It was a first for many of the kids, like Sofia (13yrs, Peru) so the excitement in the air was very apparent. These kids were ready to see some lions and monkeys!
Our day started with a very early morning and a delicious breakfast of home-made banana bread (who's recipe has been passed down through generations to our lovely host mother, miss Lisa vanderhar). And our breakfast wasn't complete without some delicious home made smoothies for everybody!
We arrived at the zoo as soon as the doors opened, promptly at 8a.m. While there were so many options of what to do at the zoo that is "second to only the San Diego zoo," the team decided to stay together for the beginning and later split into groups. With Lisa in the lead, we marched with purpose and plenty of gusto toward the sting rays.
As we all moved slowly into the exhibit, little by little... Washing our hands and arms one by one, we eventually made it to the giant tank. This will have been the third time the kids have had the opportunity to pet sing rays, and yet, it's like the first time EVERY time.
After ending our session with the rays, the team decided it would be a good idea to get to the petting zoo before they start charging money at 9... But that was in ten minutes! So we lasso'd up the kids, and scooted their butts outta there! Matsiko is our name, and speed walking is our game. As we arrived at the doors, we had 7 minutes to spare... I guess we didn't have to walk so fast...
The first and favorite part for most of the kids was the meerkats. "He's just like Timon!" Ruth (12yrs, Liberia) exclaimed. And the others ran up behind her, squeezing their way through the crowd to see Pumba's life long friend.
After making their way around the room, seeing the birds, guinea pigs, and foxes too.... It was time to pass out our train tickets (Thank you Lisa!) and get a move on.
While some groups took a sharpie to their map and planned their quest in advance, most teams decided to wing it. Then they were off! Each group in a different direction, and every group excited for the day.
At 1:30 we all reunited and passed out in the grass... It was a long day of walking, and rest before the museum was definitely a must. When asking what everybody's favorite animals were, little Alvina (8yrs, Liberia) said "I like the one that eats snakes!" ..."the mongoose?" David (23, Seattle leader) asked. "Yes. Because I don't like snakes."
Despite Alvina's disdain, it seemed the giant python was a crowd pleaser and with the end of that conversation, it was time for the art museum!
Follow us on Facebook: Matsiko Orphan Choir
Follow us on Twitter: MatsikoICN
Follow us on Instagram: MatsikoICN