Day 366: The Tribe Goes South on an Expedition; Observes Many Wild Animals in Captivity

My absence with regard to this electronic journal in the past eleven days is a testament to the tribe’s extensive activity.  During this eleven day journaling hiatus, I achieved a milestone of observation with the tribe – my observation began the sixth of June, approximately one year ago.  During my time with the tribe and the natives, I have been tested – both mentally and physically.  I have been witness to the development of the natives as the have acquired new skills, demonstrated intertribal communication, exhibited incredible ingenuity, particularly in resourcefulness of escaping various confines and various situations and other tribal rituals.  Highlights (or lowlights) of the past year’s tribal activity include the Bathing Ritual, several visits to the local Medicine Man, Wednesday’s many ear afflictions, bedtime woes, excursions to the tribal elders’, numerous incidents involving the Blue Chair of Mischief and crayons, and most recently nearly breaking my foot while caring for the natives.  Yes, indeed, it has been quite a year.

Now for the cause of my absence from journaling – the tribe had been considering taking a journey – a journey south to the sibling of the tribal elder.  Until recently, specifically on Monday last, the tribe had not determined for certain that the journey would be made – the following Thursday.  Many preparations needed to be made prior to the tribe’s departure including packing provisions for the four-day journey.

The journey itself was seven or eight hours south, down the coast of the mainland and would be made entirely in the tribe’s mode of transportation.  The important thing to note here was that the natives had never journeyed further than two or three hours from the tribal abode and certainly not six states and over five hundred miles away.  I can only imagine how it must have been for the early pioneers who discovered the western region of the mainland, traveling by covered wagon or unpaved bovine paths over hills and mountains.  Their journeys must have been long and arduous and thinking about them implored me to relate the tribe’s own situation accordingly.  This was not going to be like pioneering the Wild West, however, driving over five hundred miles in the same vehicle with two natives, two and a half years old and a year old, clearly was not going to be a piece of cake either.  Nonetheless, on Thursday last, the journey began.

At this time, I would like to extend my gratitude to the good folks at Philips for engineering an electronic media player that attached to the back of the vehicle seats, one for each seat, to entertain young natives.  Without this magical device, insanity would have surely set in before leaving the state.  However, this device did not endure throughout the entire journey for approximately half way into our journey, the second media player failed and no longer functions properly. Drat.  However, we continued.  I wish to note here that traveling with young natives will at least double the amount of time spent getting to your intended destination.  For one reason or another, the journey that should have taken seven or eight hours took almost double, arriving at our destination nearly twelve hours from our departure.  Multiple stops were made throughout the journey to care for the natives, ensure their happiness and gather sustenance for myself, the tribal leader and the natives.  We left the tribal abode at approximately 1:30 PM on Thursday and arrived at our destination at 12:45 am Friday.

After surviving the journey toward our destination, we enjoyed a low-key day with the tribal leader’s sibling.  His abode was much larger than the tribe’s and offered ample room for the natives to exercise in the adjacent yard.  Below is Tuesday attempting to race the tribal leader’s sibling in a foot race.

The day culminated with a meal with the tribal leader’s sibling, the tribal elders who had journeyed down separately, and the tribe at an eating establishment specializing in spicy cuisine.  We then returned to the tribal leader’s sibling’s abode to prepare for another excursion the following day.

Located in this area is a large, public zoo – multiple animals kept in captivity for natives and tribes to enjoy.  Since Tuesday has a love for animals of all kinds, we determined that since we were in the area, that we would all venture to said zoo to view the animals.

First of all, I wish to state that the day was warm – no, it wasn’t warm, it was frigging hot.  I believe the thermometer read 91 degrees while we were at the zoo.  Anyways, once the tribe, the tribal leader’s sibling and the tribal elders arrived at the zoo ( a separate story entirely ), we began to systematically view the animals in captivity.  First, we arrived at the large felines in captivity, namely Panthera Leo, or lions.

The lions were particularly lazy and only moved to switch sleeping positions or to swat bugs or insects away.  However, Tuesday appeared fascinated seeing them.  Seen below is Tuesday in front of where the lions were located.

I must remark about Tuesday’s excitement while being at the zoo – wildly animated, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed (maybe not bushy-tailed) she walked the WHOLE zoo. Her stamina in keeping up with rest of the tribe’s party was impressive.

After viewing the lions, we continued on to the next exhibit, specifically that of Panthera tigris, or the tigers.  The tigers were much more animated and paced back and forth in front of the water moat that surrounded their habitat.  I paused to think of the need for such a moat and if the pacing of the tiger was really doing a “eeny meeny miny moe, which of you would be good with ketchup?”  But, my thoughts were quickly diverted to the excitement of the natives as they watched the large feline move back and forth.  Seen below is the first tiger we viewed.

We soon moved on from the large felines and happened upon some large primates – these large primates moved about and frolicked carelessly as large crowds of natives watched.  Seen below is one of the primates who moved close enough for a photograph to be taken.

From here, we observed many more animals including small rodents and monkeys, panda bears and more.  Since the tribe was growing fatigued, we made our way to the exit of the zoo and continued on to our next destination – a gathering for with some friends for an outside meal.

Following the meal, we returned to the tribal elder’s sibling’s abode for an early evening which ended up being a rather late evening of attempting to get the natives to sleep.  After a few hours, they soon gave in and fell off to sleep.  The following morning, we departed for the tribe’s abode.

One might assume that the journey home might be a bit quicker and easier than the ride to our destination.  However, when one assumes, one makes an ass out of you and me.  Similarly, the journey home lasted nearly twelve hours, with multiple stops and traffic hang ups throughout the journey.  The natives did not completely fall off to their slumbers until nearly two hours away from the abode.  The remained asleep until we arrived back at the abode and woke only briefly to be brought into the abode and laid to rest in their resting quarters.

Things I have learned from this expedition:

1. Traveling electronic media players are indispensable.  Hands down.

2. The signing and roadside traffic directions are terrible south of the general area of the tribal abode.

3. The state of New Jersey has multiple service areas and I am somewhat thankful for them; conversely, they charge ridiculous amounts of money for fuel.

4. The state of Virginia in June is hotter than the gates of Hell.  Just sayin’.

5. Krispy Kreme jelly donuts are delicious.

6. There are large brown spiders in Virginia that resemble the poisonous brown recluse spider.  I know because one was killed in the tribal leader’s sibling’s house.

7. One must allot for twelve hours of traveling to a destination six hours or more away when traveling with small natives.  That almost sounds like a math problem.

and finally:

8.  Regardless of all the inconveniences and difficulties endured on this expedition, it was worth the trip.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Linnette on June 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Love to read your entries, Jeff. VERY entertaining……keep up the great work parenting!


  2. Thanks – I enjoy writing them – although lately finding time to write has been difficult…I have PLENTY of material….


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