OK! So I'm finally getting to where I need to be this year with blogs and updates. Again, sorry for the lack of news from this end! I'm grateful that God has got me through this year of school, and all of the pressures and stresses, but also praying that next year is a little bit more manageable! I have found out that I will need to do a little bit of teaching next year, but it won't be more than 3-4 classes per week so I should be able to get down to what I'd rather be doing!
Towards the start of April, I had the opportunity to go away to Kenya for some Professional Development, paid for by Bingham. As I didn't want to focus too much on professional development of teaching, there were limited numbers of options, but it was suggested that I visit a number of other Christian schools like Bingham in Kenya, to see how they manage their network etc, to see if I could get any ideas to implement next year. It also meant I would be able to attend a conference for teachers of international Christian schools, held in Nairobi. Over a couple of days before the conference, I visited Rosslyn Academy, and West Nairobi School. It was very helpful and enjoyable to speak to the IT coordinators there, to share techniques and tricks, and get some ideas of policies and principles to implement here at Bingham. I also became a little envious of many of the freedoms and availability of equipment in Kenya, as well as their choice of more than one internet service provider! The conference itself was fairly interesting, it was primarily aimed at teachers, but there were a number of sessions about mentoring / discipleship which were very interesting and useful. The conference was also held in a beautiful centre, and we were extremely well fed. Bacon for breakfast was particularly appreciated, as I haven't had much of that in 9 months. On the way back to the airport, we stopped off at a supermarket, and picked up some more bacon and sausages, and other goodies unavailable here!
One of the schools had a swimming pool, another source of envy!!
Brackenhurst Conference Centre, where the conference was held
Immediately after returning back from that, I had a couple of visitors arrive! Gavin and Kathryn Blackwell came out for about 10 days to visit me here.
As well as showing them around parts of Addis that we like to hang out, and around the school, Sian and I decided to take them for a trip down to one of my favourite parts of the country; Langano. I was able to take a few days off from school, so that we had a long weekend. We headed down on Thursday, and spent 4 days on the beach house. Brian had recently got a new banana boat for his speed boat, and so he took us out for an afternoon of water sports, which was very much appreciated!
On Sunday, we headed further south to a town called Awassa. This is a beautiful town beside a lake which, although unfortunately you cannot swim in it, is a beautiful location. We stayed at another mission compound, overlooking the lake. We spent the day exploring the town, and took a boat trip out on the lake, where the boatman took us very very close to a family of hippos. Being only within a couple of metres of one of Africa's most dangerous animals in a flimsy little boat was quite an experience!
A spot of local rock climbing
By the lake in Langano
Kathryn on the knee board
Some bike lessons..
Squeezing in a Bajaj (tuk tuk thing) in Awassa
As I write, I have lost two of my high school classes, as their exam season has begun. This definitely makes my load at the school much less, leaving me more time to focus on organising other events this summer... only about 9 weeks to go!!
Some more April pics here..
Will make sure to blog next month,
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