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!
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.
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.
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.
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.