“Cherez tre tezhni rozlabon kozhen den!”

This is the new phrase I have been saying lately…it means, “In 3 weeks relaxing everyday!” We are counting down the weeks now until school finishes as the weather heats up and the summer feel is really kicking in.

Since we last wrote we have seen some great progress on
our house.
Firstly our friends Mark & Jacqui from NZ are
heading this way in 3 weeks to spend the summer with us and do some hard work! (Mark is a builder) We are really looking forward to having them here.
Also one of our friends here Sasha has asked his Dad to work on our house and in the past 2 weeks has completed the first stages of the electricity and is now beginning on the plumbing. He is a very nice,
experienced, honest guy who is good with his hands and is doing a great job. This is a great answer to prayer and it is good to see something happening at last.
We have also spent lots of time in the backyard and really enjoying seeing it take shape. We were even crazy enough to lay a cricket pitch using bricks! (We wondered if our neighbour would think we wanted them to grow!) Mowing the lawns is now a weekly Saturday job, and makes us feel ‘normal’!
We did have an unfortunate weekend a couple of weeks ago when our house was broken into (doesn’t help when we are only back there sometimes on weekends) and most of our tools, stereo & CD
’s were taken. Not very nice, but they left everything else for which we are thankful.

The big piece of news here is that I have managed to learn the Ukrainian alphabet, and I can read most words, just don’t know what I am saying! Jon is continuing to do well and practice what he knows, and I have more desire now to learn. I am hoping to get some lessons during summer.

We have continued with cricket about once a month which has been enjoyable. Just doesn’t seem the same though without the grass!!

Monday nights:
Our dinners have moved outdoors with the lovely weather we have been having lately. It has been great to sp
end time around the fire/bbq.

As soon as school finishes (June 27th) we are on the train to Lviv, and then across the border to Poland. This serves 2 purposes, firstly Jon will renew his visa for the next year, and secondly we will meet Mark & Jacqui there before we bring them back into Ukraine a few days later.
We also plan to visit Crimea th
e first week of August. There is a group of us that have booked cheap flights ($40NZ return) so that should be a heap of fun and be good to explore that part of Ukraine.
We have agreed to direct/run the camp my brother Jono has been running the past 3 summers on an island in the middle of the Dnepr River. We are busy sorting out details for this at the moment, organising tents, water, a speaker & getting Jono’s boat working etc. We pray that this will really be a great encouraging & safe time. It will be from July 14-19th, Jono arrives back just in time on the 9th July.

We know it’s not really the right time of year, but it is definitely the right time of weather for us, so we have decided to have a ‘mid-summer’ downunder Christmas! We have taken the date 6 months on from Ukrainian Christmas and decided to reclaim 7th July as our traditional Christmas day while living here in Ukraine. We have invited our other ‘downunder’ friends, so looking forward to a game of cricket & BBQ together.

A year on…
We have had a good year mostly. It is interesting to be in a culture/country that is undergoing some huge economic changes which is also affecting cultural and social changes. We are learning and growing and feel this is where we should be – at least for now.

Until next time…

Rufus & Jay