OVERLOAD ON GLOBAL/SOCIAL NETWORKS

I feel like my emotional bandwidth is running above capacity and the friendship load is about to give a message: "error, your interaction has timed out!"

What is a true friendship? How do you maintain a true friendship? Can a person have too many friends? How do you say good bye and how do you stay in touch?

It is possible I am over-cooking this issue as it is pertinent to my life's situation right now. But I want all of my life to have the ring of "real" about it, and that includes friendships. I said goodbye to a lot of friends whom I will probably not see for at least 2-3 years. A couple of friends drove a long way last night to say goodbye even though they had to be gone by 5 the next morning. What does it mean to me? I must admit I have never been so thankful for Facebook!

· I have photos.

· I have memories.

· One can always write.

But there is no substitute for time spent together. Water under the bridge is always water under the bridge. There is but a moment separating the past from the future, it is called the present continuous. And that is where I want to live, with all my friends - but that is an unrealistic desire sorry Jono.

So for now, I salute you friends. I appreciate every sacrifice, word, hug and smile. You, my friends are dear to me.

UKRAINE

I have left Ukraine. Probably for good, but at least for a time.

Continue to give thanks for Natasha and Sveta. They will continue running UTSIM at least another half year and see what happens. It has been an amazing bridge into the community and continues to be. I was very happy to have a couple of my former students come over for dinner last week. I will continue to offer a small amount of support from a distance but have no involvement in the operations of the company.

I sold or gave away many of my possessions and have a few more stored up (hopefully safely). I have a long term rental agreement with Igor. He has lived in my house for over three years now and will marry this coming October. A female touch in my house will be a welcome change.

MONTH OF TRAVELS

Jono is on the road again. I am writing this update around 4:30 am in Dubai International Airport. I am off to Nepal for the holiday of a lifetime where I will do a not too strenuous trek around Mt. Everest (photos to come). I planned this holiday back in December last year. Since then, having met Marie, I do wish she could join me but that is not possible. Travelling alone is fast becoming something I like less and less. I arrive back in Sydney on September 18 in time to attend the graduation of my grade three class from 2003. From there I will fly to NZ for just over a week with Ruth and Jon again.

I then return to Sydney to teach Grade 4 for Term 4 at school. I am also greatly looking forward to a visit from Marie for three weeks in November. I look forward to "showing her off" to many of you Sydney-siders.

THE OTHER STUFF

It's great to have the Bledisloe Cup safely locked away for yet another year. Ruth has a little bundle locked away, but not for too much longer. Niece number ten is due at the end of November.

WATHCYA READIN'?

When I finished Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis I didn't have access to the other two books in the series so I started Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky which I have downloaded on my tablet. I am now about a third of the way through. It is my second time and still a very good read.

THANKS

Everyone who came to visit and say goodbye this past week.

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