Scottish Learning Festival

Here I am at yesterday’s Scottish Learning Festival in Glasgow working on both the Developing Global Citizens stall and the VSO stall. It was an interesting day…

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Another Media Mention

Here’s another media mention, this time on the STV website. Click here to go to the article:

Here’s my quote:

“I was working in a College of Teacher Education where students are trained to become primary school teachers. The experience was much more challenging than I thought it would be, but in a good way as I definitely needed a new career challenge.

“It’s so satisfying to be able to share my own professional skills and know that it’s helping to make a difference.

“I also learnt a great deal of management and leadership skills. Volunteering with VSO has definitely enhanced my career. I’ve returned to Edinburgh and will be starting a more senior position this month and the valuable skills I learnt in Ethiopia will see me better equipped to handle my new role.”

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Meeting VSO Friends

It’s been great to meet up with some folks from VSO days. We met Martin from Mekele and Crissy (a previous Abi Adi VSO volunteer who helped us before we went) when we went to Manchester at the begining of August. Also Bob and Pam from Abi Adi came to visit us in Edinburgh at the end of August – we enjoyed showing them around town and introduced them to the Edinburgh Festival.

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VSO Board

Now I’ve returned to my primary school in Edinburgh I am delighted to find that the school have been following my Ethiopian Adventures. Here is the display board in the main corridor – so the whole school community has been able to share in the experience.

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Media Mention!

Last week I was asked for a quote about my experiences on VSO for a national newspaper, The Guardian. Here is a link to the article, which is calling for more primary school teachers to take up the challenge of a VSO placement! home

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Awris Dancing

Awris is a type of dance originating from Abi Adi and the surrounding Tembien region. It has been described as imitating the movements of a hen and rooster but we also heard a story that it originates from people having to jump from rock to rock in the stony surroundings of this part of the world. Whatever the case it is an intriguing dance.

There are two people in the centre of a circle; one person (usually a woman) crosses their arms and makes small movements while often turning their back on the other person, meanwhile the other dancer (usually a man) is making outlandish and huge movements with their arms and legs – basically showing off. After a while either dancer can be replaced by a new participant, who pushes the old dancer away and takes their turn to try to impress their new dance partner.

Here are two videos. One was taken at the graduation ceremony, while the other one shows elementary school children practicing the dance during a visit we made to Abi Adi elementary school.

You can see more videos on the videos page of this website.

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Driving Into Town

Here’s a video of our journey into town. We would do this every few days, often going into town on the college service bus for lunch or dinner. Here we are in the back of a pick up truck with other teachers. In fact, this is only half the journey which was about 3 or 4 kilometres from college to town centre in total. You can see the local line taxi (the blue minibus) which takes passengers up and down the hill for 1 birr. You can also see high school students (wearing blue) walking home from school,  donkeys, people carrying large objects and lots of shops and houses (many of them in the process of being built).

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