St Andrews School Turi Staff Stories

Coming to Kenya

Esther Youlten – Mum of three and teacher at Senior School tells us about leaving the UK and settling in Kenya.

Arriving at Turi is something we will never forget. After the family goodbyes at Heathrow and the long-haul flight overnight with three young (and very excited) kids, followed by a lengthy bus ride with a gaggle of newly arrived teachers up into the highlands past zebras grazing on the side of the road and colourful villages, we finally stepped off the coach onto the lush, green school lawn and were surrounded by kind people offering us fruit juice.

It was a lovely welcome and the first week was a whirl of settling in, meeting new people, discovering Nakuru and preparing for the start of term. We had expected to feel some culture shock but five months in and we are still waiting for that – you can drink the water from the taps, buy Marmite at Nakumatt, there are no giant spiders or snakes (that we’ve seen!), punctuality is, if anything, more of a priority here than we have been used to in the UK and the weather ranges from the wettest that Lancashire could offer to the sunniest you could find in Cornwall.

Our day to day life is full of variety. Our children go to the Prep School and Nursery (called Turitots) for different amounts of the day. We run one of the two boys’ boarding houses at the Senior School and teach the rest of the time. We have found the pupils at the Senior School to be fun, hard working (on the whole!) and very caring towards each other. Similarly, the staff community is full of warmth and we are enjoying getting to know a wide range of people from all over the world.

The centrality of the Christian faith to what goes on here is a real strength and there are many ways to get involved if that is something that is important to you, from outdoor chapel services to prayer groups, Bible studies and Alpha courses.

Everyone has their story of how they found themselves at Turi, and many of them are extraordinary. For us it has been about the opportunity to pull together so many things that we love – experiencing life in Africa, working with people who are passionate about what they do, being part of a growing Christian community and being able to give our children experiences that we could not have imagined possible.