Friday, June 13, 2008

An evening at the zoo

This week brought member's night at the Hogle Zoo (in Salt Lake) and we took the chance so spend an evening at the zoo together and celebrate some warmish weather - we have had such a mild spring! Not that I'm complaining, it's been nice to have an April and May that didn't leave us baking in the 90's, but it does feel nice now that it's feeling a bit like summer.

The zoo put in a really nice Asian Highlands exhibit a couple of years ago and we're finding that now that we have a connection with the Asian Highlands, the area is even more interesting! Granted, most of the signs are about Tibet and Mongolia, but we did find out that the lynx is native to Kazakhstan and I was very impressed that Ben could point out Kazakhstan on the maps of Asia.

We also got a chance to practice the Russian animal names that Teacher Ben has been drilling into Ben. I only managed to remember elephant (слон - sounds like "slon"), zebra (зебра - sounds like "sebra" with an accent on the a, and alligator (аллигатор - sounds like "alegator" with the accent on the second a sound) but Steve and Ben remembered lots more. Yeah, you'll recognize quickly that I only remember the words that sound like their English or Spanish counterparts :)

I came to an interesting realization as we were watching the giraffes - here we are learning the Russian words for zoo animals, yet our little girl has almost certainly never visited a zoo and probably doesn't remember anything outside of her orphanage and the land it sits on. It's enough to make you cry, the injustice of it all. She just needs to come home!

Anyway, we had a lovely evening at the zoo and even got to hang out with the Kytes for a while! Here are Ben, Kylee, and Sam posing as their favorite zoo animals - Sam as a monkey, Kylee as a cheetah, and Ben as the Pink Panther. Sigh.

Oh, and my favorite zoo animal was the white alligator - it's not an albino because it has pigmented blue eyes, but it's all white and there are only 10 known to exist in the whole world (they wouldn't survive very long in the wild). It was very cool!

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