I’ve been in Nairobi for a little over a week now, while Steve is in a conference in the US, and this past weekend I was able to catch a ride up to Kijabe, home of the boarding school I attended from fifth grade onward. Founded in 1906 by Africa Inland Mission, Rift Valley Academy sits at about 7,200 feet (2,200 meters) and overlooks the Great Rift Valley. There are between 450 and 500 students who attend RVA, most of whose parents are missionaries, both in Kenya and other surrounding countries. And although its curriculum is US American, the student body is very international, so the school ends up maintaining its own unique culture.
The road people usually take to RVA was closed due to a mudslide (stay tuned for a post on that later this week), so we took what is known as the ‘lower road’, since it comes up from below Kijabe. It’s still pretty high above the valley, as you can see.
There are a number of ‘viewpoints’ along the road, where you can stop to take photos of the valley and also purchase souvenirs at shops with names like ‘Liberty Curio Shop,’ ‘White Masai Curio Shop,’ and ‘World Trade Centre Curio Shop.’
The lower road actually does lead down to the valley floor, at which point there is a turn-off for a steep, rocky road leading all the way back up to Kijabe. (There is a reason people usually drive the other way to get to RVA!)
This post ended up having quite a few photos, so I’ll make another post with pictures of the RVA campus. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a photo of the Kijabe Airstrip, which we passed right before we reached Kijabe town and the RVA campus.
Yes, this would be one of the more challenging airstrips in Kenya…