Allison is away, so we went on a hike. These hikes can take my kids through many emotions ranging from joy on seeing a giraffe looking at us over the trees while zebras and gazelles graze in the open, to extreme anger on why Dad took us on this stupid hike. We did Mt. Longonot, and it was a joy. Five hours up and down with great views, wildlife, a huge crater, and the development of character. Here are some pictures on which you can click for some narration.
We are glad to have some musical opportunities for our kids at Rift Valley Academy. Yesterday was the first term piano recital. We are thankful for the volunteer instructors (we actually pay a little bit) who are made up of students and teachers at RVA. They give some of their free time to teach these young students about music. They share their gifts with their younger classmates. That is a blessing!
You will remember that a big part of what we are doing in Kenya is working with a boarding school called Rift Valley Academy. Allison is a teacher at the school and our kids attend classes in its hallowed halls. The school serves missionary kids from all over Africa. We love these kids, and we want the best for them as they spend so many years away from their parents who serve God in some of the hardest places to work in the world. Last weekend was field day, and I was glad to be able to go and watch the kids have a load of fun with their classmates and teachers! Click on the pictures below for more details. I especially like the last two pictures of the tug of war between the students and teachers.
Thank you to God that school is starting and that our kids can continue in their education at Rift Valley Academy. They have moved around a lot, and they have been blessed to go to some great schools such as Scofield Christian School and Dallas Lutheran School in Dallas, Texas as well as Colegio Diospi Suyana in Curahuasi, Peru. We are hoping and praying for more great opportunities for learning here in Kijabe, Kenya. Also Allison starts here first day teaching 9th grade English!
Please pray for the students and families of Rift Valley Academy this weekend. Today was the new student and parent orientation and tomorrow is called “Arrival Day,” which means that the dorms will be filling up with our boarding students for the next school year. It also means lots of goodbyes, as parents drop off their kids and go back to the countries where they serve.
We are part of the new family group, so we’ve been at orientation also, getting tours of the school and learning about all the activities and programs the kids can be involved in. However, we got to walk down the gravel trail to our home with all four kids. Blessedly, at this time, all four kids have said that they are happy that they still live with us—ha!
I stood in my classroom for an hour this afternoon while new parents and students walked through their high school schedule. Ninth grade is a time when many families decide to make a change from homeschooling or local schooling to American schooling. RVA is their best option, even if means boarding their kids. I met so many wonderful parents who fell into three categories—totally chilled because this child is the second, third, or fourth in their family to start at RVA or happy for their kid and relieved not to be homeschooling anymore or nervous but making a peaceful truce with the situation. It was inspirational to hear about where they work and what they do. These people are spreading God’s love in some tough places. Please pray that I can be an excellent teacher to honor the trust they are placing in us. I can tell I’m really going to enjoy spending time with these kids.
Dogs are funny animals. Chardonnay is our new dog, and she came with the house. She seems to have her favorites already. Will wins with C always coming to him preferentially to all the others in the family. Next seems to come David or Allison and then she defers to individuals based on age. How she does that is not clear, but we wonder if it is how deep a voice a person has or their size. So Sarah likes to take C on walks by herself so the she can get all the dog love and attention given only to her. Two or three times a day she will come in and ask if she can take C for a walk. She puts on the leash so C knows it is OK to leave and off they go. Sarah seems to really be liking life here, although she has had some fears because of all the concerns of violence around the Kenyan presidential elections. She is outside all the time. She loves on the dog and the chickens. She loves collecting their eggs. She checks on the monkeys. She looks at all the birds. She is studying the flowers. I am glad she is here, and I especially like to see her smile next to her dog Chardonnay.