Anna Sutherland, soldier husband Stephen, son Euan (18), daughter Zara (14) tell us about their life as an Army family in Nairobi, Kenya…
How long have you been an Army family?
Time in Kenya:
Six months on Loan Service.
How many other military families live in Nairobi?
What’s your quarter like?
We live in a beautiful, modern, two-storey house with four big en-suite bedrooms. Large gardens surround the house.
Are there employment/training opportunities?
A lucky few have managed to obtain a work visa.
What about schools/childcare?
British Peace Support Team (Africa) (BPST(A)) approved schools in Kenya are private with high standards of education; all educational fees are paid for by BPST(A), with extra activities funded by parents. UK boarding schools remain a popular choice with an entitlement of six single or three return visits a year.
Where do Army families get together?
Families live in compounds where coffee mornings, barbecues and kids’ swim parties are held. BPST(A) also organises trips, camping, rugby, cricket, walking and sightseeing, as well as visits to local markets. The suburb of Karen has two malls and also boasts some of the best restaurants and bars in Nairobi. We also enjoy discounted travel in Kenya at hotels, lodges and safari trips.
Who supports families?
We have great support from the staff at BPST(A). We are supported by a host family who help us settle in. There’s a WhatsApp group which the spouses use to communicate, ask questions, send invites and provide information. We also have a closed Facebook group for travel tips and special offers.
What’s the best thing about living in Kenya?
Travel opportunities. We spent my son’s 18th birthday and Christmas in Mombasa at Diani beach. My bucket list for the next two years includes Tanzania (Mt Kilimanjaro), Uganda (Gorilla safari) and Masai Mara (for the annual migration). The driving is the worst part, but fortunately we attended a defensive driving course which helps us to feel confident both on and off road.