Whew! Didn't get February's and March's up until now :-/
February was another very busy month at Bingham. The first two weeks of the month were taken up with the Mock exams that I had been preparing for in January. Because most of my students had no classes for these two weeks, I had hoped that I would have some time to spend on IT issues and tasks, however, I quickly found that the stacks of mock exam papers that came my way to mark sucked up all my spare time. So no such joy as yet. Anyway, I got all of the papers marked and returned. Most of the students did well, and I'm hopeful that they'll all be OK in the real thing in a few weeks time!
One week after this, we had the Bingham staff retreat to Babogya. I took the motorbike down, because I was leaving early. Babogya is a beautiful lakeside resort very close to Addis, so it was nice to be able to go down and take a day just chilling out. Unfortunately, Sian was unable to come too, hence the leaving early!
Wedding preparations are coming along fairly well, though I think that we're both feeling the pressure and difficulty of choosing many things from far away. Sian's friends and family have been so amazing and helpful going to visit various potential reception venues for us, and sending us back pictures and opinions on each of them. After a long process, we have settled on a little English pub which is in the heart of the New Forest, right beside Southampton. The scenic location should make for a beautiful setting. We also started some pre-marital counselling with a couple who have been in Ethiopia for about a year, they actually stayed in the house where I live while Yohannes and Cara were away in Canada over the summer. During this time, I got to know them quite well, and they mentioned in passing back then that they had done that sort of thing a number of times before. So they immediately came to mind when I started thinking about a couple to do that with us! Sian and I are very thankful to God's provision for us in numerous ways.
Towards the end of the month, Bingham had a 4-day weekend due to one of the Ethiopian holidays. So I took the opportunity to bring a number of the younger Bingham staff down to Langano for a few days R & R. I really love Langano, many friends laugh at me because of how much I love it. But I just find it so peaceful, such a contrast to Addis in terms of fresh clean air, and silence! It was lovely to just chill by the lake. However, it wasn't all peaceful. My good friend and Langano resident, Brian Hall has been looking long and hard for a speed boat that he can go water skiing on the lake with. These things are not easy to come by in Ethiopia, but Brian is not a man easily deterred. After many months, even years, keeping an ear out and asking locals had they heard of anything, he came across an old, dilapidated boat with a large hole. Fortunately, he's quite the handy man, so he patched the hole. Another couple of months later, he found an outboard motor which wasn't running. He managed to repair the motor, and mount it, so now he has a great speed boat, with water skis, tubes, and various other water sport equipment. So we were able to have an afternoon's water sports on the lake! Incredible.
Brian always looks for ways to expand his ministry in Langano, and he has started a local water ski club for local children. Every week, he takes about 5 boys and 5 girls out for an hour or so of water skiing, tries to train them how to stand up, and then spends some time afterwards with them sharing bible stories. It makes me smile how he uses every tool and opportunity to seek out new tools to share of God's love in the area.
I think that is the main news for February; continued in March....
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