Last Sunday Sergei and I stood on top of Ukraine. Mt Hoverla is Ukraine’s highest peak standing at just 2061 metres. It was a steep but fairly quick climb (1 ½ hrs up). We climbed in heavy fog and when we reached the top there was very strong cold wind and we could only see about 15 metres in any direction. So I’ll have to go back again another time. Six of us have just been away for 9 days. We camped in tents and cooked our own food over the fire and washed in the river. It was a good time visiting some cities and learning more of their history as well as just enjoying the beauty of creation in the mountains. It really reminded me of New Zealand. We visited an amazing castle in Kamyanets Podilsky. There we caught up with my friend Irina. I also spent one day across the border in Romania, it was good to see the Marianciuc family again – those who were there. Then on the way home through Lviv we caught up with Natasha and Alyosha whose wedding I was at recently. They showed us some new spots in Lviv and I like that city even more.


Ruth and Jon are with me now. Over the next two weeks they will find accommodation in Kyiv and get prepared for a school year teaching in an international school here. My friend Blair has children enrolled at the school where they will teach.


The registration process is almost complete. Two ladies from Kyiv have been working on it for me. I have just been turning up and signing my name over and over and over again. This is almost done. I will basically not do much before I leave Ukraine in October, but it means when I return next year everything will be ready to go full swing. I will continue with my current students in September and hopefully will be able to pass them on to an American named RC who is here for 6 months.


  • Xan and Dan for the rugby videos and encouraging letters.

Love Jono

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