Friday, 28 September 2012

one to make Mr C jealous AKA the school gym

Here is a shot I took of the school gym, you have to look pretty carefully to see my boys playing football. On the left there is a climbing wall, on the stage a couple of table tennis tables and some more basketball hoops out of the picture to the right.

They take sports very seriously here as do the other nearby schools, so the gym is well used. Living on campus we are able to use it whenever it is free, so we've enjoyed some indoor football while it's been rainy.

There is adult indoor football one evening a week which Tommy is enjoying, and Zumba/pilates on a Saturday which I feel currently justified in avoiding, given that I can't even walk up the hill without sounding like I ran a marathon, but it looks a lot of fun!

So Mr C. what do you think?? I'll show you a picture of the football field and running track if the gym isn't torture enough for you....

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

playing outside

 Halfway up the hill from our apartment is the grade 1 and 2 play area. The field is still out of action while it dries out after rainy season, so this is the main place where the boys have been playing after school.
 There is enough space here for a game of tag or chase, plus a big slide, a couple of things to climb on and a tyre swing.
This is taken from the doorway of Tommy's (grade 12) classroom, looking down towards the grade 1 and 2 classrooms. He does break duty out here when the grade 1 and 2 children are playing twice a week, when he has to check they are playing nicely while avoiding getting bitten by the ants!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Normal life - the laundry!

 Downstairs in our apartment building we have a laundry room with a communal washing machine, freezer and ironing board. Each apartment also has one of these big blue water storage tubs in case we ever loose water and need to use it for washing, cleaning etc.There is just one machine, but with only a couple of families and a couple of singles using it we don't bother with sign up sheets like on the ship, if it is being used chances are it will be free within an hour or two.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

house sports

The Bingham kids are split into three houses for sports and other fun events. Our family are in the 'Carey' house, in the yellow.

We have had one inter-house sports event so far, which was so loud you probably heard it and wondered what all the yelling was coming from this part of the world.

The kids (and lucky teachers who got to join in) had to do a variety of different events including wheelbarrow races with bananas in their mouths, passing footballs down lines of people only using their feet without it touching the floor, fish potatoes out of a bucket of water with only their mouth and carry it to the other side of the get the picture hopefully. This was not a serious sports event by any means, but was a lot of fun and it started the year off nicely for collecting house points.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

our apartment and the 'mountain'

 To continue giving an idea of where we live here are some photos around our apartment. This is taken from the top of the hill, with the gym on the right. Our apartment can just been seen at the bottom of the hill, the white building with the red roof.
 This is where we live, there are four apartments in the building. We live on the top floor at the back.
 This is the route we take each morning, from the bottom of the 'mountain' to the top where the Kindergarten classrooms are. And every day Josh moans because 'slow coach' is far too slow and needs to hurry up. I look forward to beating him one day - I am not promising that day will be very soon, as I might get slower before I get quicker, but one day I WILL BEAT HIM and call him slow coach.
This is the full mountain. In case you are thinking 'that is just a little hill', yes it probably is, but until you have lived at altitude while pregnant and have to walk up it a good few times a day, keep quiet ;-)

Monday, 17 September 2012


 (photo thanks to Jess Garnett)
Today saw the groundbreaking for the new high school building. The whole school came outside to mark the occasion. It is estimated that it will take a year to build, but will be a huge blessing as the high school has grown over the last few years and needs space to expand.
Josh and I went down this afternoon to join the rest of the school for a short ceremony. We can see the big digger from our apartment but it was fun to go and have a closer look and see where exactly the building will be.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Melkam Addis Amet!

or Happy New Year to those of you not so fluent in Amharic :-)

The Ethiopian calender has 12 months of 30 days plus a 13th month of 5 or 6 days. Today Ethiopia enters the year 2005. We (actually just Tommy) heard cannons fired at 6am this morning as the new day starts at 6am here, rather than midnight.

Ethiopian New Year is a big celebration for people , involving family gatherings and plenty of food from what we have heard. We celebrated with cinnamon rolls for breakfast, given we don't really know what is traditional, and are enjoying a day off school :-)

Pictures from Tommy (one for Roger)

It has been really fun taking pictures of the various different plants and birds that we have seen here. Am happy to spring for Coffee for any positive identifications of species!

Some flowers from our weekend in Bobagaya:

Thursday, 6 September 2012

View from the apartment

 From our lounge balcony you can see the chicken house. To the right between the bamboo fence and the wall is the cross country running track which goes around the school grounds.
 If you look the other way you can see a few buildings beyond some big trees. 
Our bedroom balcony overlooks a small garden area (below). 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Our apartment

 I have tried to take some photos of our apartment, it is rainy season so a little dark in this first one, but they should give you an idea. Firstly our lounge - complete with tree!You can just make out the small balcony area outside too. Next to the tree is the wood burner, from which we nearly set fire to the apartment, but that is another story.
 From the other side of the room you can see our dining area and computer desk. So if you skype us, this is where we'll be sat as the internet only works in this exact spot!
 Tom and Josh's room. They have a decent play space and what you can't see is a couple of double wardrobes behind where Josh is sitting. We have been excited to collect a new (highly attractive) toy box each time we grocery shop so that the toys now live in cardboard boxes rather than zip-lock bags!
 Our bedroom, there are wardrobes to the right of the picture you can't really see, a chest of drawers in the bottom left and a window with a small balcony area in the corner (the same as the lounge) to the left of the drawers.
Not much to say about this picture! Except that it is quite exciting to have a bath and a shower after being on the ship 3 years - and no water restrictions!

There is a smaller third bedroom, which the baby will eventually have, which is currently where we throw our shoes until we get a shoe-rack built, so maybe a photo will follow another day!

Oh and a kitchen with a pantry that I still haven't taken a photo of. I probably need to give up the plan of waiting until there is no washing up on the side and take one anyway ;-)

It feels pretty spacious, most of the cupboards are empty as we only came with our suitcases and some of the walls still need pictures, but I'm sure in time we'll make it more homely :-)

Monday, 3 September 2012

Rescuing the projector

When we arrived on 2nd August our projector was held in customs as we didn't have the cash to pay the customs charge. In fact we spent most of the rest of the month deciding whether it was worth going back for it, but after finding the four year old invoice and recalculating the fee, plus Tommy starting teaching and deciding it would be pretty useful to have, we decided we should go and bring it home. We meaning I, Sarah, as for some reason unbeknown to me they had taken my passport details on arrival so I had to collect it. Important note to self, don't ever make that mistake again. Tommy certainly should experience the fun of trying to retrieve something from customs if the need ever arises again.