9th Grade Retreat

The last week has been fairly relaxed. Grades 10, 11 and 12 are busy doing Mock exams, so I have about half of my timetable free. This will continue for another week. I’m not looking forward to it going back to the regular timetable!

On Wednesday of last week we invited the Horizon Street boys over to Bingham to watch a video. We showed them “Evan Almighty”, a modern comedy about the story of Noah’s Ark. The kids obviously didn’t understand the dialog, but were able to laugh at some of the visual jokes. One of the Ethiopian Bingham workers who is heavily involved with the Horizon Project shared with them after the movie what it was about, and the whole story from the Bible. We took them out for dinner afterwards. The funny thing was that, having not seen a drop of rain for months, while we were watching a movie about a flood, we had the largest downpour of rain since I arrived in this country. For the entire time the movie was running, there was thunder and lightning and extremely heavy rain. Once the movie was finished, it cleared up again.

On Thursday afternoon, my soccer kids had a game against another school. It was at Bingham, but unfortunately, for the second time in a row, the referee didn’t show up. That left it up to one of us to referee the match, I said I would do it for one half and one of their coaches could do it for the second half, but they said that I should just do it for the whole match. I reluctantly agreed, which was a mistake. The first half was fine, and we finished the half level at 2-2. However, the rain clouds were coming again for another downpour which happened shortly into the second half. I was totally unequipped for the weather, and was wearing my glasses which promptly fogged up. I could hardly see 2 feet in front of me, let alone referee a football match, so it was not fun. Apparently, their team got away with murder at times, however, my guys held out for a draw which I was glad about, and I went back in to dry off. I had brought a change of clothes, fortunately, for indoor football that evening.

This weekend, I joined a number of the other teachers on another retreat for a class, this time the 9th grade class. We were heading to an area called Babogya, an SIM owned compound for missionary chill out time. It had recently undergone renovations, and wasn’t strictly open yet, so we took tents to camp there. I was hoping that the rain had finished again for the next month or two. Fortunately, the weather was great.

Babogya is a medium sized lake very close to Debra Zeit, where the Ethiopian Air force Officer’s Swimming pool is that I’ve written about a few times. The SIM compound lies on the side of this lake, and the situation could not be more picturesque. The lake is very clean, we swam in it a lot during the weekend, and the surrounding area and plants make it one of the nicest places I’ve visited in Ethiopia. The kids spent their free time swimming, fishing and generally chilling. We had a number of study sessions, studying the life of Jesus, trying to get them to answer the question: “Who do you say I am?” My small group certainly seemed to enjoy the time and joined in the discussion well.

During a pitch-dark walk home from dinner on Saturday night, we were feeling our way down the steps. Unfortunately, they changed direction. As I was leading, I was the one who had to fall down the drop where the steps should have been. Thankfully, it was something that we could all laugh at; I just wish I’d seen it. Brian insisted we took a picture the next day of the distance I fell in the dark.

These chairs are situated on outside the main building on the compound.

This is the view they have. It’s no wonder it’s the perfect chill out spot.

Other photos here.

Bye from Addis,

Niall

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