We started today off by talking with T’s favorite caregiver and social worker and discussing a list of questions we had generated. It's been invaluable to be able to ask them anything that pops up. From the care home, we headed to the National Zoo (which is also in Pretoria). Getting there was almost more of an adventure than the zoo itself. Brian had to navigate through this crazy part of town with TONS of people milling about and cars and vans doing whatever they wanted. It should have taken us 10 minutes to get through that area, but it took almost 30. There were these commuter busses that will shoot across the road without warning. Needless to say, our lives were in peril getting to the zoo.
Because school started today, we had no issues finding parking and getting into the zoo. On a recommendation, we hired a golf cart to ride around the part. For only $7.50, we were able to zip around the entire zoo and check out all of the animals in record time. Brian and I couldn’t get over how close the animals were. We could have pet a rhino or elephant, if we had wanted too (and apparently it's somewhat acceptable according to some locals). I really did want to, but I also have to now set a good example. Stupid adulthood/parenthood. There was a tiger who was pacing back and forth the whole time. It terrified me. I thought for sure that thing was about to leap over the pit and eat us all.
It was fun to see different animals that don't find a place in American zoos. There were these really brightly colored red birds, a cool horse/antelope thing, and more. The lions decided not to show themselves, even after visiting their habitats three times! Along with that, my Scandinavian skin rebelled and I burned. I now have raccoon eyes and an awesome burn on my arms showing off where my 3/4 length sleeves were.
We finished at the zoo and went to a mall to walk around. Brian was able to find a shop called Old Khaki (basically American Eagle) and bought some sturdier flip flops. While there T got an ice cream treat (really my snack choice, but became his about half way through). We headed back to the care home having walked a good bit.
Saying goodbye to T was a little easier today because we knew tomorrow would be our first sleepover.