Happy Merry Christmas! I'm currently on a much needed 3-week holiday from school, which is really nice. The last few months have been busy as always so I'll try and fill in on the recent happenings!
In the beginning of November, we had Guy Fawkes night. This is definitely not something that I'm familiar with as we don't seem to celebrate it at all in Northern Ireland. However, it's very big in England and Wales, so we had a celebration together. One of the history teachers is from England so she retold the story, in much more detail than I ever remember so that was interesting. Then we enjoyed a bonfire outside, with toasted marshmallows. We were going to light fireworks, and had even sourced some, however, the police apparently frowned upon it so we had to improvise. Someone went out and bought a bunch of wire wool, which when headed in the fire and then spun around on a long wire produces spectacular display of sparks and light. Almost as good as fireworks! Here are some better examples..
School and classes continue to be quite a burden, and I am thankful to be through the first half of this year. I'm realising that I don't have the desire or passion to be a full time teacher, and that it is burning me out trying to keep up with it. In agreeing to do any teaching at all, I feel that that has become my main job or role here, which was never my intention so I have advised Bingham that I don't want to teach anymore next year, and rather would be willing to stay on further in an IT coordinator role full time. I feel that this is where my passions and skills truly lie. Please pray that Bingham can find another IT teacher for next year to come and teach the classes, because I really don't feel that I can continue in that role.
One of the things I've been really encouraged about in recent months is in playing drums in various music groups. One of these groups has just started a monthly worship evening in a local church, and our first evening was in November. We have been meeting weekly to practice, and arrange the worship songs for the evening. The first night was a real success, we didn't have a very large crowd, but we hope that as the word spreads, the attendance will increase. However, all who attended really enjoyed the evening, and we really felt that God was glorified in the evening.
Drummer "cage" on the right...
I've also been enjoying running the climbing club again, and we had our first outing of the year back to the climbing cliff. It's always great to see the students having such a great time, and enjoying themselves on the cliff. It's also interesting to see which ones turn out to be more scared than the others, it's not always who you think! Anyway, I'm hoping to take more trips back there in the new year, the students are really keen to go again.
December was another busy month of school, getting everything finished up for the year. We also had a Christmas concert to prepare for. The music department had selected a few pieces from Handel's Messiah, and given them a modern feel. They also organised an entire school performance of the Hallelujah chorus. All students and teachers had been split into the four parts; it was quite a spectacle! I was able to be involved in a number of the different pieces, either drumming, playing guitar or singing. It was again a really enjoyable time, seeing the whole school come together for a big concert! It is often stressful preparing for these events, but it always pays off.
At the start of my 3 weeks off, I took a trip to Langano to visit Brian and Laura with Sian. Brian and Laura have been able to go back to their house after a number of weeks spent in Addis because of fairly bad unrest in the area. We are all very thankful to God that they have been able to go back home and that peace has returned to the area. So it was lovely to be able to spend a few days with them, and just relaxing outside of Addis, in the sun. Brian gave us a go on the camp zip-line that they have. Sian was game, after a little encouragement!
Ready for the zipline!
We spent Christmas with Yohannes and Cara, and invited a number of other friends. Altogether, there were 9 of us. We had a lovely roast chicken dinner (no turkey unfortunately; Sian had found turkey in Addis at the rather extortionate price of $100. We decided chicken is nicer anyway) and had most of the trimmings; roast potatoes, green beans, cauliflower, carrots, gravy; it was really nice! Close friends become your family at Christmas time when you're away from home.
Must run, Happy new year to all!!
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