Ukraine vs Germany Rugby Match

A couple thousand spectators wandered into Kyiv’s Spartak Stadium to watch a near top of the table clash between Ukraine and Germany in this year’s European Nations Cup. Having been relegated last year, Ukraine immediately found themselves again on the back foot defending their line after knocking on from the kick off. The intensity was strong, but their resolve held out and they went back to half way – only 3 points down.

The next few passages of play saw great forward work for the first 5 pointer for Ukraine. Converted from the sideline, Ukraine hit the lead 7-3. More aggressive pick and go from the forwards saw Germany back pedaling and Ukraine makes it 14-3. A couple more penalties are all Germany can manage. Ukraine’s tackling was aggressive and their defense clinical. But a terrible mistake from the full back just before half time allows the German team over the line and the conversion gives them the lead.

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April 2007 Monthly Update

The Kyiv Metro system has some very long escalators. I like waving to all the people going the other way and calling out “hello” or “smile”! Most people try to stare straight ahead, but some will smile or wave back, and the other day someone called out “Jono!” Kyiv is a small place!!

Rural Ukraine Foreign Language Services
Last month I told you about this new focus and the last 4 weeks have been focused on pursuing this. I have met with countless people, searched many pages on the internet, and so far have nothing concrete to show for it. Sorry, I do have one thing – I now have a tax file number here in Ukraine. Also I have found out a lot of information, much of it contradictory or confusing. I have found a number of people who are interested in the idea and some who say they want to help after I first get registered.

I am thinking of teaching a few people from home on an informal basis, to get a start and to raise more interest.

Olya (my translator) worked for me for the best part of 4 weeks. She has now finished up and gone back to Poltava.

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March 2007 Monthly Update

Rural Ukraine Foreign Language Services
1. To register an organisation that allows us to:
• Teach foreign languages
• Pay workers
• Receive money for services
• Receive money as gifts from within Ukraine and overseas
• Live in Ukraine as foreigners
• Bring foreign visitors to Ukraine
• Rent premises
• Operate totally legally and transparently
2. To open a language centre in Rzhyshchiv.
• Find a place to rent
• Advertise for students
• Prepare lesson materials
• Ascertain appropriate fee structure
• Start teaching classes
3. To teach English one or two days a week in one (or both) of Rzhyshchiv’s local schools
• Speak to English teachers
• Speak to school Principals (Heads)

The next few weeks will be dedicated to the above 3 goals. I have hired a translator for 3 weeks. Olya from Poltava will be coming to Rzhyshchiv and working with me each day as I will be meeting with people here in Rzhyshchiv and in Kyiv to accomplish these tasks.

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Miss is that a wig you are wearing?


I’ve been in London for less than a week but it’s been go go go. Here are a few of my impressions, thoughts, observations and happenings.

  • Students calling me ‘miss’
  • Students asking me if I’m wearing a wig, pulling my hair and saying “Ooooh it is attached!”
  • Everyone on the tube reading the tabloids
  • People thinking the tube is crowded (come to Ukraine and I’ll show you crowded)
  • Getting up at 5:30 am and getting home at 6:30 pm
  • Finding a Russian shop just up the road from where I’m staying.
  • Ruth watching lots of cooking shows in TV (and cooking great meals too)
  • Fast wireless internet
  • A great view of London from the top of the London Eye
  • Hearing many languages spoken and sometimes not even understanding the English


February 2007 Monthly Update


Going somewhere away from home
Not going to work or school
Eating more than usual
Staying up late and sleeping in
Playing more games
Watching more TV
Spending more money than usual
More time with friends and loved ones
Maybe the above statements are true for you. They often are for me. Sometimes I fear there is a lot of self indulgence in a holiday.
My current ‘holiday’ is quite a long one and so I am also working for a part of it. I was keen to be back in the classroom teaching as well as it being a good way to pay for the holiday.


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Hurry and order your own unique set of hand painted original wooden Ukrainian Nestling Dolls.

Went to the football

Went to the football (soccer) last night.
It was Ukraine vs. Scotland and a qualifier for Euro 2008. I bought 15 tickets a couple weeks back and had a whole bunch of friends from here and Kyiv going. I also had a Scottish mate living in Ukraine come and stay before the game and help get me pumped up and enthusiastic for the game. He gave me a Scottish flag, hat and make do imitation kilt. Seeing as I have Scottish blood (I think my great Grandfather – is that right Mum?) I decided that supporting the Scots would be the way to go.

Simeon (Scottish mate) and I had a great time around the city before the game. We must have had our photo taken with well over 100 people. He left me at the gates to go the Scottish section where he had a ticket. I went to my section and found my Rzh friends there, but the police decided that as I was dressed in Scottish outfit it would be dangerous for me to sit there. They first came and told my friends around me to make sure they didn’t touch me (quite funny) then they decided in fact to move me.

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