Monthly Newsletter February 2010


My flat mate (house mate) Igor commented that he was very happy to have a real winter. That means lots of snow and lots of cold temperatures. When I asked him why, he said it felt right to have a cold winter, not a mild one. Weak answer!

Highlights of this ‘real winter’ include:

  • Frozen pipes – mine and many of my friends
  • Buying more thermal underwear – I now own a pair of ‘stockings for men without socks’
  • My van hasn’t gone anywhere in well over a month
  • Taking about 15 minutes to get ready to go
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Monthly Newsletter January 2010


As I write, we are nearing the end of our two week New Year and Christmas break. Yes, New Year comes first in Ukraine and is a big celebration. Christmas is January 7th and the evening of the 6th is a special family celebration with a tradition of eating twelve different dishes.

UTSIM has been running for 1 ½ years now. We look ahead to the following things for 2010:

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Monthly Newsletter December 2009


As a child I enjoyed reading the Chronicles of Narnia. Being from the southern hemisphere I never fully understood the terrible feeling the children felt knowing that the White Witch of Narnia made it always winter but never Christmas. We grow up with the expectation that certain things should always go hand in hand. Here people expect snow with winter. But we are yet to see snow this winter which is very unusual. We all have expectations for Christmas holidays. We have expectations for New Year. We have our own expectations in friendships, work situations, service in shops and restaurants. And we feel grieved when our expectations are not met. This is natural. Sometimes it is helpful. I have expectations of my workers and if they constantly fall short it is my job to draw their attention to their responsibilities. But often our expectations are unrealistic, selfish or both. We focus on what we expect from life and those around us rather than what we can give to others.

May I grow to give more and expect less. Ouch – that can be a hard lesson.

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Monthly Newsletter November 2009

November Monthly Update 2009


Life is a funny thing. I went to Moldova to visit a friend for our midterm break. I went to an international motocross event, a christening, a 25th wedding anniversary, spoke at a conference on citizenship and played an Australian didgeridoo. I really liked Moldova. Although there are some similarities to Ukraine – there are many distinct differences. I really enjoyed the people I met and the outlook on life which they have. They are a small country – a bit like NZ. They don’t seem to be too important to the ‘big wigs’ so they just get on with life where they are. I really liked the friendly optimistic attitude I encountered everywhere I went. Thanks to Tanya and her family for being wonderful hosts and

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Monthly Newsletter October 2009


One month down! And this wave we are riding is just getting bigger and bigger and soon it has to break. I hope I’m standing on the board and not going to get crushed. We have over 40 students (I don’t know how many – new ones signing every week). We have taken

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Monthly Newsletter September 2009

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Monthly Newsletter August 2009



I start back at work on Monday 17th of August. I feel like I have had a good break from both teaching and the responsibility of owning and running a business. I have tried to suppress the many and varied thoughts such as: where to from here? what about this or that? who is going to . . .? I need to . . . etc. I know there are some huge hills ahead, but the good thing about climbing up is the view from the top. We have two weeks of planning, signing up students, timetabling classes, buying curriculum. I want to say I’m excited about this up-coming year, but the truth is right now I’m not. I know I need to be. .



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