Well, now that you’ve seen some of the landscapes from Ethiopia(check it out here if you missed it), I wanted to share exactly what we were doing in Ethiopia.

Many of you know we were teaching English in Ethiopia for high school students. As for living arrangements, we stayed at a church compound that was part of the Illubabor Bethel Synod in Ethiopia. Synods, presbyteries, etc are all part of the Presbyterian Church government and structure, but you can read more about the Synod here– I’ll be sure to show you some more pictures of our living arrangements later!

Each day we had about a 1.5-2 mile walk to school. As you can see in the video, the road we “walked” was more like a hike with all of the rocks and the mud. And when it rained….we had mud cakes on our shoes I’d never seen mud like it in my life!

Throughout our time, I had the privilege of working with 11+12 graders. It was kind of funny teaching that age group with my brother being a senior in high school, but I loved every moment! Since their normal class structure is full of lecturing, I mixed it up with some group activities like creating their own coffee shops, writing plays and debates. Grammar and pronunciation seemed to be the main issue but I loved hearing all about their daily lives, their culture, their aspirations and their outlooks on life. So many stories and so little time!

So, I’ve created a little video for you to see our walk to school step-by-step. The kids we saw, the animals, the land and the length. I thought it would be a fun way for you all to experience it for yourselves!

But…before I forget…we did have a fun little surprise our first week of school—a baboon snuck into our classrooms! We have a hunch it was someone’s pet and a big joke on us, but either way, I’m pretty sure that’s a once-in-a-lifetime story!

(Remember…if it you don’t see the video above, refresh your page to see it!)

We saw this lovely girl each and every day. She always made it a point to walk with us and hold our hands as far as she could so I LOVED that she broke into a pose when I pulled out the camera!

Nothing like corn-on-the-cob for an afternoon snack!

I seriously LOVE this. How can you not just jump for joy?

Walking to our rooms on the compound…

Some of my students working on a group project

Presentation time!

The school compound — Mettu High School

The entrance to the high school

Flowers were a frequent gift from my students!

My classroom

Look at my students’ artwork for my farewell!

They loved taking photos of all of us, especially on their “mobiles.”

A farewell gift from my student, Kenzi. A jebana used to serve coffee.

All of our students lined up for the closing ceremony.

Tariku, the Illubabor Bethel Synod President, was our host at the compound and he gave a mini speech at the closing ceremony.

Giving away our dictionaries to our students with great attendance and participation!

We donated dictionaries to two high schools in Mettu and the public library–English for everyone!

This is Abanaga. And he loved to give me a hard time and make the class laugh. So, of course this was his natural reaction to the camera.

Megersa was one of my very top students, simply brilliant!

The gift of education…these students are so determined, so driven, so intelligent and so eager.