A Slithery, Squawky Birthday

I haven’t been out of the village since the first week of December, when I went to town to buy groceries. After our busy weekend, we decided to celebrate my birthday on Tuesday by visiting a snake and bird park in Polokwane (the biggest city in Limpopo Province—about an hour and a half south of us). What a glorious day I had! It filled my cup to have such a nice family day and make neat memories—and get away from the constant interruptions of village life.

First we went to a mall. I often feel like I’m in America when I come to the big cities of South Africa, especially to a mall. There was even a Cinnabon there, though we were too full after our dinner to make a purchase! You really can find just about anything you could get in America in the cities of South Africa, though more expensive at times. We were looking for better internet capability; but while Seth went to the computer shop, I got sidetracked by a Christian bookstore, and surprised myself by finding a couple of good deals!

It was fun to see our caravan coming through the mall!

It was fun to see our caravan coming through the mall!

You know you're an MK when you're excited by modern chairs in a mall.

You know you’re an MK when you’re excited by modern chairs in a mall.

Colin is a bit of a daredevil. I had moved to another store to try to find art supplies (didn’t find any—okay, I guess it is sometimes hard to track things down, even in the cities…), and Colin left Seth to wander through the mall looking for me. We were bordering on frantic when we realized he was missing, but thankfully we found him after a couple of minutes. He wasn’t scared—until he saw our intense faces!

Then we went to an Italian family restaurant (Italian is not easy to find in South Africa) and had some almost-American pizza. What a nice surprise it was that the restaurant had a play area for children! The kids had such a nice time enjoying the indoor jungle gym and playthings.

Snake pizza!

Snake pizza!

Caleb's fort.

Caleb’s fort.

The snake and bird park actually had more than I expected, more than just snakes and tropical birds, of which there were many varieties as well. A cobra tried to strike at us through the glass, and a rattlesnake rattled at us. I’d never heard that before! There were all sorts of dangerous and harmless snakes.

There was a mouse running around live in this snake's cage.

There was a mouse running around live in this snake’s cage.

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Colin again frightened us by climbing up the retaining wall of a small pond display with several snakes inside it. He wanted to see better, but ever since the croc attack of 2006, I’ve envisioned my children falling in a croc display at a crocodile park (we’ve been to two since 2006). I don’t enjoy those types of displays and probably won’t until my kids get older.

The tropical birds were so beautiful, a testament to God’s liberal hand with the paintbrush. Many varieties of parrots, parakeets, conures, Amazons, and others brightened up the place. A couple talked, some squawked, and the beady-eyed ostrich was far from afraid, as I thought it’s reputation says. There was a small jungle gym there as well.

A tractor made out of cement.

A tractor made out of cement.

This is what I am in homeschooling--the Eclectus Parrot!

This is what I am in homeschooling–the Eclectus Parrot!

This obnoxious parrot said, "Hello" and "Bye-bye."

This obnoxious parrot said, “Hello” and “Bye-bye.”

Staring each other down.

Staring each other down.

Meyer's Parrot

Meyer’s Parrot

Sign says, "Meyer's Parrot."

Sign says, “Meyer’s Parrot.”

The babies were GREAT, even though tired towards the end. It was such a comfort to enjoy a culture similar to my own for the day. Praise to the Lord for such a beautiful, memorable, comfortable day to enjoy with my family.

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About Amy

I'm Amy, a missionary wife and homeschooling mother of five children, blogging about our lives and perspectives on culture in South Africa.
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11 Responses to A Slithery, Squawky Birthday

  1. kkkjk5 says:

    What a fun day. I love seeing the stroller! It looks like Seth even recognizes its value now 🙂 What good memories!

  2. Dana Jordan says:

    So glad you got to have a special family day and enjoy yourself! It sounds like quite an adjustment going from living in Chicago to not leaving the village for 6 weeks. Yikes! Do you have friends in the village or are you more of mentor?

  3. zebranay says:

    I love that stroller pic and the one of Callie at the end! Little Colin seems more and more like his uncle Brit. Brit was always walking off to explore things(or climb things) when he was little with no fear of being by himself. So glad you had a great birthday too!

  4. Katie says:

    Looks like tons of fun, Amy! I’m so glad you had a nice family day. Our family days are what helps me keep somewhat “normal and in my right mind” in the midst of homeschooling year after year — plan more if you can. You’ll always be thankful you did!
    By the way, wouldn’t your kids love it if you got one of those talking parrots for them???? hee hee 🙂

    • Amy says:

      I could sense that myself as well, Katie! A little sanity coming back. I’ll have to remember that feeling and plan to recreate it! 🙂

  5. Ann Bedford says:

    So happy for your good day.

  6. Pingback: Are You All Right? « Ita Vita

  7. Love the pictures. I am so glad that you could get out and have a belated birthday outing.

  8. Pingback: Defeating the Patriarchy, One Sign at a Time | Ita Vita

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