Saturday, 27 February 2016

Dragons, Donkeys & Indians - a Magical time at Kestrel Manor!

I have fond memories of going to Kestrel Manor a Nursery and Junior Primary School in Nairobi. Here are some of the reasons why;

Puff the Magic Dragon

Miss Lockwood (Nancy) was my teacher. She was a lovely teacher and she did some fun things with us that I remember to this day. We learned to sing 'Puff the Magic Dragon' and then the entire class painted egg shells and created a huge green egg shell collage of a dragon that went across the back wall of classroom. When Kahzmir was in Junior Kindergarten a few years ago, there was a parent reading day where parents got to go into class to read to the class and I picked "Puff the Magic Dragon". I read the story and got the kids to sing the song!

Nativity Play

At Christmas we did a nativity play and Miss Lockwood gave me the most prominent part in the play, I was Mary. I remember wearing my mum's baby blue shawl over my head and walking to Bethlehem with a baby doll Jesus with St. John, who liked my friend Jane Black as Joseph beside my side. We had a real donkey in the play and we learned the song 'Little Donkey'.  Whenever I hear that song, I'm transported to that magical time in my life.

Red Indians (Indigenous, Native Aboriginal, First Nations Peoples)

We did a whole craft theme on this. Miss Lockwood got us to make costumes out of gunny sack and we painted them, we made head dresses and horses with socks and sticks and we made teepees. One of the boys at school had a party with the theme and the entire class was invited. On the day of our party, we put paint on our faces and we used all the stuff we had made.  I remember spending weeks making all that stuff and to date, it is one of my favourite parties as a child.


My best friend at Kestrel Manor was Jane Black. The boys loved Jane and she told them that if they liked her, they had to like me too! Other friends were Claire Hunter, Cloudagh Davis and Ailish Byrne who was Mrs. Byrne, the principal's daughter. I remember playdates and birthday parties with them. In the second year, my teacher was Mrs. Cresswell and her son was the heart throb of the class. I think his name was Gary. I gave him a Valentine's Day card... a huge one with a cushion-like cover (my dad worked at a bookshop and would bring home discounted cards) and every space inside was covered in 'x's! He got one from just about every girl in class! Two other boys, Alniz Popat and Farouk Suleman also went to Kestrel Manor with me. Alniz's dad came to school once and got his foot stuff in a can of paint! Alniz lives in Dubai now and Farouk who I see every once in a while lives in Toronto.


We had great sit down lunches outside at school. They put out long tables for all the kids to sit at, there was always a teacher at the head of the table.  I remember loving the lunches but the only thing thing I actually remember eating is custard!

Walking to School

We lived in Westlands and Kestrel Manor was about a half a hour walk from our house (Google Maps shows 16 minutes, but it seemed like a much longer distance than that! I think my little legs just took longer!). My cousin, Muni who moved from Arusha to go to High School in Nairobi lived with us and walked me to school every day on her way to her school, the Aga Khan Academy which was another 28 minutes away!

I really enjoyed my time at Kestrel Manor but it was a private school and expensive for us, so by Grade 2 I transferred to a public school, but I always treasure my memories at Kestrel Manor.

Thank you for sharing Day 8 of 50 with me! 


  1. Wow Well done Minaz Everyday I learn something new from you!

  2. I love how you know where your primary friends are now! Amazing you are!

  3. Oh my goodness, Gary the heart throb and Alniz's Dad with his foot in a can of paint. I can visualize it!