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.

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!

Devotional Thoughts

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Devotional thought before midterm break

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I am thankful for a school that tries to instill the deep truths into their students. I am glad Allison teaches there. This year was English, next year back to her first love, Spanish.

Athens vs. Sparta

Rift Valley Academy sixth graders debated the strengths and merits of Athens or Sparta. I am appreciative of the teachers (including Allison) who invest their lives, experience, and prayers into these students who come from around Africa for a good education while their parents serve God through missions.img_2126img_2124img_2123img_2127

 

Interim at RVA

Rift Valley Academy is not the perfect school, although it can look that way to an outsider. But even as an insider, knowing some of its flaws (like every school), I have to say it has some greatness in it. One of those great things are the “Interim” trips that the Junior and Senior classes take at the end of the second term. These trips have several purposes to include fun (probably the most important from the student’s perspective), education, ministry, and service. They travel all around East Africa from Egypt to Zanzibar. Some trips are rough camping trips, others are at the beach staying at hotels. They can range from a focus on extreme sports with rappelling, canyoning, white water rafting, and bungee jumping to exploring history and ruins in Ethiopia and Egypt. When they come back the students present their trip to the lower classes, and parents are invited to attend the presentations too. I think I want to go to the sailing Interim trip (if they would invite me!)

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Every group said theirs was the best

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Using the school library to present their trip.