The Day I Became Part Of The Zoo

By Diana Ooi

The Children were all ready and eager.  In fact, their excitement started the day before when they were told of the trip to the zoo and it was meant for those who had completed their holiday homework.  Half an hour after the announcement, to my surprise, all the kids lined up in front of the office with bundles of homework in their hands waiting for their homework to be checked!  If that is not their eagerness what is?  The good news is all of them qualified!

This trip to the zoo, made middle of last month, was due to efforts by our supporters, Divakar, Jimmy, Carrol together with their relatives and friends.

Whilst the organisers were organising the tickets, the children were briefed on the do’s and don’t’s when they were inside the zoo.  During the briefing they interrupted the volunteers with questions like “Are there tigers? Lions? Orang Utans?” “Can we touch them?” 

 During the briefing, they were told to prepare for lots of walking and yet that didn’t seem to deter them.  Before the briefing was completed, we received the good news that Carol’s sister would like to make the trip more comfortable for the children by sponsoring the tram tickets.  The children expressed their appreciation with “Yeahs” and applause.

They took a short ride on the tram and descended at the Mammals Sanctuary and their start of excitement.   For these children, they are used to seeing dogs and cats and of course in Sentul – cows !  Indeed,  the first time they were so near to those animals which they read from books that can be found  in Africa and other parts of the world.

After visiting the mammals, they were led to the theatre to watch performances by the parrots, cockatoos and sea lions.  Lunch was served after the show.  During lunch, questions were thrown in from every corners “where are we going after this?”  “What are we going to see?”  “Will we see crocodiles?” “Will we see Panda”?  I guess what is important that day is not the food but their eagerness to make the most out of the trip – to see more!

After lunch, a short tram drive brought us nearer to the sanctuary where the Pandas lived comfortably!  

“Kak Lena where are the crocodiles?” “Aunty can we see the camels?”  - never ending requests were shooting from all angles.  Their excitement brought along remarks like:

 “Aunty Diana Tiger!” 

 “Aunty Diana Lion!” 

 “Aunty Diana Porcupine” 

“Aunty Diana sooooo big!”  

“Aunty Diana Neck so long!”

All of a sudden I became part of the zoo!  Luckily we missed the Orang Utan otherwise it will be “Auntie Diana Orang Utan”!

The slipped disc I had few years ago was giving so much pain that I was practically dragging my feet.  My “battery” was running low but the kids level of energy was still high.   “Auntie let’s go back to the Orang Utan sanctuary” shouted one of the smaller kids.  That request meant that we have to take another walk round the zoo! 

At this point, one of the bigger kids nudged at the smaller ones and said “The Aunties are tired.  Let’s make it a day!”.  A simple remark that meant a lot!  They have matured!  They were understanding and caring.  Thank you children of Hiichiikokfoundation Home for Children Care!

The trip to the zoo, though tiring but a learning process for both the children and me!

Thank you Divakar, Jimmy, Carrol and friends and relatives for this very meaningful trip


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