Let the fun begin!

Let the fun begin!
Miles Family - October 2011 - Northern Ethiopian Trip in the Tigray Region

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"The Cheetah"

Has anyone seen the movie Duma? Grandma and Grandpa Miles sent the dvd to Eli for his birthday last year and Eli instantly loved it. The movie is about a South African boy and father who find a baby cheetah, bring it home and raise it. The cheetah and boy have many adventures and then finally the cheetah (Duma) is released back into the wild. It is a great movie for the family. So, back to the game drive. The driver stops the vehicle and tells the group that we are going to see the cheetahs. He brings out a leash. Yeah, you guessed it. We not only got to meet "the cheetah" in the movie, but also got to pet him and he even licked Eli's hand. I guess he likes the salt. Can you believe it? We actually by complete coincidence meet Duma. Well his name isn't really Duma, but it is Anthony. He is amazing. Then we find out that the boy in the movie is actually the son of the owners of the facility we are touring. What a small world! The kids and I just couldn't believe it. Eli has watched Duma so many times and then actually meets him. What are the chances of that? Needless to say, Eli and Glori were thrilled! We can't stop talking about it. Thank you again Grandma and Grandpa Miles for introducing Eli and Glori to Duma.........I bet you would have NEVER guessed that someday Eli and Glori would meet him. hee, hee, hee .... ....See, I told you this story had to have its own post!

The Farm Inn, Pretoria, South Africa

After about a week after Eli's tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy and being "cooped up" in the hotel, he was feeling better and wanted to get out and about. It was recommended to venture to The Farm Inn which is a hotel and conference center with a game park/reserve. Wow, we were in for a treat. We walked into the lobby/reception area and were greeted by lions and a cheetah. Fortunately, they were stuffed. No matter they were still impressive. Then we ate lunch outside under a tukul and enjoyed the beautiful landscaping. We had some visitors too........a mother hen and her chicks waddled about trying to find a small morsel of something. The 10 baby chicks were adorable and kept Sophi entertained. I was personally thinking...."what kind of place has baby chicks to stuffed lions." Quite a contrast. After lunch, we boarded an open window vehicle ready to start our "kid friendly safari/game-drive." We were excited to see various animals from warthogs ("when I was a young warthoooooog!" remember from the Lion King movie, to giraffes, hyenas, blesbuck, lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, blue wildebeest, etc......thankfully the "predator" animals were behind huge electric fences. The non-predators just roamed freely not having a care in the world that a predator was lurking about behind a fence. What I liked about the lion areas was that the caged areas were huge and modeled their natural habitat. This was not a zoo cage. The lions were huge and came right up to the fence. Yikes! The Farm Inn was a great place to visit. I took a brochure. Some people have even had their wedding there. The owners have a fascinating story. http://www.farminn.co.za/ Then we went to the cheetah area. Now this story deserves a different post. Stay tuned!

Union Buildings, Pretoria, South Africa

The Union Buildings are the administrative headquarters of the government. The buildings were designed by Herbert Baker in 1910 and are constructed of colored sandstone and surrounded by beautiful gardens not to mention a spectacular view of the city. We had a nice relaxing picnic, enjoyed the scenery and took lots of pictures. Here are some of them. Everday vendors set up "shop" for tourists and visitors to purchase little African nic nacs. Ofcourse, the kids had ice cream too! Grandpa Miles.......we are not sure you can appreciate the views with our pictures since our camera is just a plain old point and shoot, but we were imagining you taking family photos in some of the prettiest spots with your professional camera.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter from South Africa!

Happy Easter to all! We attended church this morning for the first time in South Africa and we really enjoyed it. The kids attended their classes and sang songs. No matter where we go in the world, it is always nice to attend church and know that it is the same......maybe in a different language, but the order of the meetings, songs and special feelings are all there. We hope our family has a special day as well no matter where you are. We love you and Happy Easter!

The Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve! Johannesburg, South Africa

One word............AWESOME! This park was amazing. It is a private reserve over 1200 hectares (that is metric). There are up to 600 head of game including rare and endangered species. Ofcourse we had to stay in the vehicle, due to dangerous predators lurking about, but oh it was so exciting. We saw lions, rhinos, cheetahs, warthogs, zebras, wild dogs, cape buffalo, wildebeest, impala, gemsbok, sable antelope, ostrich and much more.........

Then there was another section of the reserve for tourists with a restaurant, playground, picnic area and other animals that cannot be put back into the wild for various reasons. The kids even got to pet and hold baby lion cubs. It was just a once in a lifetime experience. There was even 2 siberian tigers that worked with trainers. They were born and abandoned and the park took them in and have raised them. This place was unbelievable, truly! I stand corrected...to zoo was fanstastic, but this reserve was even more incredible! A must stop if you are ever in South Africa. Grandpa Bloom, close your eyes.........Eli is holding a snake. He knows you are terrified of those creatures........hee, hee, hee

Pretoria Zoo....South Africa!

One word..............Fantastic! We have been to many zoos in our day......this one was incredible. It really was. The whole family had a great time. We were rained on a few times, but it was okay. We just took an ice cream break under a covered patio. We believe the rain "brought out" the animals. The lions were roaring...echoing throughout the zoo and were posing for the camera. We didn't have to search for the animals in their areas, they were walking around, jumping, etc..... in front of their enclosures. Even the reptiles were active. It was crazy! And to make matters better......we were practically the only ones there. It was a week day. If anyone visits South Africa and wants to do the poor man's safari, this is it! Oh, you can spend thousands on a safari, but why when you can see it all at the zoo for tremendously less and with kiddos. hee, hee, hee
What do you think of the flamingos?

Pre-School Family Day!

Pre-school family day was great fun! There was yummy food and the children played the entire time. The children performed "traditonal" Ethiopian dances for the families. It was very cute!


It is hard to explain the food of choice (staple) in Ethiopia. A picture shows it much better than I can describe. Here are the girls eating injera and bean sauce. They love it! Injera is like a large circular thin pancake, sponge like and tastes close to sourdough to me. I have seen it made. It is almost like a mixed pancake batter poured onto a very large, circular hot plate. It cooks for about 3 to 5 minutes and wha la.......injera. Mitch and the girls eat a great deal of it.........Eli and I not so much. I like it once in awhile, not just all the time.

Bekulobet Primary!

Just thought I would share a primary picture of our Bekulobet Branch. I love these kids and not just the ones that are my own! I have the privilage of teaching them every Sunday. We read, we color, we play games and we sing....lot's of singing. I have to admit that I am wore out after 2 hours, but they are a great group. Now, if only I can learn more Amharic to become a better teacher.

Sisterly love

I just liked this picture of the girls. They are two peas in a pod. Then there is Sophi.....aka......Sophers or Sopherino like daddy calls her. She is a hoot. She LOVES this bear harness and wears it all the time. It was originally Glori's years ago when she would "bolt" on me in a public place ensuring that I had a panic attack. Now, Sophi WANTS to wear it. Okay with me.......and I don't care what others think about "harnessing" your kids. If you have an escapee (like Glori was)....use all means necessary to keep them close to you. hee, hee, hee

Glori's Birthday!

Glori Sue turned 5 years old in March. She was soooooooooo excited to decorate cupcakes. Thanks grandmas and grandpas for your packages.........ofcourse she was spoiled. A little update on Glori....she loves pink, purple, rainbows, ponies, purses, dress up, princesses, polly pockets, hair bows, preschool, injera (staple for Ethiopians), singing, dancing, coloring, etc......you get the picture! She won't even let me "trim" her hair, so it is long enough to touch her behind. When she starts sitting on her hair, then there will be intervention. hee, hee, hee She is thrilled to start kindergarten in August. She is so fun in our family!