a long and slow read but a fascinating look at human relationships. Although the drama climaxes at the end of section 7, I thoroughly enjoyed section 8 and the conclusions one of the characters comes to about life. It’s not for the faint hearted but I recommend Anna Karenina to you. 5/5

I read and studied Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Once again something new was opened to me here, and I thoroughly enjoyed it – though I am not sure I could have done it on my own if it were not for the tutor and the films we watched with it. 5/5

Ruth loaned me a fast moving novel by Dean Koontz called Velocity. All though a little farfetched (I hope) in its plot, it was well written – almost too many adjectives – and inserted throughout the pace of action were well timed thoughts about life. 3/5


Jon who helped with getting the computer fixed – finding the right people and place

Love Jono

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