"Such a Perfect Day...

Such a perfect day

feed animals in the zoo"

-Lou Reed

Last Friday, we went on a family outing to the zoo.  It was Marco's fall break from school, and we tried to do some fun things throughout the week.  People love the Berlin zoo.  Everyone says it is so good.  We love zoos, so we were wondering what the hype was about.  The zoo is right in the middle of the city, so it's not really a scenic area like in Sydney or San Diego.  What could make the zoo so special?

Well, I'm still not sure, but we loved it.  I don't know if we were just lucky, or if it is the way the simple zoo is designed.  The animals were EXTREMELY active.  Instead of Lions that just sleep or bears hidden off behind some rock, the animals were always visible and always moving around.  It was a stark contrast to most zoo experiences.

For instance:  the Elephants were fed just a few feet from us.  It was amazing watching them eat up close and using their trunks in such a flexible fashion.

The Mountain goat display was a large rock hill that you could walk around.  The goats (one pictured above) climbed the steep sides--and the proximity made us see how skilled the goats are at climbing. It was a stunning thing to behold.  And then a number of the rams actually started locking horns over and over.  They were only a few feet away from from us.  We actually were able to look down on one of the fights--about 8 feet below us, the Rams locked horns with amazing power.

The monkeys were all very visible and doing amusing things.  Same with the Apes.  One hit another ape for no reason and then went on his merry way.  We could have watched the monkeys for ages--especially since there were so many of them.  Between all of them, they were always doing amazing things.

Then there were the Lions and Tigers.  They were walking back and forth and would stare right at you from 5 feet away.  It was actually quite terrifying.  I had a Tiger look me right in the eye and was really freaky.  Once again, the proximity made it come to life.

Unfortunately, sometimes the views were a bit too good.  When we got to the Organgutangs, (I have no idea how to spell that...I didn't know that)......they put on quite a show.  Unfortunately there were lots of innocent children around including ours, because they put on a show of a sexual nature that was so risque, it was like something out of 1920's Wiemer Republic Berlin.  It was way too close and personal if you know what I mean.  There are images in my head now that will never go away.  A whole group of kids and parents were traumatized by the absolutely saucy display put on by these shameless simians.  And yes, I have filed a lawsuit agains said offending monkeys.

"You're going to reap, just what you sow."--Lou Reed

So other than the shocking display of vulgarity put on by the orange apes, the rest of the zoo was really great.

Marco is still struggling at his new school, which is a concern.  We intentionally pulled our schedule way back in October to make sure we are spending enough time as a family and helping create a sense of stability.  I spent 5 weeks without leaving Germany which is a new record. In fact, I've spent more time at home this past month than in about 4 years.  It's been great.  It was much needed for all of us.  It all comes to an end this Saturday when things pick up again and get pretty crazy until just before Christmas.  But overall, now that we are in year 2 of Three Worlds, we are going to try and schedule things more and more lightly as we go if at all possible.

One thing we promised Marco is that he would not have to make more than one trip out of the country this semester.  We will be going to Lebanon over Thanksgiving and Marco will need to join us for that.  Overall, he's doing great and enjoying Germany.  School, not so much.

While at home, we have been drawing up a lot more of our expectations for Three Worlds in a document that is getting quite lengthy. We have been preparing four our establishment of a 3W Roundtable which I will talk about more later.  And focusing a lot on preparations for the upcoming trips.  Up next is Paris, then London, then Athens (first visit to the CHOG there), Lebanon, Liverpool, and Paris again for a follow-up 3W  Seminar with guest star Josh Wieger.

I will also be discussing Philip Jenkins book: The Next Christendom on this diary in the upcoming weeks.  It is the book that we assigned to our 3W Team at our recent staff meeting.  I think it's the most important Christian book of the last 10 years.  So we'll go through that chapter by chapter.

PS--you think that zoo photo is bad above, you should see the rest.  I need to hire a full-time photographer.

So thanks for all your support.  "You just keep me hanging on."