A few of my favourite things

Over the course of my time in Ethiopia, I have picked up and carried with me on my journey many things. Some of those items have really helped me to live here. This is a list of some of those things:

  1. prestige-over-s_186bdd66_stdOverspex sunglasses
    For me, as a glasses wearer constantly, these were ideal for using in the bright sunshine that we have here in Ethiopia. Having a pair of sunglasses I can wear and STILL be able to see to drive, priceless!image
  2. Jandals (flipflops, thongs, slippers)
    It can be hot here. It can also be wet (and still fairly warm). So a trusty pair of jandals are the best, as you wear them often! They dry faster than regular shoes in the wet, and also keep your feet cool in the hot!
  3. marmite-jarMarmite (NZ variety!)
    This one is just a taste of home, and so is a must to have when being away from New Zealand for long periods of time!
    Far better than the UK variety… though Vegemite will do when there are no other options ūüėČ


  4. Hotwater bottle
    This is the latest addition to my favourites list! I recently visited New Zealand for Christmas, and even though I have been back in New Zealand since I moved here to Ethiopia, I kept telling myself that, no, I did not need a hotwater bottle in Ethiopia. Well, I have finally given in, and now I have my very own one! It makes getting to sleep so much easier, especially as I have acclimatised to the Ethiopian climate now.


So these are just a few of my favourite things that keep me sane in Ethiopia. Sometimes it really is just the little things that matter!

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A few weeks ago¬†I started a new unit with my grade 7s. This is one that I have taught multiple times. It is “The Black Peoples of America”.

We start off looking at the one of the most famous of Black Americans, Martin Luther King Jr., but then quickly go back in time to how there even came to be Black people in America – slavery.

Not the most fun topic in the world.

But in a couple of the videos that we watch to help us to learn about this topic, the person mentions that one of the reasons that slave owners at the time justified the slavery, was through the use of the Bible.

And so, for one class, we actually have a look at this. Social Studies turns Bible Class, and we turn to the Scriptures.

Before we did so, this time, we stood on a continuum line of where we think we are in regards to this statement: “Slavery is condoned in the Bible”. Overwhelmingly, most of the students went towards the furthest part of the continuum, towards the disagree side; they believe it is wrong, and therefore the Bible must also back that up.

And then we turn to the Scriptures:

Old Testament: Exodus 21; Leviticus 25

Paul’s Epistles:¬†Colossians 3; Ephesians 6; Titus 2

And even Jesus?!: Luke 7

The consensus (at least from these few Scriptures) seems to be that ‘slavery is okay’.

I asked the same question again “Slavery is condoned in the Bible”. Everyone had moved. I think it surprised some of my students. That it was seen as okay, that there were regulations for it, that even Jesus didn’t blink an eye!

But then I take my students here, to those so much smarter than I, to those who have wrestled with this topic.

Does the Bible really condone slavery? Well, in some ways yes. But the Bible’s main purpose is not to change society from the outside in – it is to change it from the inside out.

And just as John Newton discovered after he found Jesus following his career in sailing with slaves, there is amazing change, and Amazing Grace that follows.

Amen to God wanting to change the whole of us, not just the outside.

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Guy Fawkes


As we live in a community of people who come from almost everywhere, it is always fun to celebrate each others holidays, traditions and festivities!

This month, we were “remember, remember the 5th of November”.

This, of course, is Guy Fawkes night, which we do enjoy celebrating in New Zealand by blowing things up for a few days.

In England, however, they take it to a whole new level!
Like, seriously, we burn what is basically a scare crow, who is meant to resemble Guy Fawkes himself….20161104_190445_006

It’s a little bit creepy if you ask me though!

Sadly, the local authorities told us that we weren’t allowed to set off the fireworks that we had already purchased….

But we found another way to create awesome fireworks-like light shows!

Enter steel-wool on fire and spun:




Super cool! Thanks Jose!!



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Here is a map that I drew for my Grade 8 Social Studies students. It is showing the different levels of development according to the UN’s Human Development Index.

Points for those who can name the countries that don’t have enough data to be included in this!!

(Though really, I didn’t draw it….. I used an outline map projected onto my whiteboard… Looks cool when you turn it off though!)

Really, my personally drawn maps look something more like this:



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A Very Exciting Thing


Some of you may know this, but others of you may not, but I have kept some of my life off of social media for most of this year.

In December last year, I met a man.

In January this year, we started dating.

In June and July, it was a hard time of separation while I was in New Zealand and he could not join me.

And in October, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! (I said yes!!)

And what an exciting moment that was, and all the time leading up until that moment.

God has been so good in leading us and guiding us together. From the little things to the big things, God has been in it all!

Medan has been an answer to my prayers for a godly man in my life. He encourages me to grow in God, to do the best in my teaching and be the best person I can be.

It’s going to be an amazing adventure!!


If you want to see what Medan had to say about all this, click over to here.

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A phrase that has been thrown around a lot lately here at Bingham is “is it dataworthy?”

This is referring to the problem which occurs about an hour after the power goes off (even if the generator is on) that the internet often goes down. Which is sad.

But with the wonder that is 3G on your mobile phone, you don’t have to suffer without the internet! The problem is is that it then uses your phone credit.

So it becomes a question of “is it dataworthy?”

Watching the Olympics and wanting to know what your medal tally is like? Maybe not #dataworthy

Needing to settle an argument with a brief look at a wikipedia page? Perhaps it might be #dataworthy

Either way – the internet is there when you need it (email) and when you don’t (cat pictures!)

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Worship Team – IEC

Today was a good day.

Today was the day that I finally had the honour of leading my church, International Evangelical Church (IEC), in worship. This may sound like a little thing, but really it is a great thing to praise God about!

There is more to this story.

When I was in high school, and then studying for my undergraduate degree, I was on my church’s worship teams as a vocalist. I really enjoyed the time, and loved to serve the church in that way.

After I finished my degree (a BSc majoring in Geography if you are interested ūüėČ I did not join worship team at any of the other churches that I attended.

About a year ago, I was finally convinced to join the worship team at IEC. A great friend of mine was leading worship one Sunday and she invited me to join her team. From there I was on the schedule every two months or so.

In January, 2016, I was scheduled again to be on the worship team – but the worship leader couldn’t do that week, and so our worship pastor chose the set and ran the practice. Through that, I took a vocal lead for that team, and our worship pastor decided that I was worship leader material!

As the¬†schedules kept coming, I was put on to lead worship. I had my set ready, but then I got the flu…

A few months later, I was scheduled again to lead worship. I was all ready, I had chosen the songs, decided the keys for the music, but then I got the flu again…


I kinda got to thinking about this: What healthy young person, such as myself, gets influenza, twice in 5 months!! This must have been an attack from the enemy, the one who does not want me to succeed, the destroyer of dreams.

So, when I saw the new schedule, once I had returned from break in New Zealand, I was a little bit nervous.

And I got many of my great friends, mentors, people in NZ and here in Ethiopia, to pray.

And pray they did!

It did not stop the nervousness entirely, but it did give me a confidence. I was encouraged to read scripture and found this gem: Isaiah 54, in particular, verse 17:

no weapon forged against you will prevail,
    and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
¬†¬†¬†¬†and this is their vindication from me,‚ÄĚ
declares the Lord.

There were times I thought I was getting a cold this past week, but ultimately, God has been so faithful.

This is my testimony – through the prayers of many, I got to lead worship with a bunch of fantastic, God-loving people, and worship with several hundred people today.


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