Friday, 7 November 2014

Cooking at school

 We don't really have facilities here for regular cooking lessons, but the boys did have a day recently where they got to learn a little about cooking - this is Tom and hid friends being let loose with knives!! 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

U12 football starts

 The U12 boys football team have been training for a few weeks now and have played their first couple of games. We won't mention the scores, we just hope they win a game at some point during the season!! 
Go Bingham! 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Defo dabo

Defo dabo is a large bread, that is shared, typically eaten on holidays. While we were learning how to make injera we also got to see how this is made in a local home. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

Making injera

The national staple food is injera with wets (sauces). During the break we went with some friends to a local home to learn how to make injera. The batter was already made as it has to ferment for 3 days, but we got to try pouring it on the injera cooker, which was a lot harder than it looked!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Cross country time again

This week saw our annual cross country races where all students have to compete against each other to win points for their house. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Every school should have tea time

 Every day we are on campus we head to the teachers tea time at 10.25. And gone are the days of being able to share a snack with Lily, she now thinks she is big enough to eat an entire snack by herself, and drink out of big cups. The snack she usually manages, the drink may or may not get drunk before it is spilt outside!
 Lily at the start of tea time before all the teachers arrive. 
 We get to have 'tea' with all our teacher friends and eat home made snacks every morning. Seriously this is a tradition that should be embraced everywhere! 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

cereal choices

While I can't say I miss the extensive choice of cereal in the massive supermarkets in the UK, this is the entire cereal selection in our local supermarket. Can you see the red box of corn flakes? That was the ONLY box of non-sugary cereal in the whole store. So we bought that and something making claim to being like chocolate flakes. I won't get started on how much cereal costs here, either....oh and Lily is sitting in the trolley drawing on my shopping list, and herself, thanks to one of the shop assistants thinking she would like a pen to play don't get that in Tesco!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Learning comes alive: juggling and junk models

Nathan the juggler came to visit Bingham today and told stories through juggling. Each class then has a session of learning to juggle and walk on stilts etc with him later in the day. The highlight was seeing him juggle with fire at tea-break!

Josh's class have been building junk models which Lily and I found on display outside their classroom this morning. This big creature was built by Josh and his friends and one of the smaller ones below was built by Josh and his friend Biruk.

Learning comes alive: reading day

For reading day Tom got to dress as his favourite book character. No surprises that he dressed as Percy Jackson as he has just re-read that series of books recently. I'm not sure if the grumpy face was part of it.

They had an author come and visit and work with them on how to develop their own story writing. And later they spent a lesson reading with Josh's class. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall during that lesson to see how the boys did reading to each other!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The rains are finally over

At least I hope that the rain has finished, it does seem to have and so I have cleaned off the picnic bench and started hanging the washing in the garden again in celebration :-)

Oh and we now have a tortoise - can you see him too? 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Learning comes alive week

 While the big kids are all off on trips around Ethiopia, the smaller kids are still at school having learning comes alive week. Each day has a different theme, yesterday was art, today is sport. Lily and I went out to watch Josh and share the fun. Above he is trying to catch the hula hoops with his body that his team mates throw at him. 

Monday, 6 October 2014

colour run = fun fundraising

 Never heard of a colour run? Well let us show you what it is all about....our teachers ran around the school, using some of the play equipment as obstacles...
 ...while children threw water balloons and coloured paint at them. Brilliant. Really brilliant. And we got the kids to pay for the water balloons and paint and so raised money for two local projects supported by the school :-)
Tommy with Brad (our Director) and Malcolm (our Elementary Principal) celebrating the end of the race!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Spiritual Emphasis Week

Photo: Keith Smith from Pantego Bible Church speaking to Bingham Academy High School students this morning in Ethiopia. #songology #SpiritualEmphasisWeek 
This week we have had Keith Smith with us from Texas teaching our middle school and high school kids every day. Middle school have been considering what it means to be transformed rather than conformed, while high school have been walking through the Song of Songs with Keith. It has been a great week having Keith teach our kids, and please be praying for them as they consider the things they have been discussing.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Shoes, Cows and Umbrellas

I have been reading a study, which looked at child feeding practices in a rural area of Ethiopia. 25 % of children aged 6-8 months and 52% of children aged 12-23 months in this area have stunted growth. Part of the study examined differences between families where the children did or did not have stunted growth. There were all the factors you might expect: age of parents, education of parents, the food being given to the child, maternal stature ...

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

School begins for another year

Today was the first day of school, and the boys loved every minute of it by the sounds of it. I wonder how long that will last?

 Tom and Miss Burch in Grade 5 (the last year of elementary/primary school)

Thursday, 14 August 2014

my £2.10 bench

I popped out to the junk shop last week. I had seen what I thought was a dolls sized cot as we drove past so I went to have a closer look. It turned out it was a tiny wooden cot about the size of a moses basket, actually for a real baby, so too big really for dolls (or keeping in Lily's bedroom!), so instead I bought a bench. One day it will be dry enough to actually sit on it.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Ideas for behind toilet storage welcome

When we returned to Bingham we found that our toilet is now no longer adjacent the wall. We're now taking suggestions as to what to do with the space behind the toilet and how to cover up the big hole! Let us know any ideas!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

English cake

Cafes and shops sometimes sell 'English Cake'. The yellow cake on the left is just labelled as such whereas the cake on the right is labelled 'English Chocolate Dry Cake'. Always makes me smile as it doesn't resemble anything I would associate with English cakes as it is always very dry (as boasted by the description!) and flavourless.

Monday, 11 August 2014

I found chocolate Easter August...

We drove some of our new Mums out to a supermarket a little further away than our usual ones as we thought it would maybe have more of the kitchen things and other bits they might be looking for. And we found chocolate Easter eggs! I've never seen anything like it here before. The ones on the top row with the mammoth are ETB119.95 which is £3.61, so not actually even that crazily priced compared to most imported things here, although I'm not sure whether that is a reduced price considering Easter was many months ago? I wonder if they'll still be there next Easter or whether people are actually buying them in August...

Sunday, 10 August 2014

did we mention it's rainy season?

When it rains here you have two choices: you can enjoy watching it from the dryness of your home or you can put on your rain gear and boots and go and find some puddles! I would recommend the first option if there is a lightening storm or the worlds largest hailstones being thrown from the sky, otherwise I'd go for the puddle jumping.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Orientation begins

Almost all our new staff have arrived, and almost all our returning staff have returned, hurrah! The campus feels alive again with children playing together any moment it is not raining.

It has been a busy few days having people over for lunches, acquiring passport photos to open a bank account and to renew our residency IDs, renewing our driving licences and having a staff BBQ to get everyone together.

Monday, 4 August 2014

oh giant biting ants - we hadn't missed you

We're back, they're back. The ants come out in force at this time of year and stay until the rains end.

This is one of the school bins, which you couldn't get near enough to actually use, as the ants are not only all over the bin, which you can see (the black down the side), but also all over the ground!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Two years at Bingham

It was two years ago that we moved to Bingham Academy in Ethiopia. As we are welcoming new staff it is strange to look back and see how life has changed in the two years. It is hard to imagine those first months before Lily was even born, of trying to work out how to survive and later how to move past simply surviving.

I remember being totally overwhelmed at the thought of grocery shopping, getting lost on campus trying to make it to someones house for dinner, learning how to bleach fruit and vegetables, starting to learn Amharic (still trying with this one but can say hello at least)....

There are still very real challenges to living here, yet it is sometimes good to look back and remember how far we have come and the new friends and other blessings that God has put in our lives here for this season.

Here's to the next two years and beyond!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

..and we're home!

We have made it back to Bingham ready for our third school year here in Ethiopia. We have been travelling around the U.K. for about six weeks, and after living out of suitcases and sleeping in 8-10 beds each we were fairly ready to return! We are missing hot showers already though as we haven't had any hot water since returning :-(

We have enjoyed spending time with our families and friends and are so grateful to everyone who made us feel so welcome. We can only be here to begin this next school year with the support, prayers and friendships we have in the U.K. and spending time catching up with many people who help us in so many ways was very special.

So what do the days ahead look like? Tommy is back at work getting ready for orientation. We will be taking care of a new family who fly in tomorrow morning, making sure they learn how to bleach vegetables, shop in this crazy city and the like! We have the chance to get to know some of the other new staff next week by helping out with their kids or having them for lunch. Then next Wednesday the teacher orientation begins. A week and a half of orientation and then school starts, it seems crazy really that we are that close!

Oh and I'll try and start blogging again...

Monday, 5 May 2014

Ethiopia and tourism article

Here is an article about tourism in Ethiopia: there are some beautiful places to visit in this country. The Simien Mountains are one of the places the iGCSE P.E class goes hiking. Not an easy place, but very rewarding.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

breaking out the 'no water' shampoo

The time has come to get out the dry shampoo. A dear friend sent this thoughtful gift to us with a little label 'for no water days'. I guess it is proof that the water hasn't been too bad lately, never being off more than a day or two since it arrived at the end of February, but the time has now come. City water has been off since Saturday :-(

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

looking for tortoises

Most days Lily and I will go for walks looking for the tortoises. 

This task is slightly easier now that Sherlock lives next door:

Monday, 7 April 2014

card board box furniture

Here in Addis the next best thing to IKEA is Treesavers furniture. A guy called Daniel makes furniture out of heavy duty card board shipping boxes, so we have been to visit him a couple of times. In fact we already had some of his creations from friends who have left or had finished with some things and have painted them to smarten them up a little (plus they were all rainbow coloured and I really, really hate yellow). Painting them was pretty easy and white paint easy to get hold of, so that worked well for Lil's room.

The table, chair and toy storage are all cardboard, as is the toy kitchen that is in the cupboard :-)

The boys want their old second hand one painted red though and I have not been able to find red paint anywhere in Addis so that hasn't happened yet! But we just collected this lego storage tray for under the boys bed and this play tray for their football games :-)

It is pretty easy to find Daniel's home, once you know where you are going!! It is a couple of rooms deep, almost entirely full of storage boxes, shelf units, book cases, dolls houses and any other storage solution you can possibly imagine - as long as you can imagine it made out of cardboard boxes covered with coloured paper. Most of it is multi-coloured and very bright and cheerful. He sells at the NGO craft bazaar that happens each month, but also will make things to order which has been pretty handy for us! 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Grade 1 Arts Fair

Joshua has been excited for weeks about his Arts Fair, where we got to visit the Grade 1 class as they have some of their artwork displayed in the chapel. 

They had each written books about sea-turtles and made crafts which were to remind us of something about God. What you can't see very well on the table is some clay hands and a tennis ball painted like the world to remind us that God holds everything in his hands. All the children had come up with different ideas which were very creative.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Stink bug

 I took these pics recently of this little bug as it strolled up our path. We were told later that it is a stink bug!
This is Lily's little hand to give it some scale, she was actually being gentle, much as it looks like she is about to squash it!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

beaches at Bingham

 Last week before our mid-semester break Grade 1 had a beach themed week. 

They learned about sea turtles and they watched the movie Finding Nemo. They studied the Bible story of Jonah and they had a giant whale tent in their classroom which Josh was quite horrified about because it 'actually smelt like the inside of a fish, because Mrs Martin had put a tin of tuna in there' (I am in awe of the creativity, seriously we are so blessed with our boys teachers this year). 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Do goalie gloves really make any difference?

Each year the Grade 4 class work on a science project which is then presented at a science fair. Each child has a board to present their question and how they answered it.

 Toms question was 'Do gloves affect how many goals a goalkeeper concedes?' 

The other classes and later parents were able to visit each board and listen to the students explain their project and answer any questions about it. Tom had recorded goals scored against goalkeepers with and without gloves during break time games. If you want to know the results you'll have to ask him next time you see him :-)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

cooking in the dark

Cooking is always a bit of a gamble. Everything has to be made from scratch so lots of our food prep has to be done early in the day, before the boys finish school and home work time starts, and before I have three little people to trip over in the kitchen.

The trouble living in Addis (well one of them!), is the power is unreliable, so you never really know when you are planning something in the oven whether that will be possible or whether the plan is going to have to change.

All was going well yesterday, I'd prepared home made fish-fingers and home made french fries (having introduced a weekly junk food night to try and keep Josh happy). The power was on, I happily put them in the oven, and they got half cooked before the power went off. The trouble with power cuts is you never know how long they will last - there is no predicting whether it will be 20 minutes or 20 hours, so the fish-fingers and fries got transferred to the frying pans to be cooked by solar light.

Friday, 14 March 2014

One year in Ethiopia for the smallest Farrell

Lily has now reached the milestone of having lived in Ethiopia for one year, after arriving at six weeks of age a year ago today. It has been a truly wonderful year!

This is our happy little girl a year on. 

NB. Telltale signs that she lives in Ethiopia - behind Lily are solar lanterns on the window sill and outside the window an emergency water barrel for when the mains water is off! I guess babies covered in porridge look the same anywhere though!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Maths in Africa

Josh brought home a maths sheet today - one of the word problems his group had written was:

14 people eat mangoes. 8 people die. How many are left?

I had to read it twice to be sure it really said that.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Field Day Friday

Field days are some of the biggest days in our schools calendar. Two whole days of track and field events for the entire school. These are our first field days as last year we were in the UK awaiting the arrival of Lily.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Teff - the next big super-grain

See this article about Teff - the grain that Ethiopia uses to make it's staple food, injera. Teff is naturally high in calcium, iron and protein and is gluten free. It will be interesting to see whether it's use becomes more widespread - the article suggests you can buy it in the UK, but for a considerable price per kg compared to here!

Friday, 10 January 2014

The Gowans Centre is open!

The Gowans Centre, our new high school building is officially open. We are so thankful that we have such a wonderful new building which will house almost all of the middle school and high school classes. It spans three floors, has science and computer labs as well as an outside terrace area and a new basketball court. More photos will follow once the move is complete and less people are busy around that area!