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July Visit, Part 21 - Leaving Zoo/Marcela Blows Me Off

July Visit, Part 21 - Leaving Zoo/Marcela Blows Me Off

After the CIA presentation, we hurried to the zoo exit. There was a restaurant right there, so I offered to buy a late lunch for everybody. I hoped that Rosa would be hungry enough to "take the bait", but she said it was essential that she go straight home.

On second thought, Rosa was probably right to be in such a hurry. Now, I'm no expert on babies, but I'm pretty sure that when you take one out for the day you're s'posed to bring a diaper bag along. Rosa had nothing of the sort for Maria. I didn't smell anything, so I guess all was good.

During the truck ride back, everyone fell asleep (me included, briefly) except for Fernando (who was driving) and Tomasa.

Back at Paola's house, the good-bye hugs were a bit hurried. Rosa and the family needed to do something with bricks, and I'm sure Paola was ready for a nap!

I suppose to be fair, it was nearly 4pm by this time, but I felt like our day had been cut short and there was still time for more to happen. I suggested that we go somewhere and buy a take-out meal to bring back to the family. I felt guilty about not feeding them.

Marcela wasn't keen on that idea, so I didn't even ask about doing some clothes shopping for the girls at the open market outside the community center (I'll post pics of that in the next entry - I forgot them here). Of course, Marcela and the other staff still had to drive Mike and I to our hostel, then go all the way back to the main office. I don't think I knew at that time how far away the place was from us.

I had another full day left in Guadalajara, so I was hoping to work out a way to do something else CI-related. On the top of my list was a visit to Heather and/or Barbara's boys, Brayan and Miguel ... but Marcela said that would be impossible. Next, I thought maybe I could do a bit more shopping for Paola's family, then bring the gifts to the main office (like we had done in Honduras). Marcela gave me a card with the address on it - so I could MAIL gifts. She said the office was too far away for me to travel there by myself. She sort of implied that she was done with me, until my next visit to Mexico, lol.

So, Mike and I carried the gifts for Miguel and Brayan downstairs to the truck, we all hugged good-bye, and the day was over. After the CI staff left, Mike and I walked to downtown Guadalajara and ate our only restaurant meal of the trip - Chinese buffet food!

The parts of the zoo we saw are circled in black. As you can see, there is plenty of zoo left for the next sponsor who visits!

Posing in front of the fountain outside of the zoo.

Marie and Paola fall asleep in the truck

July Visit, Part 20 - The Aquario Photo

July Visit, Part 20 - The Aquario Photo

I should have written this part sooner, but the photo was lost in our messy house!

The aquarium had one of those blue screen photography stations where they will super-impose your group into an underwater scene, so I thought that would make a fun souvenir. The camera was mounted up on the ceiling, and I don't think Paola understood what was going on. In the picture, I'm asking the photographer to wait for a second so I could point the camera out to the little girls (obviously, she didn't wait). The end result is cool, however, because Paola looks a little confused and apprehensive as if she actually IS at the bottom of the ocean, surrounded by sharks.

Paola thought the photo was just great, as you can tell by her happy face when Marcela shows it to her below. I had a copy made for her mother to keep, of course, and the extended family got a laugh from it back at the casa.

CIA Bingo Videos

Paola has won ... can anyone understand what the lady is saying about the prize card?

CIA Bird Dance Video

This video illustrates how Tomasa and Paola didn't really "get" what was going on, and didn't know how to participate unless they were directly assisted. After I shut off the camera, I went over and helped Paola do the dance.

CIA Videos

Above: I think Tomasa was too heavy for the demonstration, so the lady used Paola instead.

In the next vid, the man who gets on the iceberg with Paola is Fernando, the CI driver:

July Visit, Part 19 - CIA Interactive "Show"

July Visit, Part 19 - CIA Interactive "Show"

At 2pm, we crossed a suspension bridge and entered a colorful building to see a "show". I assumed that this would be some sort of an educational live animal show, presented in incomprehensible Spanish. Instead, it was an educational activity area, guided by a host who spoke incomprehensible (to me) Spanish. The attraction was called "CIA - Central de Investigacion Animal".

First, we stood in an entry foyer and watched an introductory movie on large wall screen. Anyone who has visited a Disney park or Universal Studios should be familiar with this concept.

Further inside, a woman took our group of kids from one learning station to the next, teaching them about animals through hands-on activities. The adults stood around the outskirts taking photos. I had no idea what was going on, really, but maybe some of you Spanish speakers can shed some light on the matter after seeing my videos.

What I was paying attention to was the differences between our girls and the other kids in the group. Besides the fact that the others were clean and polished for a day out at the zoo, it was obvious that the other children attended school and understood how education is supposed to "work". They followed instructions and enthusiastically engaged in activities. When the lady asked a question, hands shot up and answers were shouted in response. In such an unfamiliar environment, Tomasa and Paola were completely out of their element and had a difficult time keeping up with their peers. Luckily, the hostess was good at her job and made sure to include our girls by coaxing them into the action. Tomasa soon shed her shyness and awkwardly participated in the activities, but Paola remained bewildered and reluctant throughout the entirety of the "show".

At the the very end, our confused 4-year-old brought unwanted attention upon herself by winning the game of animal bingo. She was rewarded for her victory with a credit card-type thing that was supposed to be exchanged for a prize? I asked Marcela, who told me that the card was meant to be inserted into a special ATM machine. Where and/or how??? As far as I know, Paola still has the card.

Tomasa pretends to be a bird - I never quite understood why

This picture is blurry, but I love the happy look on Paola's face
(note Rosa breastfeeding Maria in the background)

Paola with her prize for winning animal bingo