Thoughts from November 2010

a hat tag update

Our Facebook hat tag competition is going great guns after just one week. So we thought we'd share some of the highlights so far...

Four legged friends are starting to become a bit of a theme.



Tagging gets creative.


And cute.



We take on whole school playgrounds.


Tagged statues and landmarks are particularly impressive.





The award for 'best hat hovering over a celebrity' boasts R Patz and Arnie amongst its tags (with slight short cuts taken to papping them granted).



And the mighty hat tag game originator Mr Luke (and colleague Pietro) put a smile on our face once again.


If you fancy getting involved just have a read of the step by step guide here, friend us up on Facebook and get tagging.

the (nearly) last package

Sorting through the last few bundles and packages of hats that everyone's sent in, we stumbled upon this beautifully made card, and knitted treats which went with it. A big thank you to Sue Collard for brightening up our day.


And inside the package were (it's not quite the twelve days of christmas, but along the same line):

Sixteen hearts a-beating


Ten Aliens a-bducting


10 noddy hats a-nodding


Two cupcakes a-baking


And one "bosom" a-heaving



making a beeline to the apples

emilie in ethiopia

I've been spending the past 2 days in Addis mainly wrting up my recommendation on honey marketing, eating injera and tearing my hair out because of internet bugs / power cuts - not very good or new blogging material or photos.


However today we drove 45 minutes outside Addis to visit a project the innocent foundation funded from 2007 to 2009, appropriately called the Apple Project.

To cut a long story short, we supported the introduction of apple trees in Ethiopia to help smallholder farmers diversify their income by growing and selling apples: a rare, and therefore high value crop here.

Here is Gonfar, the farmer we visited, proudly standing by his apple trees (it was quite surreal seeing an apple orchard just behind banana plants.) He's got about 85 of them now.


3 years ago, this was where he and his 9 chldren lived, a cute but quite rustic little mud hat.

Olod house

Thanks to the money he's made from selling his apples, and I'm not joking here, he's built himself a brand new colourful house just next to the old one.

Gonfar new house

By this point, I was completely in awe of this entrepreneur but things didn't stop there.

He's also constructed a new latrine, which happens to be one of the cleanest ones I've seen here.

Latrine outside

When I went in, I realised the old exercise books (bottom right) weren't meant for passing time on the loo: he'd even thought of toilet paper.

Toilets inside

He's also set up an ingenious mechanism to irrigate the land whilst washing your hands so no water gets wasted.

Washing hands

This man had by now become my hero, and then I realised he was officially a hero, as you can see from the medal in the bottom picture frame.

Proud Gonfar

The dashing young man with the sexy sunglasses eyeing up Barbie is his eldest son who works at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis. Not really my kind of place but I might go in and say hello if I walk past on my daily evening wanders through the city.

Not only was I in awe of this man (and made everyone laugh by constantly repeating 'this is A-MA-ZING' during the visit) but on a more serious note, I felt really proud of being a member of the innocent oundation. There are 225 other Gonfars in the region who have all directly benefited from our grant and are selling more and more apples each year. I felt nearly as proud as Gonfar in the photo. Just missing the medal.

Now, back to the honey.

name that sheep

As part of the Big Knit we adopted our very own sheep for Fruit Towers, to hang out with Booster, the fruity rooster (and the pinata). He spent the morning with a couple of chums welcoming visitors to Fruit Towers.


Then Delia enticed him inside for lunch.


And Eddie took him to his current residence, watching over the whole office from his new perch.


But the question remains: what's his (or her) name? Please comment with your suggestions, so this anonymous sheep can finally feel fully at home.