Rift Valley Academy

From the Facebook page:

As Charles Hurlburt faced the common dilemma of either relinquishing his children to education in England, or abandoning his calling, he devised a surprising solution: he’d keep both. He asked Josephine Hope to teach his children right here in Kenya. They soon drew up plans for dormitory and classroom space, and in 1909, President Teddy Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the main building, Kiambogo. Early decades were marked by difficulty recruiting staff, further complicated by World War I and later II. Herb and Mildred Downing took up the mantle of leadership during this lean period. They pleaded for teachers and funding, recognizing that the school was vital to parents’ ability to stay on the field. RVA expanded its facilities and extended education through the twelfth grade, hosting its first graduating class in 1950.
Kenya’s independence in 1963 launched an era of growth at RVA. The school established athletic, music, and drama programs, and a spirit of educational excellence emerged. In 1967, under Roy Entwistle’s leadership, RVA was the first school in Africa to receive American accreditation.
Subsequent decades saw continued growth in enrollment and facilities, as well as a focus on creating a nurturing environment for RVA’s students. The school gained national recognition in the arts and athletics, and global recognition in academics.
At present, RVA serves about 500 students from the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia, and the school continues its march toward spiritual vibrancy and academic excellence.
Rift Valley Academy sits on 90 acres of the upper escarpment overlooking Kenya’s vast and sunlit Rift Valley. At an elevation of more than 7,000 feet, RVA is sometimes referred to as the school in the clouds, and the campus is frequented by monkeys, baboons, and exotic birdlife.
RVA is comprised of an elementary, a junior high, and a senior high school. The campus contains nineteen student dormitories, staff housing, a gymnasium, a music building, a drama hall, two sports fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, elementary recreational areas, a chapel, a cafeteria, an administrative building, and numerous facilities such as student health, counseling, and laundry, all of which support the daily and long-term needs of boarding students and staff families.
The Mission Statement of RVA is: Educating and discipling students toward their potential in Christ thus enabling families to serve. As RVA students grow holistically, they learn how to apply biblical truth in the world around them, develop God-given abilities to impact the world for Christ, and lead healthy lives that contribute positively in their communities.

Allison is the Name

Family in the Masai Mara

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Cold and windy

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Grandparent Visit / Safari

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Grandparents are the best!

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Picture of grandparents by a zebra.

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So many elephants!

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Sixth Grade Safo

The sixth graders took a trip to the William Holden Wildlife Foundation Education Center below Mt. Kenya. This is their annual sixth grade safari as they celebrate ending primary school before heading off to junior high. I was able to go with Annie as the medical provider for the trip. It was a privilege, and I enjoyed getting to know all of her classmates a little bit better. During the trip the kids learn about conservation, go on a small safari, have devotional lessons, and most of all celebrate their free time and the sixth grade year completed.  It was a lot of fun!

The Eyes Have It

I’m doing a lot of thinking about eyes lately. The most graphic reminder is our precious daughter, Sarah. Look at her poor eye!

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This was after a week of healing. You should have seen it at its worst!

This pitiful looking burn is brought to you by a bug, ironically named “Nairobi Eye.” If you crush them or even, as Sarah did, flick them off you, they release an acid that burns the skin. We have had a major infestation on campus, as well as a few around our house. I washed one down the shower drain the other morning, as I did not want to bathe with it. Sarah was playing outside with her friends, climbing on playground equipment, and one of these beetles dropped on her face.

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Although I feel a wave of sympathy every time I look at her, I keep reminding myself to be so thankful that she did not get the acid inside her eye.

 

 

I am leading the ninth grade through The Chosen by Chaim Potok. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who have not read it (you should!), but in the first few chapters the narrator wonders if he might lose his eye. I was telling my classes that my mom lost her right eye and functioned very well for twenty years more! It is a brilliant metaphor in the book for the character’s awakening, for his experience of seeing things with new eyes, reconsidering all his assumptions. It makes me wonder what I need to re-see, what I assume is truth that needs to be upended. Living in another country will do that to you– challenge your assumptions, so that you can see better.

Biking

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Lost a screw. Broken bike. Long way to home.

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The best recreational activities in Kijabe, just as they were in Peru, are biking and hiking. Peter came on the 4×4 with a bike wrench so that I could put the screw back in and ride home. If it had not been for some school kids walking home from school along the road who found my screw and delivered it to me I would have been without a working bike until I could find a replacement part. I am thankful for honest Kenyan children. As I called home to get help, I felt them sneaking up behind me and touching my white skin. I hope they liked the way my sweaty white skin felt.