Taman Safari

Things have been crazy around here lately, so sorry that it’s been a little while since the last post. Since our friends left two weeks ago, I (Kara) went to a Women’s Retreat near Jakarta with a bunch of women from church (and Matt and Elizabeth had a fun weekend together), I finished my last unit of language studies and took my final test (YAAAAY!!), and since yesterday was my birthday, we decided to take a trip to a really cool place here on Java, Taman Safari. I know, a LOT has been going on. We have one month left in Bandung, and time is really flying!

So, Taman Safari is a combination zoo/drive-through wildlife park. After a three hour drive to get there, we started out at the petting zoo to stretch our legs a little bit. There were kangaroos just running free right around us!

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They had all these animals that you could pay to take pictures with, including baby tigers, a little bitty lion, and even a full-sized leopard! We think the animals were mildly sedated so that they would be safe to be around. This was our first clue that there were some drugs involved :).

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In the end we decided to get pictures with a little chimpanzee. Elizabeth was really excited about it until we actually got the chimp close to her… then she freaked out. You can see in the pictures the mix between terror and curiosity.

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And then Matt got cute and tickled the chimp – it giggled!

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After that we ate some lunch and then fed some elephants. Again Elizabeth was so excited to see them, but a little unsure to be so close to them. I don’t blame her – they’re really big!

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Then we stopped for a little ice cream break. My sweet little girl!

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Then we did the drive-through safari part. There were zebras, elephants, llama, tons of deer-like things that have all sorts of names that I don’t know, tigers, bears, giraffe, hippos, birds, camels, and I’m sure some other things that I’m forgetting. It was really cool to see them up close in a more natural environment. The zebra and the llama are so used to getting fed that they would aggressively chase the car down, stick their head in the windows, and then after they didn’t get any more carrots or bananas they would start biting the car! Here are a few assorted pictures. After a while Elizabeth got brave and started feeding them some carrots :).

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Look at those horns, you Texans!

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There were some really funny signs on the drive through too, warning people to be careful about having their arms eaten by camels, and not to get out of their cars or they will be chased by a wild animal!

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We were going to go see a dolphin show, but it was cancelled because it was sprinkling. So, we decided to go in and see if we could see the dolphins anyways and it ended up that they had the dolphins do all sorts of tricks just for us and then invited us up to see and touch the dolphins! I had never touched a dolphin before and it was really fun. Elizabeth had just woken up from a little nap so she was still really sleepy and a little scared of the dolphins (again, loved watching them but didn’t want to touch them).

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Next, we saw that there was a waterfall that we could walk to and headed up there. This was the HIGHLIGHT of my birthday!! I just LOVE to see waterfalls – the cool crisp mist, the breeze, the sound, the power… sigh. It was so fun to see it! Here are a few pics (of course):

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All in all, it was a really fun but very tiring day. The long drive there and back were the most tiring parts. We are so thankful for the opportunity to do these special things while we are here on Java, and this really was a fun trip for the whole family.

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