Monday, August 3, 2009

Edinburgh Trip -- Days 3 & 4

Saturday, July 25, we headed to the Edinburgh Zoo. My parents had given us money to pay for it and we all had a great time! The sky was blue and the air was fairly warm – a perfect day to be outside.

Our first stop – and one of our highlights – was feeding the lorikeets in the aviary. We bought two servings of nectar, which Naomi and I held out in our hands. The birds were a bit cheeky: they wanted to stay on their rails and not make the effort to fly to us. But we stood firm and eventually they came.

I was proud of Naomi. Though sometimes shy among people, she showed no fear with birds! She bravely let the lorikeet come sit on her hand, tickling her a little with its talons.

The birds were brilliantly colored. My biggest reason for liking any zoo is the reminder of how awesome God is. What a creative mind He has, to come up with such diverse, beautiful creatures, each species uniquely designed to thrive in their own habitat.

Naomi and Josiah excitedly ran from exhibit to exhibit, thrilled to be seeing monkeys and lions, hippos and zebras. They could hardly wait for the 2:15 “penguin walk,” when zookeepers open the penguin gate and let penguins walk down the pavement in front of onlookers. We’d gotten there early and staked out a good spot. We were not disappointed as we saw cute little guys waddling right in front of us.

Naomi also bravely tried a turn on a trampoline/bungee jumping gizmo. It wasn't quite as fun as she expected, but we were impressed that she gave it a go!

At the end of the day, our friend Kate picked us up and drove us to the home we’d be staying in for the rest of our holiday. Kate’s friends from our old church were away for the week, leading a Scripture Union camp, and had offered to let us stay in their flat. It was so nice to have a 2-bedroom place to crash each night after long days out. I especially appreciated having a dishwasher, and the kids enjoyed the Legos.

On Sunday we worshipped at Gorgie Parish Church, close to where we used to live. I was amazed at how many people greeted us, as though 3 years hadn’t gone by. It was a blessed morning.

From church we went to the home of our friends Quintin and Fiona Bradshaw. They are both medical doctors, prior missionaries to Thailand, and parents of 4 teens. We had been blessed 4 years ago by their youngest two kids (twins Rory and Kirsten) befriending Naomi and Josiah, and also by their sweet hospitality as they had us for meals and let us use their home.

Fiona made an amazing spread of Thai dishes for our Sunday dinner. It was all very yummy! Our kids enjoyed the spacious yard, bouncing on a big trampoline, climbing and sliding, and playing with the Bradshaws’ springer spaniel Tia. They also got to go on a countryside romp, through woods and farmland, while Steve and I played a game of Settlers of Catan with Rory (14) and Chris (17).

We had so much fun playing Catan that we decided to do another round of it, pausing for tea-time. Fiona had baked homemade scones and served them with jam and clotted cream, along with tea and biscuits. Our Sunday gave us the best of two cultures’ cuisines!

Grateful for friendship and fellowship, we reluctantly returned to our flat. Our tummies and hearts were full. Thank you Lord for friends!

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