‎This week marks the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack known globally as 9/11. I remember it well. I was up late and saw the footage. But I remember it well for another reason. It was my first year teaching. We were given a debrief on how we should handle an event of this nature with our students. My students were in grade 3. They graduated last year from High School. One student told me that he still remembers the song I played. I don’t remember everything I said. But we had a time of quiet and a time of prayer and I played “The Blessing”. Every time I hear that song now it reminds me of that day. 


You just have to take 7 minutes of your time and watch this beautiful video of Max and Luba’s wedding. I wore my Ukrainian shirt today. Spring is here and it is time to celebrate the warmer weather. That means it is autumn in Ukraine. Rzhyshchiv starts to turn yellow and then gold. School is back. Students pour into town to study in the technical schools.

As far as UTSIM goes – the flow of news between here and Ukraine has been rather unhurried – and I’m not sure of all the details for this school year. I have asked to be hands-off and have left things in the capable hands of Natasha. The only teacher will be Sveta. So it will be a much smaller operation.

I just hung up from a Skype conversation from Dan. It sounds like they have had a good summer and are now setting up for the next run into winter. The seasons are much more noticeable in Ukraine than in Sydney.

Most of my Ukraine connections are more Russian related and take place here in Sydney. I enjoy playing table tennis and squash as well as eating with a number of Russian (and a few Ukrainian) friends here in Sydney.

Another far-fetched connection is that I will be watching Australia vs Russia live at Trafalgar Park in Nelson, NZ in just less than a month. And I will be cheering for the Bears!


There are only 3 weeks left to this term! The time has certainly flown by. This week we are taking the students on an excursion to the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of our unit on Spectacular Structures. I have been blessed as I have grown into the role of teacher of these young adolescents. I have received lots of help from my colleagues and have grown to appreciate the strong support system within the school. It is a privilege and responsibility to instill lifelong skills and values into the lives of these young people.

The rugby season finally came to an end and my body will appreciate the rest. I must find something to make sure I don’t get fat and lazy over the summer; I hope that playing squash may be the antidote.

The rugby world cup over the next several weeks will take a lot of my time and interest. During the school holidays I will fly into Christchurch and out of Auckland. In between I will hitchhike north and enjoy the atmosphere and hospitality NZ will put on display for the world.

Joel for being a great mate, encourager, listener and friend as well as average chess player!

Love Jono – Keep looking up - See www.jonomiller.com for photos!