Updated 4 August 2010
It was a beautiful morning in the city of Dar es Salaam – the shining sun and cerulean skies with nary a cloud to be seen boded well for the much-awaited field trip to the Dar es Salaam Zoo to be undertaken by The World Federation Autistic Centre that very day.
A bevy of joyful, excited faces – staff and children alike – boarded the school bus with whoops of delight at 9:45 am, all geared up for the fun to begin! A total of 19 children were accompanied by 12 staff members on the trip.
The group boarded a ferry from the pontoon at 10:30 am and was at the other side a half hour later, after which the procession proceeded towards the zoo that was about 18 kilometers further away. Tick tock...tick tock…the children impatiently counted every second that took them nearer to their destination, and at 11:30 am, they were there at last!
Entrance fees duly settled, the euphoric children, alongside their devoted elders, forayed into the region where they were privy to the observation of domestic animals. Having whetted up a mighty appetite with their exposure to the fresh morning air and animated exertions, the little troopers devoured their snacks and drinks at 12:00 pm and then, refreshed and replete, resumed their fascinating tour once again.
Roaring lions, spotty leopards, cackling hyenas, giggling monkeys, snappy crocodiles and slimy snakes! Squirrels with their bushy-tailed swagger and striking zebras sauntering around! Ostriches strutting their feathers importantly about, wildebeest and graceful impalas too! The children were amazed and awed at the sight of all these different creations of Allah SWT and especially enjoyed seeing the impalas as they were so close to the fence.
Alas, being 1:15 pm, it was time to depart and so everyone boarded the bus, tired but elated with the day’s activities. The staff members treated themselves to a well-deserved lunch break, after which the journey back to school began. Teacher Faryal, accompanied by the other staff, entertained the children all the way by engineering a boisterous singing session of every child’s favourite school song! They reached the ferry and boarded at 3:00 pm – by this time sleepy little heads were nodding off as, one by one, the children were deposited at their homes on the return journey – finally arriving at the school at 4:30 pm. The remaining children were collected by their parents who had been waiting eagerly for them to appear, and others were driven home in the school bus.
A thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all and one only has to bring to mind the wondrous, blissful faces of the children to conclude that this was indeed an event that will be a subject of fond memories for ages to come.
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