Happy New Year

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! (or should I say Happy Holidays)?

A lot and a little can happen in three months! 
We have now been back in NZ for 3 months and it seems as though we have made some progress and in other ways none at all. 

We are living in a place called Pukenui (which is 30mins north of Kaitaia) which is were Jon grew up.  For the first 2 months we were house-sitting his parents place while they were away in Canada.  While they were away our job was to pull out the old kitchen and deisgn & sort out a new one.  It was an interesting & at times frustrating project, but one that kept us busy and useful. 
Kitchen after
Kitchen before
For the last month or so we have shifted over the road into a small “portacom” which will be our base from now on.  Although it is small (1 bedroom) we have managed to un-pack a lot of our boxes and it is beginning to feel like home.  We still love to have people come & stay or visit – we have a big outdoor lounge!

Our lounge
Coming back right at the end of a year has been good in some ways.  Although we have had opportunity to apply for lots of jobs for next year, we have strongly felt that we dont want to jump straight into a fulltime job each.  Instead we have given our CV's to 4-5 school principals which has yeilded quite a bit of day to day relieving in the past few months.  Through this we have also been able to secure some permanent partime work for the next year.  Jon has 3 days as a music teacher at one school, and maybe another half day at another school.  At this stage I have 1 permanent day at 1 school, and maybe 3 mornings at another school.  We are happy how this has worked out, although it has been rather a process getting back into 'the system'!

Youth Group
Our office
Jon's parents had started a small youth group which we have been given responsibility for.  It has been really good to get to know some of the youth, and see them learn & grow.  We have also enjoyed the challenge of preparing studies each week for them.  We ended the year with a camp, and hope to start it up again in the new year. 
I have really enjoyed teaching the Sunday school especially because it is a chance to give input into my nephews. 
Our kitchen
Jon has been involved in the music, and has been asked to lead that next year.  He is teaching our oldest nephew some of the songs & getting him involved too. 
Outdoor Bowls
We have joined the bowling club and try to make it along every Tuesday. It is mainly retirees and older people, but it is a great chance to enjoy sport & be in amongst the community. 
Girl Guides
I have become a Girl Guide leader in what is a very struggling club.  It is a great opportunity to be a part of girls lives, teach them & be their friends.  I hope to be more involved next year as it starts again. 
Future ideas
Jon is thinking about starting evening group music classes for a minimal chrage at the local school, and maybe a recording studio.  
I am thinking through the possibilities of maybe offerign cooking lessons to youth or people who are on a tight budget.  Yet to see how these things will pan out. 

Other interests
We have started the learning process of growing our own vegetables.  We have already enjoyed some of our own produce, and hope to expand this so we can produce more & give away some too.
We have spent a bit of time doing this lately, with mixed results.  We also have a net just over the bank (100m from our house) that we check each day. 
At least once a week I go and help out milking 180 cows on my sister-in-law's diary farm.  They think I am strange that I enjoy this, but for me it is quite satisfying!

The Future
In the distance it is very hazy, but for now we are here for at least 2011.  After seeing a specialist we have placed on a waiting list for IVF which is from 12-20 months long.  The differing opinions we have had from our appointments has been confusing and hard to understand.  We are unsure of what our next steps are, so just taking it one at a time. 
We still have the dream in our hearts of managing a children's camp, whether here or in Ukraine.
We have struggled as we settle back down here, adjusting to many different things, and wondering what is going to happen. It has been hard at times, and we sometimes feel like “displaced” people but we have many things to be thankful for.

We hope you have had a blessed Christmas and wish you all the best for 2011. 
Keep in touch & if you are in NZ, we would love for you to come & visit
Ruth Ellen & Jon Pirini 
View from our house

1 comment:

Marcus said...

Wow you guys sound like you've got into things nice and quickly and already have a full year ahead! The fishing looks fantastic...takes me back to my days growing up in Waipu and surf casting off the beach up there - always good fishing!