Amlaku’s visit to New Zealand, March – April 2017

Earlier this year, thanks to a gift from a generous supporter, Amlaku was able to spend a month with us here. For him, it was all new. It took 8 months to get his visa, with his appropriately stamped passport arriving in Addis from Pretoria just 90 minutes before he was due to board the flight up to Dubai! Stress like that we don’t need!

Once here, we worked him pretty hard. As you will see from the accompanying photo presentation, we travelled quite a bit, at times through the remnants of 2 big cyclones, so gumboots were an essential part of our travel kit!

Highlights of his visit were (in no particular order)

  • 5 Sundays with us here at St Mary Magdalene's Anglican Church in Ashhurst, including Easter. This meant that our friends here were able to really get to know him, and to love him.
  • An overnight trip to Wellington and the Wairarapa, which included his first encounter with the sea (Ethiopia being a landlocked country). Two farm visits in the Wairarapa were highlights of his time here.
  • A six day trip taking in Taupo, Wairakei, Rotorua, Ohope, Gisborne and Napier, during which he met most of Ric's family.
  • A two day trip up to Taranaki to stay with Ric's  sister-in-law and family. Egmont put in a good appearance.
  • A visit to a Marae, where Amlaku spoke to people on a rural training course. Good kai!
  • A visit to a modern dairy farm with a very high tech shed. 
  • Interviews with 3 newspapers, visits to two Rotary Clubs & one Lions Club.
  • Public meetings in Ashhurst and Palmerston North.
  • A helicopter flight up over the Pohangina Valley and an evening's possum shooting
  • Some extended time exploring New Zealand farms and the farming way of life here.
  • Connections with many supporters, including time with Ian McKelvie, our local MP, and Bishop Justin Duckworth and his wife, Jenny.

What amazed me was that, given his background, he was able to meet and talk with people from all sorts of sectors of New Zealand society in a totally relaxed way. He made a huge impact on people here in Ashhurst, who were able to spend significant periods of time with him.

Do check out the presentation, and do please feel free to come back to me with any questions or comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Ric Foxley

Tel 06 326 8887

please click on the image below to open the powerpoint presentation -
 this is a large file - it will take a while if you have a slower connection


There is a slideshow here of these and other images in

RANDOM order WITHOUT any titles or commentary