Today is Marcella’s twelfth birthday. Her Mom, Lili, arranged with us to take Marcella and her friend Eric to the Naples Zoo. Animals are some of Marcella’s favorite things. Lili was able to come and Marcella’s older brother,Gaspare also came, making the celebration complete. Gaspare has not been with us as a group since Marcella’s baptism at our church in 2009. So today was a doubly special day. Everyone was full of life and excitement at meeting so many new beings.
The excitement at seeing the alligators and snakes, the bears and the impalas,the kebu and the anteater and especially the lion and lioness whom they dubbed Nala and Simba was contagious. But the highlight of the day was the boat ride around “Lake Victoria” seeing the monkeys, apes and gibbons in their own island habitats, and the lemurs being fed at snack feeding time. Gaspare and Eric loved feeding the giraffe but Marcella enjoyed watching this from a bit of a distance. The way the giraffes bent down and waved their necks made us think they were singing Happy Birthday to her. The barn owls and the sloth hanging around the neck of its trainer and the Gila Monster whose venom is helping people with Diabetes II and cancer were also highlights of the day. Letting off steam in the playground was another fun time. This was such a joyful time with the animals and her friend Eric and her family and pastors, that I think she will remember her twelfth birthday for a long time. that is if she doesn’t get sick from ordering and eating 5 chicken pieces, one carmel shake,curly fries, and one chocolate turnover at Arbys.
Love and prayers,
Your Pastors, Judy and Judy and your Mom, Gaspare and Eric and the Giraffes and all your zoo friends