3rd (and final?) update from London -- 25th June 2006

Well hello again...

Tomorrow we leave for the Ukraine so this maybe our last time with a good internet connection for awhile. I am not sure what it will be like in the Ukraine, but don't let that stop you from writing to us!! We will still continue to keep you up to date with what is happening as much as we can.

Well this last week has been very busy for us. Jon has worked every day and I have had 3 days teaching. It has been good for us both work wise and also for the wallet. Supply teaching over here gives us about 125 pounds (before tax) a day.

The latest on the job front is that Jon has been offered a few jobs so far, but none of them have seemed right (not according to the agencies who have pressurized us to take them). So as it stands at the moment is that we have applied for jobs at an international school in Kiev (Ukraine) and we will find out more about these this week. We have meet with the initial lady contact and she seemed quite positive and it looks promising. I'm sure we will have a good chance in the next few weeks to experience the culture and also hopefully visit the school to give us a taste of whether this kind of job would be good for us. Otherwise if this line of thinking brings us to a dead end, then it will be back to England in about the middle of August for more supply teaching and hopefully and more permanent job not too far down the track. The job in the Ukraine would be for a year's contract.

This last weekend, we discovered 'Covent Garden' where there are buskers every 5-10 meters. Lots of musicians, live statues and other entertainers. A really great atmosphere, heaps of people and things to look at and do. We went back there today too (Sunday) to meet our friend Bex and get a few photos. We walked from there down to Trafalgar Square where we peacefully sitting and enjoying the day when we noticed a strong police presence and then almost from nowhere the square started to fill with English supporters who were leaving the pubs they had been watching England play Ecuador and started celebrating in the square. It was a bizarre set of circumstances as they sung and chanted climbed the fountain, kicked soccer balls around and waved the English flag everywhere. Was awesome to be apart of, but kinda strange too as I'm sure it wont be long until we see the national day of mourning when they lose!

Saturday night, Mahala & George invited us to Sean Young's (guy I knew vaguely in Nelson -- Steve's brother) birthday where we had a BBQ, game of touch (yay) and spent the night with about 20 or so other Kiwis and Australians that are over here for a time. Was really great to hang out with other people our own age and culture!

We have enjoyed our time here in England, although it has been hard to get our head around things, as the cultural differences are more subtle.

Until next time,

2nd Update from England -- 18th June 2006

Hi there everyone again,

This update has taken me quite a lot longer, as you can imagine we are no longer living in Paraguay tranquillo time! We have been trying our best to sort out the job market, which as yet has been quite disappointing. It seems as though things are more complicated than we thought. Some agencies give us the twice over, whereas others try to rip us off. We have found one agency so far that is aussie-run and is really good. Last week we had 5 days between us of supply (relieving) teaching which is good for the wallet, but insane for the brain!! We really can’t believe the standard of behavior here, it is absolutely shocking and makes you want to walk out and let them do what they want!

It has been good to work though, and we have had to leave home about 6:50am and we get back home anywhere between 5-7pm. That is mainly because we are living north of London and have to spend quite a lot of time & money on the train system, although the system is very good.

We have had time to do a few other things though, such as paint some windows and varnish some doors here where we are staying. We visited the British museum, (Jon enjoyed this, I couldn't wait to get out) Big Ben, and other sights around London. (see photos). We also had a trip further north into the country last weekend, and watched England unfortunately beat Paraguay in the world cup. The football (soccer) here is quite big, we have been watching a few matches.

We have had some awesome weather since we have been here, and it has actually got hot. IT really intrigued us the other day when we were wandering around London about 5-6pm that on every corner (literally) there was a pub, but instead of the patrons drinking inside, they were out on the street (see photos) enjoying the weather, standing on the footpath in groups. Was quite interesting and strange for us. The pub scene here is actually really nice, it is open to everyone, (has family areas) and serves great food. It’s great to watch sports games in too!

Last night we went into London to catch up with Mahala a friend I went to school with. We walked down 'Brick Lane' a street famous for Indian curries, where at every shop an Indian came out and tried to offer us a good deal -- reminded us a bit of South America. My Argentinean shirt and the Italian one Jon was wearing created a bit of attention!

Been good to hear about the All Blacks winning, and so weird to hear about the snow in Christchurch! It’s been good to keep 'in the loop'. It seems as though these 3 weeks have been the hardest in regards to homesickness etc. but I'm sure things will start to get better!

Anyway that's all from us this time round, one more week before we head to the Ukraine.

Be good to hear from ya,


London1 -- 5th June 2006

'ello everyone 'ows it going?

We have made it safe and sound to London with all our bags, so praise the Lord for that. After traveling for about 30 hours altogether it was a relief to have a shower and hit the sack! The flights and trip was uneventful but long and tiring. We had about a 5 hour stop in Argentina, and about an hour stop in Madrid, so that at least broke the journey. It was great though to get through the last customs and see our baggage waiting for us on the carousel, as we hadn't seen it since Paraguay!

We are staying here at a relatives place just north of London in a place called Watford. At the moment we are looking for jobs -- desperately as you will know everything is expensive here until you start earning the pounds. Jon reckons the currency is called pounds because you almost need to cut of a pound or two of your own flesh to pay for stuff!!! I am surprise at the amount of street names I know. It is amazing really how good a teacher Monopoly is!!

WE have explored the main centre of Watford a few times, helped in the garden, watched NZ play Brazil in football (I think they did ok, at least I wasn't embarrassed) and spent time online looking for jobs. We have wireless broadband where we are staying so that is great. World Cup Fever is well and truly underway here and next Saturday England's first game is against Paraguay!! I think I might wear my Paraguay shirt!!!

Yesterday (Sunday) we got the train into central London and meet one of our friends (Bex Souter who I flatted with in Kaitaia) and went with her to Hillsong London church. We really enjoyed it, it was in the Dominion Theatre, which is really lovely but we were not permitted to take any photos! Started off with "Salvation is here" so we at least knew that song. It was really cool as partway through the service they had a time of prayer for requests & praise points that were anonymously written on cards, I thought that was a great way for corporate yet meaningful prayer!

We haven't really done too much else yet. Have booked tickets to fly to the Ukraine on 26th June, so we have about 3 weeks here until then.

Jon is trying to sort out a permit so he can busk on the London Underground!

Until next time,