Friday, May 25, 2007

Thursday - Our Spontaneous Adventure Day

Yesterday was a fun day. In the morning, we met Deoni & daughter Rebecca at "The Red House" in George. Deoni has been wanting to show us some of the beautiful paintings featured in this gallery/antiques shop. I especially liked a few of the portraits and landscape pieces. Maybe they'll let me take some photos next time I'm there.

Next on the agenda was our TopTots class, where Lukas got to spend time with some of his little South African friends and play some (developmental) games. After class we "Gekuier" (pronounced "Heky-ere" - which is Afrikaans for "socialized") outside in the garden. I really hope we can find something similar in The Netherlands in a few months!

What really struck me as yesterday in George, was the fact that a couple of the mountains were snowcapped. I didn't realized it ever snowed in this area. Brrrr!

On the way back to Mossel Bay, I decided to take the scenic route, or the R102. We passed a game farm that I had never seen before near the town of Glentana, and I just had to stop to take a couple pictures of the zebra & springbok that were grazing on the side of the road. I'll definitely miss little surprises like this back in Europe! Lukas woke up while I was snapping away, so I took him out of the car to see the "see-ba!". Also photo-worthy were the cute little children across the street, who stared, wide-eyed, at me while I was taking pictures.

Further down the road, I saw the sign for Jukani, a "wildlife ranch and care centre"... and decided to stop. I thought to myself, "How many more opportunities will I have to do this?"

Jukani is a couple kilometers down a really beautiful dirt road. You have to open and close the gate on your own, and you can't help but wonder if the lions and tigers will be along to greet you at any given moment. I parked at the house at the end of the driveway, and one of the owners came out to greet me. She explained that they usually start with a tour (entrance & tour cost a mere 35 Rand), and I can finish up by feeding the "baby" tiger a bottle of milk if I like (which costs 150 Rand). I had to be very careful with Lukas during the tour, as the "cats" see him as nothing more than a tasty morsel, and he, of course, longed to get as close to them as humanly possible. All-in-all, it was a fun experience, and it's great that there are organizations like this out there, that not only rescue animals from "canned hunting", but also help to educate the general public (and more importantly, children), about the role that these animals play in the circle of life.

So glad that I can still be spontaneous! Every day is a gift, and an adventure!

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