Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bloemfontein District Activity

On February 2, 2015 we had a Mission District activity.  It is always fun when the younger missionaries include us in the District activities.  This is a great time to get to know the young missionaries and to spend some time in a less confined situation.  We have had some wonderful opportunities.  On this Monday which is preparation day and the day District and zone activities are usually help, we had the opportunity to go to the Cheetah Experience here in Bloemfontein.  We had the Elders from Bloemfontein, Rocklands, Blomanda, Kimberly, Botshebello, and Thaba Nchu with the senior couples Elder and Sister Huls and Elder Edington and I.

They had various kinds of wild cat in different cages.  It was
neat to be able to go right in with the animals.  I guess it is a bit
like a petting zoo back home but mostly for older folks.  It was
exciting to be up close and personal with "wild African Animals".

The Cheetah babies were lots of fun to see but really quite lazy.
It is rather amazing to pet and feel the warmth of their body and to
hear their deep purrs and know that one day they will be a full
grown cheetah and may at some point be turned back to the wild.
Elder Embleton fell in love with the pigmy goats.  He kept saying
they were his favorite part of the whole experience.  I do not know
what kind of deer this was in the bottom picture but it was one of
the smallest I have ever seen and it was full grown.  I think it might
be the same kind I have seen at the Reid Park Zoo.  
The jaguars were hard to see because they blended into their
environment so well.  There were both the black and the yellow
jaguars.  They are not animals that we were allowed to get into
the cage with.  They are quite massive animals.
I was fascinated by the meerkats.  I had see many of the meerkat
movies at school and had envisioned what they look like and how
big they are but I was completely off.  They are very small compared
to what I thought they would be.  They were being very lazy this day.
Our guide said that some days the run around and play all over there
equipment that is there for them, but to today.
For the most part of my 17 year teaching career my students were required to write a report about African animals.  Then as a class we would go to the Reid Park Zoo in the city about an hours drive from home and each child would get to be the resident expert on their animal.  They would teach all the other students about that animal.  It is quite exciting and maybe a bit ironic that now I am getting to experience these same African animals that my students researched so many times.  Maybe that is part of the reason I enjoy being here so much or maybe it is just because I enjoy the great out doors.  I am not sure but I know I am glad to be here.

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