Last week the family piled in the car to just get out of the house and follow B on an errand. He was heading to a Catholic retreat center on the edge of town to try to solidify a reservation for an event we are hoping will happen in July. B had been there once before and said it felt a bit like a park, and since there are ZERO here, we all were excited at the prospect of walking around in nature even for just a bit.
As we drove there the kids were asking all sorts of funny questions. We live in the tropics on the equator but most of their books refer to life in the US with seasons and terrain we never see. So Abi (having recently been introduced to the Little House series) was asking if there were woods or panthers outside of our town. After explaining the best I could I told B that I really wanted to take the kids to a zoo the next time we were in a place that had one. "They're the perfect age!" I exclaimed.
At the retreat center the kids and I wandered around enjoying the trees and fish ponds. A groundskeeper told us to head down a little path because there was a "landak" down there. I told the kids I had no idea what a landak was, but we should find out. To our surprise it was a porcupine! (Sorry for the blurry pic.)
After B finished his business with the administrator the man asked if we wanted to see a bear. "A what?!" I asked, certain I had misunderstood. Nope, that's exactly what he said. Abi asked if it was big enough to eat little girls. The man just laughed and said it just ate fruit and rice.
So he led us down a path and, sure enough, there were 3 cages. There was some animal we have no idea what it is :), a few small monkeys, and a bear! Apparently all these animals had come straight from the rain forest on our island. The bear was small (less than a year old) and tame enough the man was petting it and teasing it! It was so fun for us to see the animals so up close and so unexpectedly.
God has quite a sense of humor and loves to give sweet gifts, doesn't he?!