Yesterday morning, Josh and I woke up at 4:30, followed shortly thereafter by Caleb. Much to my surprise, the whole house was up and running by 6AM. If you know us, you know that this pre-dawn wakefulness could only be caused by one thing: jet lag.
As annoying as jet lag is, I decided to make the most of the early start and take Caleb to the zoo. We were headed to the bus by 7:00 and arrived at the zoo at 8:15 (15 minutes before it opens).
The zoo is beautiful first thing in the morning. The air is cool and fresh, flowers are dripping with dew and the animals are playful. It is quiet, too, except for the twittering birds and chirping cicadas. No noisy school groups to avoid and no obnoxious Americans shouting across exhibits to "hey, come look at this!"
All in all, it was the perfect time of day to enjoy the zoo. . . except for the swarms of flying zebras: the dengue-carrying, black-and-white striped mosquitoes that seemed to have come out by the thousands to welcome us to the zoo.
No more than five minutes after arriving, we were seated on a bench, watching the gorals eat their breakfast, when suddenly I realized WE were being eaten for breakfast! I looked down to see no fewer than ten mosquitoes circling about my ankles, with two already landed and partaking of the feast. I swatted and kicked and made a complete fool of myself. Thankfully, the gorals, who were looking rather amused, had the decency to refrain from laughing at me out loud.
We were already, supposedly, mosquito-proofed, but I went ahead and applied a double dose. We made a quick stop by the tiger and baboon exhibits, all the while being chased by the flying zebras, and losing confidence in our mosquito repellent. Twenty minutes and seven mosquito bites later, I realized we were fighting a losing battle.
Thankfully, the jet lag is wearing off and we are returning to a normal schedule, so I won't be tempted to take another early-morning trip to the zoo any time soon.