UK September -- 30th September 2006

Hi there everyone…

Time flies when you’re working!! It didn’t seem that long ago I was beginning the 3 weeks supply work at Weald Middle School (same school as Jon’s permanent job) but I have now completed that. I have really enjoyed it, and although at times I wondered what I was doing, it has been good for me to refresh my teacher skills! I have been given another couple of weeks there doing more relieving, and after that… I don’t know but praying I can get some type of permanent arrangement there too. Jon is enjoying his job there too, although there is one very difficult class he has quite a few times that is very challenging & can be quite depressing. We would appreciate prayers for wisdom & keys to handle this. The staff there are a really cool bunch. We went to the pub for drinks last night with some of them. It was a fun night, they are a laugh a minute kind of people. There is a good mix of NZers, Australians & English people.

Other than work, we haven’t really done much so far. We aim to head to Brighton, (where my Dad was born) the south coast of England for a weekend really soon, and then during midterm break in the middle of October we aim to head to Ireland for 4-5 days. In regards to travel we have also booked tickets to travel back to Ukraine for the xmas holidays, (21st Dec-3rd Jan) so we will get to experience Ukraine in the winter.

Our future ideas at this stage are to head back to NZ after we finish up here in July 07 for about a month to visit everyone, and then head back to Ukraine for a year to start with. But it is a while away, so we’ll see what happens and how God leads us.

It is not too cold here yet, but definitely autumn. We have enjoyed a few days where we have headed to the park with a rug to read a book, or a picnic. One of those occasions was to catch up with one of Jon’s school mates which was really cool.

It has been interesting for us to observe the culture here, and although we speak the same language, it is easy to assume we are the same, but we have found that is not the case. Food & clothes etc are really cheap here, people are buying stuff (and lots of it) all the time. There is people everywhere & heaps & heaps of smokers. Customer service is really useless because there are so many people it doesn’t really matter! We have started our own tradition of having a roast every Saturday night and our first couple have been NZ legs of lamb!! Cheaper than we can get in NZ, and taste very nice. This country is a very rich, prosperous place, but almost void of any kind of identity, direction or common beliefs. Everything goes, and religious tolerance is absolutely huge. We are getting a chance to learn firsthand about many different religions. It is very interesting.

Anyway… that is probably enough for this time.

Until next time,

News from the Motherland -- 8th September 2006

Well how are you all?
We are doing well here and settling in ok. The good news is that I (Ruth) have a job starting Monday for 3 weeks at the same school as Jon, and it may lead to more work, so although a bit nervous it will be good to be back at work. (No more sleep-ins!) Jon is enjoying his job (had 1 week now) and I think he will really enjoy the challenge & enjoyment of teaching music.
The flat we have shifted into is working out well. (see attached photos) As you can see from the pics, we have the flags on the wall of all the countries we have been to so far. I was thinking a mighty all blacks flag or NZ silver fern flag would look great at the top of them all. If anyone would be so kind as to send one.... well, I will love you forever! Our other flatmates are a couple from NZ (Southland to be precise) & Aus. They are cruisy and easy to get on with which is cool. We went to watch the All Blacks with them last Sat, so some fellow supporters. The house is in a quiet street -- hardly any traffic noise (heaps better than Tauranga) just the sound of the sirens at night! and our landlord is really friendly and helpful.
We went back to Hillsong Church on Sunday and enjoyed it. We think we will make that our church for the year. It will be good to make some friends and maybe get into some sport so we wont have to recluse ourselves in our own house all the time!
We see this year as a good time to earn pounds and just spend time together as a couple, hopefully stress free. Jon also hopes to get music tuition with the aim to get the official music grades -- the piece of paper! We also aim to make the most of being near Europe & visiting some other countries of interest.
Our thoughts at this time in regards to our future is to go back to Ukraine in the Christmas holidays to experience it in the winter, and get a different feel for the country, with the aim in mind of maybe shifting back there in July for an indefinite period of time. We are still praying about this, and really seeking God as to where He wants us, as we realize that that is the only place where we will have peace in our hearts.
Not much else more to report...
Until next time