The children have not been off the grounds for some time because of the Pandemic. There have not been many cases here but the schools are all still closed and we have been home-schooling them four hours every day, six days a week. For that reason, we wanted to take them out for a day, even though funds are limited. The kitchen staff fried several chickens and made the rice so that we would not have to buy the meal at the zoo. Presently we have 40 children but there were nearly 60 people altogether with staff and alumni. In the past, we sometimes rented a bus but this time used our two vehicles for the children and had the alumni use their motorcycles to travel the 10 kilometers to the zoo.

We talked to the children about social distancing the night before but realized when we got there that it would be impossible to enforce because the place was packed.

The park is quite large and so Dara and Ouen drove the cars around (for the little kids and me) while the older children walked. We ended up at the elephant exhibit where Dara was able to talk the staff into doing a show. By the time they got it set up, there was a large crowd gathered, which worked out well for the elephant and trainers, because the opening routine is the collecting of money from all of the onlookers. I was not aware of this routine, however, and therefore was unprepared when the elephant walked straight toward me and began molesting me with its trunk. The crowd and the children, who all knew the routine, got a big laugh out of it… while I sat there red-faced like a fool, not knowing what to do.

After the performance, we ate our lunch, and then cleaned up the area. When we were finished, each of the children was given an allowance, which most of them spent on ice cream.

It was a short get-a-way but everyone had a good time and, if nothing else, we broke the monotony that the pandemic has forced upon us.

Thanks for stopping in!

The Watopotians

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