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A Return to the White World.

We have returned! Our plane touched down on a dry Kiev tarmac at 05:20 Thursday morning. As we walked off the plane, many disapproving passengers and crew informed us that our children were not sufficiently dressed. "It is MINUS 10, not plus 10. You understand?" "Your children cold!" "Bus not warm." "Kholodno na ulitsa! Kholodno!" Yep. We were back! And it actually felt great walking out of the stuffy plane into crisp Ukrainian air. We were last through immigration and then customs... breezing through both. And then we finally left the hall to greet Cheryl and Bronwyn, Gaven and Bruce who had risen early to collect us. It felt good to be back.

The drive home was punctuated solely by a McDonalds stop - no cop stops this time - and we arrived home to a house undeniably Cherylized. She is a friend who loves to love through selflessly helping/serving and had done a beautiful job on the little touches which make a place feel welcoming.

After morning tea, I went to the building site to say g'day to the lads and then walked back on snow covered streets - hatless until my ears ceased to feel anything. (It didn't take long.) I looked out on a river completely iced over and noticed a couple of lighter cars driving around on it. No doubt about it... I was in a very different world!

Our time in Australia was special - rain and flooding not withstanding. Most of it was spent in Brisbane with my parents, but we also stayed several days on the lovely Sunshine Coast revelling in sun and surf and then 12 days down in Sydney. We got to share time, food and good conversation with a number of special people in both NSW and QLD, and ended up feeling like it would be great if we could be back in four years rather than six.

What does this next week look like?
There are a number of "settling-in jobs" which will be undertaken. The kids will start schoolwork again on Monday. Sunday will be a day of fellowship - with the church gathering in the morning and being involved in an outreach in the evening in the disco hall with a marriage emphasis. I'll be getting together with Bruce to "discover" what God would have the next six months for the church look like. We'll more than likely be organizing a course for parents starting sometime the next two weeks. I'll like to visit the guys in the village. And we'll be "receiving visitors". :)

All four of the kids are relishing being home. Today, we are looking after three children (all under 7) of a friend who is in hospital. They just managed to lock themselves in my office which I hoped would just require some creative thinking but ended up requiring a ledge walk along the edge of the house and in the window for me... brrr. The kids are outside loving that "brrr" right now. Snow!!!

So... this is the first no-frills installation of what should be a weekly attempt. I have no idea how to add photos yet... let alone change the font colour. All in good time.

S Bogom - "Be with God".