AUSSIE! AUSSIE! AUSSIE! Australia Day 2006

January 26. The alarm sounds and I bounce out of bed, ready for a good ole Aussie day! Then I remember that this is Ukraine, it is about minus 20 and I still have no running water. So its heat up some water for a bucket bath.
After my bucket bath I must decide what to wear. First of all Speedos. Its Australia Day so we will definitely be going to the beach. Now for the warm clothes. Green and gold socks (Beecroft Rugby), an Australian T-shirt on top of my jumper, my Australian Army jacket and an Akubra.

Some careful make up jobs were next on the list. A flag on one cheek, AUS on the other cheek and green stripes in my hair.

Now time to pack up the vegetables I managed to buy in Kyiv the day before, the cream cheese and the sweet chilli sauce. The most money I have paid for food in a long time.

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Surviving the Cold

Its nearly midday Sunday. I'm just taking a break in attempting to get water to my house. I have the pump inside thawing out. I have a heater on in the bathroom trying to thaw out the pipes inside the bathroom walls. I have a fire lit outside the house against the wall where the pipes are. The wall obviously needs repairing as the smoke from this fire is going through the wall and filling the bathroom (and these walls are about a foot thick). I have the gas burner going in the pit next to the well (where the pump goes) to thaw the ice from the pipe that leads from the pump to the house.
And its minus 20 outside so as I work outside I come in regularly to get warm again.
Living without water is not fun - but it is a good excuse not to do the washing up!
Love Jono
Keep Looking Up

Jono Miller
Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 73:28


Right now outside it looks like a lovely sunny day. But don't be fooled - the temperature is on the rise and it is now minus 21 outside. I have been outside once for about 3 minutes to get some things out of the van and man it was cold. I'm not sure what the temperature was when I got up this morning because it was lower than my thermometer records. I have the furnace going full blast but the house is still not really warm - I have my thermals on inside!
But the really fun thing is that the water pipes have frozen. I'm not even exactly sure where they are frozen - I think inside the wall where they come out of the ground and into the house. So I have no water.
Soon I need to go out. At least I know my nose won't run - it will freeze before it can drip!
Wow - this is the coldest I have experienced.
Enjoy summer!!

Lazy Days - Keeping Warm in Romania

Today is Saturday evening and since Wednesday afternoon I have been staying with the Marianciuc family in Siret, Romania.
I have been inside most of the time and done very little; sleeping, eating, watching movies, playing computer games, reading and crosswords. I've hardly been outside. So I just decided to head up to the shops to buy some bananas and ice-cream as a treat for dessert. I put on my hat and scarf and gloves and jacket, and was surprised at how cold I felt. When I got back, Jonny informed me that it was minus 9 degrees outside.
so I think I'll stay indoors.
I have eaten lots of fried pig fat and must say it tastes great.
maybe my holiday will get more exciting to write about later - but honestly, less exciting probably means less dramas and I can do without them right now.

Love Jono
Keep Looking Up

Jono Miller
Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 73:28

Back from Holidays

Well I’m back from holidays and with 101 things to do, I’m finally sitting down to answer my 71 emails. So I decided to cheat. I’m going to write this same paragraph to everyone. Hopefully you’ll get another sentence or two as well, but if not I’m sorry.

Hey let me tell you about today.

It is minus 6 now and I think it’s been about the same all day. The forecast is for minus 15-20 over the next few days.

So anyhow, I got up at 5:45, had a shower, dressed warmly and walked up the hill to Dan’s.

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Plans Schmans

I sit here in an internet cafe in Chernivtsi, a town on the border of Ukraine and Romania.
I spent a couple of days travelling to Rivne before Christmas, and then a couple of days eating lots of yummy food and playing 500 with Daniel.
Then another couple days driving here and yesterday i tried to cross the border to Romania to celebrate New Years with friends there and i was informed that i have a document missing. I had checked with Ben about all the documents he needed when he did the trip last year and i have all of those documents. But this is Ukraine! They have introduced a new law since then and i need to have another document.
Today i spent the morning running around trying to get that document to find out that i cannot get it here, i have to go back to Kyiv Region to get that document, and because it is New Year, no document processing place will be open until Tuesday.
So i have parked my van here in Chernivtsi. I will catch the train back to Kyiv, aim to get the document Tuesday morning and train back here and cross over to Romania next week.
Not the way i planned it - but hey - "that's life!" as they say.

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I have a new international career.
I'm writing this BLOG sitting in a dingy little underground bar that's pumping out "we built this city on rock and roll". I'm eating something that is supposed to look like pizza and drinking lemon fanta.

My location - Xelm, Poland.

I'm here just a few hours before the next train back to Kyiv. It was necessary for me to exit Ukraine having been back here for 6 months already.

(INSERT: - I just bent my fork on the pizza - it could be a chore to eat it!)

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