The next stop on our trip was the Falconry of Kenya ,Malindi. After our teachers paid the entrance fee for us, the tour at The Falconry commenced. A bird called Falcon is what gives the place its name. This place gave us a chance to be in close contact with a wide variety of birds of prey and other wild animals.

The place boasts of falcons, peckers, owls and hawks. It also shelters crocodiles, snakes, lizards and monkeys. We took turns petting, feeding and playing with some birds. The guide gave each of us a huge hard skinned glove that had a piece of meat which attracted some birds to the arm. I could feel the weight when an eagle landed on my arm. It was a thrilling experience.

As the clock struck two, lunch was in readiness and a sumptuous one it was. Our last area of study was historic built environments at the Vasco Da Gama pillar, which was built about a century before Fort Jesus in Mombasa, making it one of the oldest European built environments in East Africa. We learnt more on the Arabs stay in Malindi and how the trade route to India was discovered by the Portuguese in the 12th century, by the symbol of Vasco Da Gama pillar, named after Vasco Da Gama, a Portuguese explorer and navigator.

It is not known to many what was the exact role of the pillar as we learnt that some people say it was a navigational aid. Sailors arriving at that point would know that Malindi lay to the West of the pillar while India was to the East. The local people who were mainly Muslims thought that the cross at the top of the pillar represented the Christian faith but they later realised it signified the route to India. Others believed that the pillar was built as a sign of appreciation for the hospitality shown to the Portuguese explorers by the Malindi rulers and the locals. Today, the pillar is recognised as a national monument and is managed by the National Museums of Kenya.

After a very busy and enjoyable day we headed back to SBM School, our heads full of knowledge and our hearts full of gratitude as without our generous supporters and our excellent teachers & support staff this trip would have remained a dream not a reality.

Grace Lulu – Class 8 St Bernadette Mary School.

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