Summer is over. I received an SMS that said “someone turned off summer”. We are having cool nights; the leaves are turning brown and even starting to fall. Holidays are over, school is back. You can feel, even smell the change in the air.

Change comes to us all. Sometimes we welcome it like a breath of fresh air. Other times we resist it – even detest it. But life goes in seasons and we must adjust. I can’t blindly refuse to acknowledge winter and go on wearing shorts and singlets just because I love summer.


Today is my last day at UTSIM for a while. The school year has started and we are well into the second week of lessons. We have more than 60 students and more are signing up every day it seems. Shane is settling well into a full teaching load and we have five part time teachers. Simeon is back two days a week and Serge, a Belarusian from New York is also teaching twice a week. Sveta is tutoring one on one with a number of students and Neil from USA and Masha are filling in the gaps. Lena continues as our only teacher in Kaharlyk at present.

Yesterday I accompanied Natasha for a work place inspection – the expectation is to be given a fine for something. A fine toothcomb approach is taken to find a mistake and these fines are government revenue. However, she was given a big thumbs up and told that all of our papers are in perfect order!!

As I am leaving Rzhyshchiv this week, Neil Rhodes will step in as acting director. I am confident that UTSIM will continue to be an awesome means of building bridges into the lives of families in this area.

Please consider financially helping UTSIM. We are keeping our costs to a minimum for students and our overheads are at this point too high to function solvently. We are therefore looking for donations or sponsors to offset our shortfall for the immediate future. Please contact me if you would like to know how you can help.



With a heading like that I could be talking about the rugby. Last week’s being an absolute thriller. But I’m actually talking about destinations. I’m heading to my place of birth, Dunedin, for my six yearly laboratory rat testing. I only give blood once every six years. Then I head back to Sydney where I will be based for the next few months. I plan to return to teaching and to take a long hard soul search. I believe that I need to sort out some priorities in my life before I am ready to be a husband or a father. I believe that Australia is the best place for this to happen. I also need to re-evaluate my role with UTSIM.


Recently I was told that it was a healthy ideal to throw away 21 things every day. I do not do that. I am a hoarder. I try to pretend I’m not bad because I know worse hoarders. But I seem to accumulate. As I pack things up to leave for an unknown period – I’ve found a lot of ‘stuff’. Where does it all come from and what do I do with it? I’m sure I’ve kept more than I need – but it is fun to give things away that you don’t use.


My Dad turns 70 this year. Good innings by a good man. Just this week he had a scare with his eye and it has been diagnosed as a ‘vitreous detachment’. His vision will be blurry but things should return to normal soon.

Ruth and Jon have arrived back in NZ. They had an interesting time in India on the way home. I’m still eating at their house – it’s just Shane and Jemimah that are entertaining me now instead.


The hardest thing about leaving Ukraine is Nastya and Mikhyey. We have a road ahead – a journey that must be walked.


I’ve read very little since last month. I’ve started a mighty work – one of the classics of all time – Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I haven’t got very far and I suspect it may take me a while.


To Trev Young who has been a generous, wise and gracious counsellor.

Love Jono

Keep Looking Up


Hi Jono, a comment on your comment- God is faithful....I can shout amen while my heart continually whispers yes!yes!yes! just over the last 2 weekends and week in between I have had a fresh confirmation of this and am a worshipper not because of it but in the beauty of His constancy. Phill & I read your news and pray...just not good at writing often. Fi & Jo are great...their families are growing up Fi has 2 - a 14yr old & 11 yr old...Jo has 14yr old twins(remember their crazy wedding reception :} ) a 13yr old and a 9 yr old.We live not far from one another.
Loking forward to tne next lot of news following the engagement news...our very best love & prayers to you 3 :)WendyEdwards

1 decade ago

Thanks Wendy
good to hear from you after such a long time
I remember Matt and Jo's wedding - Phil expected me to turn up in a monkey suit, so he said.
hard to believe it was so long ago

1 decade ago