In Britain many are berating 2016, a year to be forgotten – a year of tragedy and celebrity deaths. A year where we have lost many popular creative voices and a year where our news broadcasts have been dominated by war, politics and terrorism. I, like others, have been appalled by the lows we seem to have been able to sink to as a human race but have also had moments of inspiration where I have witnessed pure love in action. I have been afforded wonderful travel opportunities with work and in my own time to Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Jordan, Madeira and America and I have had some major changes in my own circumstances. I have been through skin cancer diagnosis and treatment, made new friends and reignited some old friendships, hung up ‘Laura Cook Photography’ as a business but embraced working full-time for All We Can, a wonderful INGO. Here are some professional images from 2016 and some memories of highlights among the lowlights in what will be remembered by most as a tumultuous and stressful 12 months on our planet.

Images 15 and 16 offer a challenge to my loyal followers to end 2016 in a positive way and make a difference to a young man I know – or kick of 2017 with a little act of love.

I also wanted to end the year by thanking everyone who still follows my blog. I love and appreciate you all. Lets keep bringing light and love into the darkness – there is good in the world.


1. Taken in Tokeh, Sierra Leone, in a school funded by The Place at Tokeh Beach which is located in the same town. Fantastic meeting young people with such a love for learning. Education is the key to a brighter future (April 2016).

tempslaura (1 of 1)

2. I always love a market! On a day off in Ethiopia I was able to travel to a lovely market aimed at locals, not tourists, in the heart of Addis Ababa. (March 2016)


3. I got into using my IPhone for photography this year in a big way, I enjoy the immediacy of it, here is a typical Ethiopian scene – coffee, coffee, coffee! The obsession of a nation! Taken on my IPhone 5s in Debre Birhan (March 2016)

cherries (1 of 1)

4. Cherries in Madeira – just have to love the colours! Beautiful island with beautiful food and drink. (May 2016)

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5. You have to love a smile like this! This is one of the men who helps keep the rather strange tradition of pulling tourists down a steep hill in a large basket alive in Madeira! (May 2016)


6. Monument Valley in the USA – simply amazing. (August 2016)


7. Monument Valley image two. As there needs to be more than one! Also taken on the IPhone 5S. (August 2016)


8. A Joshua Tree in Nevada, USA. (August 2016)

tempslaura (17 of 17)

9. Table football in Addis Ababa – football as always the language of a generation! (March 2016)

10 and 11. With the wonderful All We Can, who I work full-time for, I travelled to Jordan and Cameroon to see their inspiring work. Find out more at and to find out more and see more images from my visit. (May 2016 and November 2016)

tempslaura (12 of 17)

12. Colourful pots for sale in Ethiopia. (March 2016)

Addiseats (1 of 2)

13. Making Shiro sauce in the kitchen in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (March 2016).


14. An image from London, where I spend much of my time, outside Methodist Central Hall in July 2016 a massive protest took place following the Chilcott Enquiry.

A challenge/favour to ask with images 15 and 16…

Early in 2016 I made a visit to my beloved Sierra Leone. Here are some images taken there with my dear friend Mohamed. Later in 2016 Mo joined my husband and I in the UK to begin studies. Now Mo hopes to go on to study at degree level so that one day he can bring about changes for young lads like him who are growing up without access to the kind of opportunities all children deserve. Mo has set up a crowdfunder to help him achieve his dreams. This young man is a total inspiration and therefore I would love you to consider reading, giving to, and sharing his story which can be found at Every small bit of help is making his dreams come true, and hopefully in the future the dreams of others. Thank you.