For us Valentine’s Day is coming fast. We are sponsoring the Sophomore class at Rift Valley Academy, and on the the class’s responsibilities and biggest projects this year is Valentine’s Day Sales. This is a fundraiser for the Sophomore class that sets them up for their future fundraisers in their Junior and Senior years. Each year’s fundraiser provides the funds needed to buy the supplies needed for the next year. So it needs to be done well. We are helping with the baking committee, which means we will plan to bake 1300 cookies, 500 cupcakes, and 200 brownies. We will also be making jello jigglers and around 200 chocolate dipped s’mores. (Yikes!) We started baking this last Friday, and we probably did not get enough done! The kid’s are in charge and watching them get busy in the Home Economics kitchen was quite a sight. Every weekend for the next month will be spent baking. It is a lot of work, but hopefully the reward will be in a job well done and funds duly earned.
Allison is working hard at Rift Valley Academy. This a completely volunteer position for which she is not paid. In fact, none of the teachers at RVA are paid. They are all missionary teachers working to support the work of the school, and they are supported by generous people and churches in their home countries. This year Allison is teaching Spanish 3 and Spanish 4 after spending the last year teaching 9th grade English. She is also serving as the head of the World Languages Department . Both she and Will enjoy serving as 10th grade class sponsors– that’s David’s class. She is busy, but she is also thriving as she loves her students and she loves her subject matter. She feels grateful for important work too, as RVA provides a way for families to serve in some of the most difficult and remote places in Africa without sacrificing their children’s educational needs. You can see some of the cool things going on at school by following Rift Valley Academy’s Facebook page or Instagram page.
If you want to see some of what is going on at Rift Valley Academy, you can follow them on both Instagram on Facebook. These pages have recently become very active with photos and videos. We are very attached to this school. Allison is in the middle of her second year volunteering as a teacher. Last year she taught English to the Freshman, and this year she is teaching Spanish Level 3 and Level 4. She is also serving as the head of the International Language Department. Both of us are Sophomore class sponsors. For Allison this is more work than it is for me. She goes to class officer meetings every Friday at lunch. It is a good time for her to see David in his element, as he is serving as the Sophomore class Vice-Chairman (Vice-President). Then almost every weekend we have some class activity we have to attend and help with. Sometimes when I am tired from the week, I think what have we gotten ourselves into. But almost always it is fun to be there with all the students, watching them play games and joke with one another. We also like hanging out with the other sponsors. RVA has a lot going on. It is an important ministry of the church to the missionaries serving in remote and difficult parts of Africa. It is a blessing to the kids to go to a good school, and it is a blessing to the parents who know their kids are being well taken care of by all the missionaries who care for them here.
Here is the link for the Instagram page.
Here is the link for the Facebook page
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.
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.
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!