My flat mate (house mate) Igor commented that he was very happy to have a real winter. That means lots of snow and lots of cold temperatures. When I asked him why, he said it felt right to have a cold winter, not a mild one. Weak answer!

Highlights of this ‘real winter’ include:

  • Frozen pipes – mine and many of my friends
  • Buying more thermal underwear – I now own a pair of ‘stockings for men without socks’
  • My van hasn’t gone anywhere in well over a month
  • Taking about 15 minutes to get ready to go anywhere
  • An electric blanket
  • Falling over crossing the road – in front of lots of people
  • Cold fingers, cold nose
  • Walking on ice to an island in the river

Sometimes we like to imagine that something is better than it really is. We talk ourselves into believing that things ought to be a certain way without any real solid reasons.


There’s always something happening here.

We are able to stay in Gaven’s house until the end of May but then have a huge hurdle to cross of finding a suitable alternative for the next school year. Classes have continued well in Rzhyshchiv and even just last week a new student joined one of the classes.

We have had a greater consolidation as a staff and are working well and gelling well together. However we have more changes coming up. Sveta is looking to return to NZ and we have a possible replacement coming this week to check out UTSIM.

We have also had to have a serious look at the branch in Kaharlyk as the anticipated growth has not occurred. Last week I met with the head of education there. He is young, friendly and was very interested in us and seems to want to work with us. The directors of two schools welcomed us with open arms to advertise to their students. A third school however had a very stand-offish approach and I would ask you to pray that he is not instrumental in spreading negative vibes. He is a former head of education and has a bit of weight to throw around.

I will return to Kaharlyk this coming week – it will be a flat out week.



Max lived with me for a few months in 2008. He has come to visit Rzh a few times since and now has made it to Hungary to study. He is really excited and sees it as a huge miracle that he is there.


I have my laptop back and Jon is helping me put together a desktop computer so that I can have something permanently at home which I am not lugging around all over the place. I have got a long way behind in answering some emails – so I apologise for that.


I can’t believe why I never read these books before, but I have eventually decided to get to know Mr JRR Tolkien. I’ve finished The Hobbit and am now winding my way along the Withywindle in The Fellowship of the Ring. Inspiring writing and thoroughly enjoyable. Not to mention that I imagine every scene to be somewhere in NZ! 5/5


To Jon for giving me amazing tech support – as always

Love Jono

Keep Looking Up