Tourist Attraction

I was going to title this post simply, "Animal Park" or "Field Trip with the Things", but that didn't seem to fit.  So aptly enough the title will be understood as I explain what our Wednesday was like this last week.

The Things and I try to plan a field trip once a week.  A day away from text books and these four walls.  When we heard that there was a baby elephant at the animal park we knew that was where we were headed.  In fact it is the first elephant born in Turkey, EVER.  And let me tell you it was every bit as cute as we thought it would be.  We oohed and aahed ourselves silly.  Not caring who heard us.  The Things wanted to take him home with us.  As adorable as he was I might have complied.  And then we moved on, wanting to make sure we walked every meter of the place.

 Mama and Baby Elephant

As we were on our way I heard someone shouting, "dur, yabanci".  Which translated means, "stop foreigner".  It seems we weren't the only "school" with a field trip in mind for the day.  A group of about 25 kindergartners and their teacher approached us speaking Turkish.  She was asking all manner of questions, name, if all four of the children were mine, if we were tourists.  I obliged and answered all her questions in my broken Turkish only to find out she actually spoke English.  Hello!  Anyhow, the Things were put on display and all the little children came running over to see the "tourists".   After an onslaught of staring and gawking we had enough and went on our way.  The Things had their feathers ruffled and did their best to avoid the gaggles of children that littered the zoo the rest of the  morning.

In and of itself this occurrence is not unusual.  We are stared at, asked questions and known where ever we travel as "yabanci".  This time was different.  The Things were put on exhibit.  Needless to say it became uncomfortable.  It was a learning experience and I am grateful the Things remained composed and polite and when the opportunity presented itself we made a tactful get away.

On our way  from the elephants we visited the other animals and even saw the grandest peacock display ever.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 had been hoping to see the peacock's mighty  feathers fanned out last time we were at the animal park, this time there were a dozen sightings.  They were thrilled and I was thankful.  We even captured a photo of one of the male peacocks  showing off and dancing for all the ladies.  It must be Spring!

Among this we also photographed a few of our other favorites.

 Guinea hens roam the grounds of the zoo and this one posed for me!

 This majestic creature is lovingly called the "burnt giraffe" by the Things

 And here we have a camel, foam and all

Despite the fact that we were the "tourist attraction" the animal park was a fantastic field trip.  The animals, the sunshine, the exercise.  It was good for the soul.  And as we rounded the hill on our way home this lovely gift was waiting for us, a seaside sunset.

.  Life is good.  Amen.

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