I was recently given the following saying: “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” I liked it. So I started thinking about it a lot. I wondered if it is always true and decided I was analysing it too much instead of thinking about the general truth it gives me. Then I wondered if I could substitute the word happiness. I guess I like the sentiment that life is the journey and the journey is life. I realise that perspective in any situation is the key to one’s response. I’ve so often said that life is 5% what happens and 95% attitude.

What are your thoughts? Email me or log on to my website and leave a comment for all to see.


Many of you have asked questions or wondered a little of my situation being in Australia, being engaged, returning to Ukraine etc. etc.

So here it is:

  • I am no longer engaged and am not intending to get married at this point of my life.
  • I have stepped down from my role here. I am looking for a full time job and intend to be based in Australia for an unspecified length of time. My commmunity has been very helpful and supportive in all of this.

· UTSIM will continue. I will help from a distance.


I’ll fill you in on the future plans for UTSIM in a subsequent Monthly Update. For now there are just 2 ½ months left til the end of this school year.

  • In past years the commitment has dwindled as the summer months approach.
  • The staff are planning an end of year activity and giving out progress reports. These reports are not only academically helpful, but also demonstrate the relationship built between the student and teacher. It is so wonderful to hear of the positive reports I have heard passed on from community members about the service we are providing to the neighbourhood.
  • Natasha is undertaking more and more of my role; she needs energy, time, love, and probably another worker to share the load. On top of that she has a husband and two small children.

I am grateful for all of the UTSIM staff and all the wonderful reports I have heard during this school year whilst I have been in Australia.

LIFE OUTSIDE OF BUSINESS (or inside Australia)

I just turned 38! Wow! That seems like quite a lot of years. Facebook has a wonderful way of spreading love all around the world, so I had lots of birthday greetings. A couple of cakes and I managed to win at table tennis – so all-round a great birthday.

This weekend I also got to catch up with my friend Laura who I haven’t seen in ages. She came to Ukraine a few years ago so we thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing about those times. She also lives in a beautiful part of God’s creation – I always enjoy sitting outside in the morning looking at the trees, clouds and sky and listening to the birds.

Rugby trials start this coming weekend – I hope that my body is ready. On that note, the club is still in need of a few more players to fill all the teams. Anyone living in Sydney who would like to come down for a run with Beecroft – I’d love to see you there. It’s a great mates’ activity.


I made it! I finished Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It was a long, sometimes tedious, but very insightful undertaking which I’m glad that I took the time to read it. Many of the quotes I gleaned from it you will find on my Facebook wall (if you scroll past all the birthday greetings).

I have so many books that I would like to read – not sure what will come next but I can assure you it will be a bit shorter.


Rhona Stewart and Heather Smith for a really thoughtful and scrumptious birthday morning tea at school last week.

Love Jono

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