March 18, 2009
Hungry, Hungry Hippo
We spent a couple of days in the capital for our monthly business trip last week, although most of the "to-do" list didn't get accomplished. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a third-world country, and that means efficiency is out the window. The plus side is that the other members of our "Paraguay team" live a good bit closer to the city, so we took the opportunity to spend the night with the Mortons. We also spent a couple hours at the zoo in the capital (homeschool field trip, so to speak), which was nicer than I'd expected. The picture below shows Ken with little Abi on his shoulder, so she could see the monkeys. The sign says "Don't scream or throw objects at the animals." We passed several signs that said things like, "These animals prefer silence." You gotta be kidding.
We had a great time, though, and learned a lot about South American animals. There was an impressive museum of natural history on the grounds, with all sorts of stuffed and pickled animals, and--I'm not joking--a stuffed person. Okay, stuffed isn't the right word, but it was an actual native Paraguayan from long ago, with hair and all. She wasn't pickled in a jar like the two-headed cow or the freaky reptiles, but she was taxidermied, I guess you'd say. The girls were completely grossed out by this, including little Abi who was ready to go back outside when she saw the poor gal.
I'm constantly amazed at the economical price of things here, and that day was no exception. You just can't beat zoo, museum, and botanical garden admission and parking for about $4 for the whole family, and lunch afterwards at the newly opened TGI Fridays for 18,000 Guaranis per person (about $3.60), including an appetizer, a drink, and the entree. Wow. I haven't eaten that much in one sitting since getting here. Lucky for us, we went to the zoo before the meal, or they'd have put me in a cage alongside the hippos.
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