Staff Stories

Esther Youlten – Mum of three and teacher at Senior School

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.

Georgia Long – Turi student and Gap student at Prep School

My Parents worked at Turi from 2005 to 2012, so I attended the Prep School and Senior School. I loved my time here and especially enjoyed the sport. Growing up at Turi was ideal for me because of the immense freedom. The Turi grounds have so much space to run around in, get muddy, climb trees and make dens in the forest. My siblings and I loved going on walks in the forest trying to search for the Colobus monkeys and going for bike rides around the site. I couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable childhood.

I went off to the UK for my sixth form to a school called Ardingly College and decided that I wanted to come back for my gap year which was what I did. I have loved being on the teaching side of the school and working with the sports teams.

The best part of being a gap student is you get to go on all the school trips! After my year at Turi I will head back to the UK to study Physiotherapy at Keele University, which I am very much looking forward to.

Sally Andwati – Mum of two, Senior School Teacher and Careers Advisor

I had always been a ‘city girl’. Born, raised and educated in Kenya’s capital city, I feel that can expertly use the phrase ’fast and furious’ to describe  Nairobi’s expeditious life style.  As much as I loved and enjoyed living and working in our great city, I soon began to feel a need for a change. It did not take me long before I had narrowed down to one school. After only one visit to Turi, I was completely sold.

Nestled in the hills of the Molo, Rift Valley region, I found a gem. St Andrew’s School appealed to me in many ways: I was taken by the beautiful environment, the fresh air and the lovely people. I met students that were so well grounded in their values and Christian ethos; I knew that this was where I wanted to continue my teaching career. Because our small classes are made up of students from different background, teaching is much more enjoyable when students share their experiences.

I have never enjoyed teaching English Literature lessons more. The staff was welcoming and very accommodating. As a mother, the School offers my boys a safe haven where, not only are they nurtured in their educational needs, but also in their social lives. Where else would my four year old find open, lush green grounds to run freely? My fifteen year old swims, cycles and enjoys playing rugby. Turi has offered him a place to simply be.

I cannot describe the peace of mind that I have knowing that my children are safe and happy while I am at work. I am only five minutes away from home.  Nairobi cannot compare. As a Christian, I value the fact that Turi has its core founded in serving others and loving God. My sons are constantly exposed to these ideals, and yet they are still allowed to grow as individuals. Since coming to Turi eight years ago, I have grown tremendously both in my profession and as a person.

Turi has provided me with opportunity to enhance my teaching and allowed me to pursue my talents. My husband and I are now very proud ‘country people’. We visit Nairobi every once in a while, but we do love the country air more!