Summer 2008

Wow! What a busy summer we have had, and very little time to send out any photos or update. So here goes…

The last day of school (27th June) saw us on the overnight train to Lviv where we caught up with friends before we caught the very slow overnight bus across the border to Poland. There we met our friends from New Zealand (Mark & Jacqui) and it was great to see them again. We spent a few days in Poland enjoying Krakow while we waited for necessary visas to travel back into Ukraine.

Once back in Ukraine it was straight into work on the house plus preparation for a camp we were running. I suppose it was then that Mark realised what kind of building project he had agreed to! We knocked down more walls, got sick of the sight of bricks and made a general start on some of the big jobs. In the meantime my brother Jono arrived back from a year in Australia and we then shifted into his house for the rest of the summer.

With our backyard looking more respectable and the grass growing, we hosted a “downunder” summer Christmas, complete with backyard cricket, touch ruby, a BBQ & pavlova. It was a good time to enjoy the fruit of our labours and relax in our backyard.

Camp 120 was the next event. My brother usually runs this but as he was away most of the year, we agreed to take on this responsibility this year. We had about 100 young people on an island for a week, and had a great time. It was interesting to run something like this (which we had done many times in NZ) in a culture that was not our own. I think it went well.

It was then back to the house, with getting the windows put in, bricking in some old windows, starting the gib, and other numerous jobs that kept popping up. Eventually we were starting to see progress and getting excited about what it would be like.

Near the beginning of August we took a week off and with a group of 7 people went to the Crimea (Black Sea). It was a very beautiful place and was great to swim in the sea again (as opposed to the less than ideal river here). It was a nice hot relaxing summer holiday and a place we would love to go back to.

With about a month left of summer the house work started to gain momentum with insulation, vapour barrier and gib all happening at once. Cheryl came and worked hard giving us expert advice on the gib stopping and Jacqui became a professional at that in no time.

Near the end of August, with Jon & I having to go back to Kiev to start school, we left the house in Mark, Jacqui & Cheryl’s capable hands and it was great to go back and see the progress.

September 6th was the date set for an end of summer party/celebration of

the house being mainly completed and coinciding with my 30th birthday. With cold rainy weather the weekend before we thought that summer had finished, but it warmed back up again and we had a wonderful night with friends enjoying our backyard, and big shashlik (bbq meat on a stick). Huge thanks to our awesome building crew who worked extreme hours the week before that to get the house mostly completed. It looks amazing!

We are really stoked with the progress of the house, and it is now starting to feel like our home. For the house before & after photos click here…

The 7th September saw us sadly say goodbye to Mark & Jacqui as they continue on their travels, and with the weather cooling down it seems we have definitely completed a busy, eventful but fantastic summer.