It was a bit of a rough day in regards to mood in our house yesterday. I have been reading a little bit about exercise and mood enhancement, and the correlation is pretty strong that exercise is good for mental health. This is especially true in anxiety and depression. I would say those are the most common struggles of many of us, and especially those of us living in a different culture. I tend to be more optimistic if I find time to exercise, and I envy those who find it easy to do. I do not always want to exercise, much less do I find the time to do it. And this is despite knowing the positive effects. So with everyone a bit down yesterday, I decided we were going on a walk. We would go to the caves and then up to the railroad tracks. A few short steep uphill sections followed by a meandering downhill walk. We noted some clouds in the sky, but it seemed like there was more sun than clouds. The old Boy Scout in me recommended we take some jackets. It was good that we did, because just as we reached the cave, the rain came. We decided we would cross-country home, bush-wacking, avoiding steep drop-offs, spraining wrists, and ruining clothing. But we made it. And you can decide for yourself from the picture whether it had a positive affect.
Not many kids in the United States start school wearing sweaters and jackets. It is one of the weird parts of living in the southern hemisphere at 7000 feet elevation. All of the kids attend Rift Valley Academy, participating in different activities including rugby, band, art, and Model United Nations to name a few. RVA is a boarding school, but our kids live with us and walk up to the school every day. They are glad they get to go home and are not burdened by the “rules” of boarding school life. We are glad they are home, too, but can still enjoy the social life offered at school.
You can follow RVA on their Instagram page. Sometimes you might even see our kids. That is David below on center court for the face off. The page is a pretty good representation of the highlights of daily life on the Rift Valley Academy campus. Caring Community is a monthly weekend night gathering where they divide the school into small groups so that friendships can be reinforced and strengthened. It is a good time for the students to be with each other and with some of the staff who will take a special interest in their lives.
Thank you Stan Kwan for the photo. I am taking advantage of standing uphill in this photo to maintain height advantage.
I am two days late with this post, but Saturday was David’s birthday. We celebrated with just family that day, because Sunday is when the party got going. I took a bunch of teenage red-blooded males to do paintball wars about 45 minutes from our house. The enthusiasm was contagious, the bruises were genuine, and the bravery may have been a little lacking. No one likes a paintball sting!
David is a great kid! He is very aware of injustice, he has an international viewpoint, and he is a good friend to people from many different cultures. He continues to try and do his best in the different circumstances in which he finds himself. It is easy to be proud of David! Scroll through the pictures below for some epic paintball shots! 😉