Beautiful views and baboons

Today was a pretty relaxed day in which we just got to see more of Kijabe and spend some down time hiking around the village. We ate breakfast around 8…everyone is starting to really fit into Kenya where time is thought of very loosely. After breakfast we walked to RVA (Rift Valley Academy) to watch the high school girls and boys volleyball teams play in a tournament. RVA is starting to feel like our second home, after the Daraja House. When we are at RVA I tend to forget that I am in Africa. They are just regular high school students who play basketball and soccer and play in volleyball tournaments. Both the boys and the girls won their matches (Go Buffalos!).

After the volleyball tournament we walked back to Daraja House for lunch and then went for a hike. We went further down into the valley to the edge of an airstrip for an absolutely beautiful view! From where we were standing you could see down into multiple villages, plenty of fields, and both Mount Suswa and Mount Margaret. It was breathtaking and I don’t think my words or any picture could fully capture the vastness and beauty of this country. It is going to be so hard leaving this place! We hiked back up the trail and onto a path that was once a railroad. Dr. Dixon and Dr. Case gave us a brief history on the railroad and how it complicated relationships for the Africans and made Africans question the motives of white people when they came into their country, when it looked like all they wanted to do was strip them of their resources and ship them out of the country.

One word I have learned while we are here is “mzungu” which means white person. We have made friends with a large group of children that live in houses around the Daraja House where we are staying. Every time we leave the house or come back to the house we walk by the children playing. They see us and I hear them yell “Mzungu mzungu!” And they all run to the gate to shake our hands and give us a smile. We have loved singing with them, dancing with them, and laughing with them.

On our way back to Daraja house today a group of us decided to keep walking further ahead into the village. After walking for about 5 minutes we looked back and noticed that our friends were following us. We stopped to chat and then we all kept walking together. We walked all the way to a small waterfall. It was so pretty all of us took out our cameras and started taking pictures. I wanted to see what it looked like from the top so I started to climb up the embankment on the side. I got about a third of the way and everyone was pointing and shouting, “Look look!” I looked where they were pointing and to my amazement and shock stood 3 rather large baboons. They looked so proud standing there and somewhat territorial. I stood there admiring them for a minute and then realized that there was not a fence or pane of glass keeping them from me. Needless to say, I hustled it back down the bank pretty quick! While I was running away from the baboons, all of the children that came with us were running towards the baboons! They had rocks in their hands and were preparing to scare them away. We didn’t want the monkeys to attack so we quickly called the kids back to us and headed back down the path. What an exciting day!

The people of Kijabe have been so friendly and welcoming to us and playing with the local children has brought us so much joy and the beauty of Kenya is at times unbelievable. It is in moments like these that I see little glimpses of God’s Kingdom and I pray that each day the Lord will show us more and more of Him through the people, places and situations we encounter during our time remaining in Kenya.

Becca Bankert


  1. Hi Becca, we are following your blog. It is really neat to keep up with all you are experiencing. Can't imagine being half way around the world. :) You have turned into a world traveler. That is wonderful! I think I will just plan to see the world from Heaven! :) I just can't get myself on those airplanes. :) We will continue to pray for you all. I am sure the Lord is speaking volumes to all of you.

    Love you,
    Aunt Carol

  2. Hi Becca Boo,
    It has been great to read and hear about your adventures. What an awesome world that the Lord has created! We're so glad that you have gotten to see a new part of it. Can't wait to see you again and hear all the wonderful things that you were able to do there. Love ya!
    Mom and Dad

  3. This is a delightful account of your Kenyan experience today! The relaxed pace and exploring Kijabe through a hike offer a glimpse into daily life and the stunning scenery.

    It's interesting to see how comfortable you've become at RVA, feeling almost like a second home, and observing similarities to high school life back home despite being in a different continent. The detail about the volleyball games adds a touch of everyday life.

    Your description of the breathtaking view from the hike and the vastness of the Kenyan landscape is captivating. It's understandable that leaving such beauty will be difficult. Learning the word "mzungu" and your interactions with the local children showcase your cultural immersion and the joy you find in connecting with them.

    The unexpected encounter with baboons adds a thrilling element to your day, highlighting the unique wildlife experiences in Kenya. It's heartwarming to see how the children were prepared to protect you, even though you ultimately returned safely.

    Your concluding reflection on the friendliness of the people, the joy of playing with the children, and the glimpses of God's Kingdom through your experiences are heartfelt and insightful. It's evident that your time in Kenya is having a profound impact on you.

    Thank you for sharing your detailed and engaging account! We look forward to hearing more about your journey and the lessons you continue to learn.
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  4. Thank you for sharing your adventure, and strands, and may your remaining time in Kenya continue to be filled with memorable experiences and meaningful encounters.


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