At least that's how we interpreted the parrot's glare as we arrived to the Mendoza Zoo this morning. This vibrant red bird, named Madonna, sits perched on the front gate, supervising all visitors as they walk past the entrance. Perhaps she remembers our last visit from one year ago...and my experience with the elephant? Refresh your memory here.
As an activity designed for the youth of our local congregation, we arrived to the zoo to begin our day. The boys and girls of Barrio Godoy Cruz Centro were not just going to see the different animals inside...they were going to embark on a scavenger hunt! Divided into two teams, each side received a list of 20 items - some obvious, some more difficult: Find 1 Elephant, Find 3 different monkeys, Shake the hand of a stranger, Pick up a piece of trash, etc. But here's the catch - each team had a digital camera...and pictures were required for every item on the list! Needless to say, the kids had a blast!
One of the best shots of the day: El Oso Polar
And El Oso Pardo...who somehow got stuck in the tree right over our heads. Hmmm.
We required both teams to locate and photograph 1 Llama, 1 Vicuña, 1 Guanaco. Can you tell the difference?
We also took the opportunity to discuss the Creation and all the wonderful animals on earth. While I say this in fun, I do sometimes like to think that God took a paintbrush, a pallet of brilliant colors, and with infinite creativity, designed each and every creature on the planet. He must have had a blast with all those birds...just look at that beak!
Afterwards, we headed across the street for a traditional - you guessed it - asado argentino! And what is that at the bottom? That's a ñandú egg being cooked over the coals - a smaller version of the ostrich. It's basically an egg on steroids.
And as with any summer activity, we finished the afternoon with a game of soccer. My boy dribbled the ball across the entire field! The young men quickly formed a pick-up game with other youth nearby, using rocks as "goal posts". I played in flip-flops...and thus used that as an excuse for my pathetic skills.