Phil Dow



Average rating: 3.68 · 22 ratings · 4 reviews · 2 distinct works
School in the Clouds

3.90 avg rating — 20 ratings — published 2004
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The Citizen Investor: The P...

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“Beyond the wild animals that posed a regular safety concern anywhere in Kenya, it was believed that the high elevation of Kijabe would leave the missionaries susceptible to “Kenya nerves” –a mythical neurological disorder that led to acute anxiety and other psychologically linked ailments. p21”
Phil Dow, School in the Clouds

“The Downing home fire is noteworthy because it illustrates, in a darkly humorous way, the potential for spiritual legalism that has been one of the enduring failings of the school. The fire’s origin remains something of a mystery, but when several students did notice it, the flames were still small enough that it might be put out. In a panic, the girls called the home of a station family where a large number of the missionaries were meeting. The mother answered the telephone and, hearing the voice of a student emphatically stated, “We are in a prayer meeting and should not be interrupted!” and promptly hung up. The now hysterical girls nonetheless obeyed the missionary lady and, as the righteous group continued to pray for the school, watched as the dorm burnt to the ground. p111-112”
Phil Dow, School in the Clouds

“At this time, rumors of student drug use and sexual indiscretions at RVA…appeared to be confirmed as the number of students being suspended or expelled abruptly increased. At the peak of the crisis the school board expressed the belief that “twenty-five to thirty-five students (were) using drugs, possibly including some girls.” Based on student testimony and confiscations the board added that, “seven or eight different types of drugs, including opium, (are) apparently being used.” Added up, this number meant that anywhere from ten to twenty percent of the High School students were experimenting extensively with drugs – a shocking figure at any school, let alone this isolated and seemingly pristine missionary school. The fears of the school board and parents were confirmed when between December of 1973 and January of 1974 thirteen boys were expelled or suspended indefinitely or drug use or tobacco use… The response of the missionary parents to this rash of bad behavior was at once expected and ironic…when missionary children began to make bad decisions, parental affection often overwhelmed parental theology. Common to parents everywhere, this chosen blindness meant that because “my child is basically good” the cause of bad behavior must be found outside of the child…Thus, with the two most likely suspects exempted from blame (the children themselves and the American cultural revolution) many drew the next natural conclusion. The school was to blame.” p157, 158”
Phil Dow, School in the Clouds



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