One of the mobile phone companies in Ukraine is called “Life”. It is the company I use and most of my friends also use it as it has free calls between users. But last week Life was broken in Rzh for about 4-5 days. It was almost a minor catastrophe. We wondered how people ever managed to live and accomplish their daily lives before mobile phones. I couldn’t call my workers when I needed to. Social gatherings were hard to organise. It was eye-opening to see how much of our lives we have made dependent upon a piece of technology. It was also wonderful to realise that meaningful time spent with people, uninterrupted by telephones, is a lost art worth rediscovering.

Here’s an idea. Turn your phone off for an entire day (an entire week) and observe two things. Firstly, there is always a creative solution to every problem. Secondly, there are people close by with whom we can (and often should) interact with more. Do you rule your phone or does your phone rule you!?!


Holidays! – well not quite. Rzhyshchiv is on holidays from classes while Kaharlyk continues til the end of this month. I’ve had preliminary interviews with my staff and have some new-look contracts for next year. I have spent a few hours with a tent in the centre of town advertising our business. We hope in the next 12 months to grow the business to a size which makes it profitable. This coming week we have advertised three days for early-bird sign up for next year.

Great news also is that we will be renting the same house in Rzh again next year. A huge thanks to Gaven who has had to think through lots of issues to make this work for both him and us.

We had a good day out at the water park as a staff – just relaxing and enjoying time together. Sometimes it is easy to get too bogged down with the agenda and forget the journey and the relationships along the way.



It’s Sunday night as I type this and I’ve just had a great weekend. I picked up Max, Andrei, Ivanka, Luba, Olya and Halya in Kyiv on Friday night and they all came and stayed at my house for the weekend. It was fun cooking together, going to the beach at night and during the day, visiting sights around Rzh, having a fire and singsong outside with other Rzh friends together.

Thanks for a great weekend guys. Come again!


I finished The Return of the King by Tolkien and thoroughly enjoyed every bit of my adventures through Middle Earth.


To the guys from Kyiv, Carpathia, Priluky, Nizhyn and Poltava who came for the weekend. Thanks!

Love Jono

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