A Tale of Two Safaris

Safari #1 — 6th grade Safari

Just about every year I get invited to go on 6th grade Safari. (Partially because I teach the 6th grade boys Sunday School class and will be one of their teachers in 7th grade,  but mostly because I can drive one of the school buses.)  We leave RVA and drive 6 hours up to the base of Mt. Kenya to the William Holden Wildlife Education Center.  There the kids learn about conservation, recycling, taking care of the earth that God has created. They go on a game drive to see some of the wild animals in Kenya (and the largest population of albino zebra in the world), they go to an animal orphanage and learn about the endangered Mountain Bongo. They have a lot of fun playing volleyball, kicking a soccer ball, and throwing a rugby ball around camp.  This year there was an added excitement as a truck filled with potatoes slid off the log bridge right next to camp and plunged into the stream below.  No one was seriously injured, but pretty scarry for those involved, and since we get the  water for the camp straight from the river, now filled with diesel oil, no showers the last day.  You know how much the 6th grade boys hated not getting showers.

Technically the camp is not a Christian organization, however the teachers that are there are Christian, and they know that RVA is a Christian school, so they tailor their lessons for the kids.  Each evening I do the campfire sessions with the kids, where we open up scripture and talk aobut how the kids are getting ready to leave elementary school and head into Jr. High (where I’ll be their teacher and administrator).  We really do some good transition with the kids.  It’s a great time of learning about creation and learning about who they are in Christ and who they are as a class.Safari #2 — Senior Safari

The highlight of the Senior year is Senior Safari.  All of the work they did over the past 4 years, raising money from Valentines Sales, Sophomore Restaurant, Junior and Senior Stores goes to pay for a trip to Mombasa, to a resort for 5 nights of relaxing by the pool.We were the first class to be alowed to take the new SGR railway train down to the coast.  5 hours on the train rather than 10 hours in buses.  Of course, the Kenyan government just inagurated the new train at the beginning of June, so there haven’t been other classes able to use it.

All you can eat buffet breafast, lunch, and dinner.  Unlimited soft drinks (which they deliverd poolside for me) and juice, unlimited pizza from the resturaunt.  Great food, great friends, a great time to be together as a class right before graduation.  All their hard work, all their living, loving, laughing, crying together over the past 12 years (actually we had 6 kids that have attended RVA since kindergarten, so that would be 13 years), and we celebrate by taking a week together as a class.This is one of the three pools at the resort.  My usual haunt was one of the beach loungers on the left.  It was a great time and a great way to end the year and celebrate together as a class.

Sunday morning at the beach we had church with the kids.  It’s so beautiful to be singing to God with the ocean in front of us.

Graduation

Well it’s not really a Safari, but today was graduation for the class.  It is bitter sweet for these kids.  So much time living together in the dorms, taking classes together, and now they are off, all around the world.Well I guess that’s about it for today.  One personal note, I’m enjoying having my parents here visiting for a couple of weeks.  It’s been a couple of years since they’ve been here and things have changed quite a bit here in Kenya since they were here last.

Prayer requsest to lift before the throne:

  1. Pray for the graduated class of 2017.  They are leaving all they know, leaving their homes and moving back to the US, to a culture that is very different, and attending colleges all around the world.  I know that God will richly bless each kid who graduated today.
  2. Praise that Mom and Dad are here for a couple of weeks, that we’ll have a good time together as a family.
  3. Pray that as my schedule has changed a bit from school time to term break time, I’ll be able to do lesson planning and preparation for next years classes.  It looks right now like I will most probably continue teaching the 7th grade Math, Jr. High Study Skills, Jr. High Coordinator, along with other responsibilities.  Also, I’ll probably pick up the incoming 7th grade class as the next class I’ll sponsor, and work with them until they graduate in 6 years.  We’ll see about that,though.

Shalom,

Dan