So it's November already! Doesn't seem like it here, the dry season has well and truly arrived and everyday has beautiful sunshine. It's amazing how much a bit of sunshine can really lift your spirits and energy, in the midst of business! I'm very thankful to God for that.
I'm back a little over a week from the wedding of my good friends Andrew and Danielle that I attended in Pennsylvania, USA. It was wonderful to be out of the country for a break, and the weather over there was also beautiful. We were able to admire the Autumnal colours, the blue skies, and just the general order and organisation of being in a western country again :-) I arrived on Sunday 16th and we drove back to Danielle's house. Since Sian has not made it back to Ethiopia yet, it was awesome that she was able to come as well from the UK, which was lovely because I hadn't seen her for a while. With Philip and Devlin joining as well, it was amazing to have the whole gang together again. We spent a lovely week with her and Andrew, going apple picking, and visiting many amazing sights. We visited the Hershey's chocolate factory, tasting some free Hershey's chocolate (I'm not a big fan but it was free so I can't complain :-) We visited Philadelphia, and tasted a genuine "Philly cheese steak sandwich". One of the restaurants we often go to in Addis has their take on a Philly cheese steak so Andrew was keen to show off the authentic version. Walking around the city together, enjoying the usual banter, it really made me long for the group of us to be back in Addis again. I'm praying for God to provide some other really good friends like Andrew and Devlin in the next year.
Danielle shows us how apple picking is done.
Halloween parade! (very American ;-)
This building in Philadelphia contained the liberty bell.
About to run up the "Rocky stairs"!
Regardless, it was absolutely wonderful to be able to spend so much time with both Andrew and Danielle only one week before their wedding, and they and their families were so kind, hospitable and generous to us all, it was a real blessing.
The following Saturday was the wedding day, which went really well. The temperature had dropped a fair bit, so photographs outside were quite a challenge, but other than that it was a fantastic day. Because Philip was the official photographer, I didn't take too many photos myself, so I've stolen a few from other people's Facebook!
Sian and I with Danielle and Andrew.
Anyway, I got back to Addis on Monday evening (after leaving Sunday) and had to grab a quick few hours of sleep before reporting to school again on Tuesday morning! Bingham work is continuing at the usual pace, I'm trying to enjoy time in the classroom with the students, and making the most of that. I hope to start the climbing club tomorrow, which I delayed starting because of feeling that I was too busy. Please continue to pray for my building relationships with the students here at the school.
This past weekend, I attended the Bingham Academy Horizon boys project. I haven't been able to go to this project as often as I would have liked in the past few months, but I'm trying to renew a commitment to it. There are quite a number of new neighbourhood boys in it, so I'm trying to get to know them all. I gave the bible story, and attempted it in Amharic, albeit with some help from Dawit, the project leader. He likes to show off to the boys a "forengi" who can speak their language, even if it's at a fairly elementary level!! Please continue to pray for this project, and for the Ethiopian boys who come, that God will impact their lives through the bible teaching we share with them.
On Saturday evening, I had a few people from Bingham over for a simple Halloween party, we dressed in pun costumes, did some pumpkin carving, and generally enjoyed hanging out and getting to know each other better. I'll leave you to guess the costumes!
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