People carry around all sorts of baggage. Our past experiences combine to bring about various reactions in certain situations.

My past experiences of airline travel are leaving me less and less trusting of their ability to deliver luggage. I have recently been to NZ and Australia. I was in NZ for our 4 yearly family reunion. When I arrived in Auckland my bag did not arrive. I still haven’t got it back. So I bought a new case and filled it with books for the English school and headed back here – and believe it or not I arrived back in Kyiv yesterday – again with no luggage.

I was wandering around the airport looking to see if I could buy a jumper or something – as I had checked in my jacket and only had a t shirt on. I bumped into some people I knew who gave me a ride into town. I got off near a second hand shop and walked over to find it was shut. I said I need a jacket so they took me inside and about 12 ladies were standing around – laughing at the poor foreigner who had no jacket and gave me a jumper and jacket and said they were for free!!

All the same – I hope my luggage turns up.


Last year finished up with our first ever Presentation Night. We had over 50 people present and had a great night, recognising the achievements of the students so far and making great contact with parents and grandparents and interested friends.

I have only just got back to Ukraine and have yet to get my head around all the new developments. I believe we have been granted a room in the school that we can use as our own. The council’s decision about a building has been put off as their scheduled meeting took place while I was in NZ.

Other great news is the addition of two new part time teachers. Simbo (Simeon) and Asia Ewing have been living in Kyiv learning Ukrainian. They are shifting to Rzhyshchiv and will be living with me for a couple of months. They are both keen to help teaching and will be working Tuesdays and Thursdays.

There are ongoing paperwork requirements both on the business side and my residency status. I want to keep them moving along – but at the same time feel like just letting what happens happen.



In the beginning of December I flew to Lviv (there are new cheap flights here in Ukraine with WIZZ Air). I had a great weekend with Losha and Nat. They are expecting their first child any time now. I had some great discussions with Losha – he is a deep thinker. It led me to write my musings while I was waiting in a cafe.

Then the last few weeks have been in NZ – you know about the luggage. It was good for our rather unique family to touch base together again. My Dad has retired from medical practice now, the nieces and nephews are all growing up. We are blessed to have the opportunity to get together.

A highlight for me was being able to fly down to Nelson – I love flying into Nelson airport – and with my sister Jo and Frank and Nikki Melanie and Benji, we went back to one of my child hood favourite spots – Mt Arthur. I loved that.


I am glad to have the van working again. I’m praying about being able to replace it with a smaller more economical car, but it is good to have wheels and something that starts. There was another problem with the pump and it burned out so I came back to no water. Daniel and I managed to replace it this morning so it was a brief time with no water – but I need to look into avoiding the problem for the future.

I realise this is half way thru January. However I now plan to restart writing  Monthly Updates.  Please let me know of email address changes and if you want more or less correspondence.


“A House Divided” (The Russians, Book 2) by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella. I don’t usually like this genre but am appreciating the historical and geographical setting of these novels. I bought the series minus one book at a garage sale a while back. 3/5

I’ve picked at a few other books – I really want to have more time reading this year.


To Pris for awesome pumpkin soup for a weary bag less traveller.

Love Jono

Keep Looking Up