30 Nov 2012

A Visit to Zoo Negara (National Zoo)

We've not been to the zoo in ages, coz it's too far, and I've always thought, it's not such a great place to visit. But Jo's been bugging me about it. The last we went, Nel was just about 3 years old and Jo a baby. So we went today.

Somehow by circumstances, it was just going to be me and my 2 girls for this field trip. At first Nel and Jo were a little disappointed, hoping that some friends might join them, but we made up our minds that we were going to enjoy this family time, just us.

Both girls had their backpacks, notebooks to jot down interesting stuff, a camera and a bottle of water. I also gave them pocket money for the day and told them that the amount would be for souvenirs or ice cream or food, and they would have to spend it wisely.

Jo was the most excited amongst us, going up to every enclosure with such excitement, taking lots of photos and asking questions like a journalist or zoo inspector. Most of the questions she asked though was about the well being of the animal.  At one point, I heard her talking loudly to this elephant.

 She said "Mr. Elephant...I'm so sorry you're stuck here. I know you're shaking your head left and right, and people think you're happy when you're actually sad. I hope one day you'll get to be free."

Missing Camera
As for Nel, she was more interested in photography. Her shots have improved and she was just enjoying it when we decided to take a break for lunch. Somehow, after lunch her camera went missing. We looked around the restaurant, in her pockets and in her bag but couldn't find it. I was upset, and so was she. We walked on with me nagging her. She began writing in her notebook, and later I noticed that she was leaving notes in random places with a message saying "If you find a missing camera please call this number...."

Finally we stopped by the lake and sat down. I decided I had to stop nagging and not spoil the day anymore. We talked about how she could get a camera again by saving up. We calculated how much money she would need to purchase a new one, how many months it would take to save up, things she could do to help her save up. I also happened to peep into her diary, and she had written "Dear Lord, help me find my camera." I prayed quietly too.

To cut a long story short, we continued happily, and three quarter ways into the trip, Nel discovered a lump in her bag, in an undiscovered corner, and shouted "My CAMERA!!!!"  Haha..such joy. And another short talk ensued about blah blah blah. I know, I just have to be a "mother." heh heh..

We  truly enjoyed our time alone, discussing things along the way like suitability of the enclosures, characteristics of the animals, food, the weather and things in general. :)

After several hours of walking in great weather,  we decided to watch the 3pm animal show. We barely sat for 5 minutes when it began to rain. We ran for shelter, and Nel said "But Mum, I want to stay, in case they restart the show." Jo replied "Mum, are you INSANE? The best thing to do now is to rush to the car before it starts to storm!"
Can you imagine, my 7 year old talking to me that way? Well, we decided to wait. The show restarted. After a short performance by a sea lion it began pouring again! this upset Jo, while Nel was willing to brave the rain in order to continue watching.

Finally I told Jo "Look, why don't I hang on to your things, you go forward and enjoy the show. Just pretend you're swimming." So she went along. We were all drenched, but Jo said "This was one of the best part of the day mum, getting wet!" haha...

There were other good lessons learnt. Nel spent her money very wisely, always calculating before spending and weighing her decisions. Jo was more rash, impulsive and regretted her expensive ice cream, coz that meant less money for a souvenir.

As for the zoo, I'd say, much can be done to improve it. I won't say much more about it, this is not a review anyway. The girls have some  favourite animals such as the tiger, giraffes, capybara, penguins (although we agreed that they looked really sad to be cooped up in the zoo), the pony and the zebras. Girls were also very fascinated by these really huge tortoises,

this very busy busy hedgehog

and these sleepy, cute Wallace Flying Frogs.

Most important lesson
To conclude, our cameras protected in waterproof bags, we walked back to the car in the rain, drenched. The girls kept saying "Thank you mum for a wonderful day."

 We learnt that we don't always need the company of friends to enjoy a field trip out, and that family time alone can be equally enjoyable and satisfying, like warm soup on a cold day. :)

Nel enjoying photography.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2012



Anonymous said...

Looks like a really fun time! I love the elephant, and even more how she was talking to him =)

marie said...

I love the zoo. Our closest one is in San Diego, about an hour away and I so enjoy it every time we go. Big beasty, majestic animals just take your breath away.

gail said...

I would have thought Jo would be the one wanting to stick it out. I really must get to know my "nieces" better! Was not surprised that Nel calculated her expenditures better.

I have mixed feelings about zoos. It's important for us to get to know these animals but it does seem cruel to take them out of their element.


Martha said...

thanks Christina. It was fun time, good time just enjoying us and the animals. :) Blessed Christmas and holiday season to you. :)

Martha said...

hi Marie, ahhh...the San Diego zoo. I remember being there oh sooo long ago. It's wonderful, I'm sure the Malaysian animals would love to transfer there. haha... I'm always amazed at the wide variety and "designs" of beautiful God created creatures.

Martha said...

Then we share the same sentiments re the zoo. As for Jo, I was surprised by her too, but then, she's also always been the unpredictable one. haha..
Blessed Christmas G, and stay warm and safe.

Michiko Johnson said...

Enjoying with I can see Nel's loved being photographed it see me all your good advise to get for your results.
I have thinking about Jo was more rash with impulsive meant the upset???
Have a good time with both of you!

Michiko Johnson said...

I has writing about Nel! I just can't do write in here Please tell me Martha!

Martha said...

Dear Michi, your comment came through. Yes Jo more impulsive, Nel more calm. We had a great time at the zoo. :)

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