Kendi and I went to the giraffe center this past week. Tawi and I were attending a weekly meeting at our friend’s house, which is a cute little tree house right next to the center, when she suggested, ‘next week, come with the monster, then after the meeting, we can go to the giraffe center.’ ‘Super!’ I replied and packed her up the next week, along with her nanny- to watch her during the meeting of course- and headed on out to the giraffe center.
So, we get to the sanctuary, pay our entrance fee and head on up to the viewing platform. Kendi takes one look at the giraffes and starts to laugh. And she doesn’t stop laughing for the entire 15 minutes or so that we’re up there. She dances, she sings, and she laughs. I think she thought they were the funniest looking things she had ever encountered.
One of the giraffes, a 15 year old female, is called Betty- we were somewhat introduced to the giraffes that came to the platform. The custodians gave us some food to get the giraffes to come closer to us. I gave one pellet to Kendi and showed her about 30 times how to feed the giraffe. She would open her palm and when the giraffe got close, she’d close it up, ran to me and laugh while yelling, ‘Be-tty. Be-tty. Be-tty.’ She repeated this sequence of events the entire time we were there. Tawi interrupted her at some point, to explain that, ‘Tiga no drawo chiembe Kendi, mie.’ (That giraffe wants his food Kendi. Give it to him). Nothing happened. She didn’t even pause long enough to hear what her aunt was saying to her.
As we were leaving and the baby was still going, ‘Be-tty. Be-tty’, I had a thought, ‘it would be so awesome to go the animal orphanage and see how she reacts to all kinds of funny- looking animals (funny-looking because at this point, I have no idea what this child finds funny)’
In the weekend, I dressed her up in her cheetah harem pants that Tawi got her for her 1st birthday, and Martin and I took her to the orphanage. It. Was. Awesome! She chased a monkey, stuck her finger into a cage holding cranes, and tried to climb under the fence into the lion’s cage. She called a donkey ‘Be-tty’, she fell down trying to put on her shoe that had slipped off and she cried when she got tired watching the lions eating. It was the perfect baby’s day out.
Also, she didn’t laugh once at any of the animals. That was really weird.