Sunday, July 23, 2006

More tears...

Our final goodbye party was from our small group at church. This group of multi-generational people are like our extended family. They've watched Jon and I progress from just dating to now being married 1 1/2 years, and we've enjoyed being able to share our lives with them during dinner and Bible discussion every week. We love them very much and will miss them... (Though not shown in these pictures, more tears ensued this evening as well.)

Our incredible, goofy group :)

Jonathan apparently was excited to see the amazing fruit creation by Bettye Ann and Nichole! (Almost as excited as when Jennipher arrived with her homemade banana pudding she knew he loved.) Mmmm... We will definitely miss the food this group ate together.

Later, at Blue Mesa...

My fellow "WOP" (World of Primates) ladies - and some others from the zoo family - gave me a goodbye party at Blue Mesa. I will really miss working alongside these incredible women... but (if any of you are reading this) I expect frequent updates and pictures!

Linda, our lead keeper, and me

Reanna, who I worked with as an intern in the African Savannah, and Jana, who moved from the WOP to Nutrition
Charissa, who used to work in the Hill area, Reanna and me

The Ladies of the World of Primates
(Linda, Ida, Michele, Dana, Carrie, and me)

Bye Bye Apes and Monkeys

Some of the hardest goodbyes were to the creatures who didn't even realize I wouldn't be back the next day... I've worked with primates (mainly gorillas) for the last three years, investing most of my week time in their health, training, entertainment, comfort, etc. What's difficult about leaving them for the last time is that they're not "contact-able" like our friends and family.

I definitely cried at the end of my last zoo day... but not before decorating the gorilla cages with my goodbye messages in chalk!

A funny thing Ramses did that afternoon on my last day: He was pulling his tongue out of his mouth and messing with it. I was like, "What's wrong, Rams?" He promptly came to the side of the cage where I was standing and stuck his tongue out of the bars to show me his "owie". He had an inflamed taste bud in the middle of his tongue. I felt bad that I couldn't "fix" it for him like he wanted, but I was flattered that he thought I might be able to. :)

GVI goodbye

The Patersons generously made dinner for those involved in GVI, since two (of the three) paid staff members were moving away. We really appreciated the time we could share and pray for one another that evening. I'll post a picture once I get one sent to me. :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Goodbyes Begin...

The first in our series of goodbye parties was hosted by our friends - the Eloes and Kirchners. We ate (and ate) lots of homemade food (and then took some home and ate some more), waded around in the pool, and got to hug and chat with some college friends.

I think everyone who's moved away after college assumes that those of us who stayed in Fort Worth see each other all the time. Unfortunately, our busy (working! ugh) lives have prevented very frequent visits, so it was a huge treat to have so many close friends there.

Is it chocolate cake? Or are we friends with hillbillies?

(Notice the perfect teeth of the middle two as opposed to their previous photo)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A New Start

Well, I've never been a "blogger" before - only a reader. But I thought this would be an easy way to update friends and family about our new adventures in California! Most likely, it'll just be pictures - but that's what people like the most about updates anyway.