Last week Catherine Twomey of Hill of Banchory School visited her link school Bahir Dar Academy as part of a longer holiday to Ethiopia. She shared with us the following summary of her time at her link school and we thought you might also enjoy reading it:

It was really good to visit Bahir Dar Academy ‘in the flesh’ and to see the school in operation on a normal working day.

Hill of Banchory School had already received a disc of photos of the school which we have shown in a whole school assembly and set up a link display board with some of the photos and information about Ethiopia. My visit to the school during my holiday in Ethiopia will establish the link between the two schools for us as something meaningful and real.

We walked around part of the campus, met staff, saw children outside in the grounds and visited some classrooms.  We shared a coffee ceremony with Elsa and some of the staff.

Some pupils had responded to their Scottish pen friends letters and were able to tell me the name of their new pen friends.  I took all the letters back with me to pass on to our pupils.

I was able to pass on the gifts which I had brought from my school which included nine 2012 London Olympic footballs (as both Ethiopia and UK enjoyed success in the Olympics) 200 coloured crayons and a photobook of Banchory titled ‘ From Friends in Banchory to Friends in Bahir Dar’ with photos taken by pupils in my school.

We look forward to hearing responses from the pupils in Bahir Dar to the powerpoint photo presentation about our school which we had sent earlier and also their reaction to the photobook we made for them.  I have no doubt they will enjoy the footballs and crayons.

It was lovely to meet so many pupils who were all extremely cheerful, welcoming and polite.  The uniform in Hill of Banchory (chosen by the pupils when the school was established) is red and white just like the uniform colours in Bahir Dar which our pupils found an interesting connection when they saw photos at the start of the link in the summer.  They will be thrilled to see more photos of the pupils and school.

I look forward to feeding back to my school about my visit to Bahir Dar Academy and helping to continue dialogue about how to make the link a real and relevant cultural exchange.

If you are interested in visiting your link school (either as part of a holiday to Ethiopia or as the complete focus of your trip) please get in touch. We can help you organise any aspect of your visit from booking flights and accommodation to organising for someone from our office to introduce you to staff at your link school.