Welcome to the Bature Zoo

So there are pros and cons to living in a duplex on the other side of a guest house. For example, no matter who your neighbors are, chances are they’ll be gone eventually (a decided pro when we had some loud, obnoxious neighbors a couple weeks ago). This week’s neighbors had about 6 kids ranging from ages 3 to 11 or so, all of whom seemed to be quite intrigued by the fact that they were living next door to people with white skin.

…So intrigued that they began peering into our windows, standing at our screen door and staring in (Read: No discretion.) and even climbing in front of our laundry that was hanging to dry so they could get a glimpse of the batures. The older children seemed to have a vague idea that maybe this wasn’t polite, so if I would glance up and make eye contact with them while they were doing this, they would grab the younger children out of eyesight or shove them to the ground like they were dodging bullets. It never crossed the younger ones’ minds, though, that peering intently into our windows might be impolite.

Chris and I began joking around each morning when we opened the curtains that the bature zoo was now open, and we almost felt bad when we closed the zoo each evening — forever what would these kids do for entertainment with no electricity AND the zoo closing each evening at 7 pm when we put Judah to bed? One evening while we were eating dinner inside our cage with the kids staring into the window, I suggested to Chris that we have a little fun with it. Would they, for example, think all batures danced and chanted while eating if we did so? If we crawled or skipped from room to room instead of walked, would they think that was the norm? We figured if we were going to be the specimens of interest in the zoo, we may as well give them something to look at instead of our routine lives.

Eventually we decided that probably wasn’t very nice to these little kids who seemed to mean well (and who really loved playing with Judah) — and besides, we were laughing so hard at the idea that we probably couldn’t have executed it well anyway. (My loud laugh that has often been compared to that of a monkey and a hyena probably gave them enough to wonder about as it is….)

Now that the zoo has closed for good, though, and the kids have gone back to their home several hours away, I find myself kind of missing them — their big smiles, the way they touched Judah’s feet in awe, their sweet hugs when they greeted me….

I guess sometimes even the cons in life can have plus sides to them….

From inside the cage,
Christie, Chris and Judah


7 thoughts on “Welcome to the Bature Zoo

  1. I had totally forgotten what the word bature meant. When I initially read the title I thought “out of all the things to write about they’re really going to tell me about a zoo?…okay…” I didn’t think you guys would be the main attraction! I love the fact it got to the point you actually felt bad about closing the zoo.What good writing 🙂

    Can you spell bature phonetically so I’ll know how it is pronounced?

    Really looking forward to seeing you at Urbana. Please pray for me too. I’m hoping to send out an update (something that seems so simple has been kind of paralyzing) and ask for some prayer as I walk toward membership. I feel like I really need God’s confirmation, guidance taking these steps, and especially faith to trust Him despite being a little freaked out.

    Other than that, miss and heart you guys much. Remember to send prayer requests 🙂

  2. Tammy — Ha ha ha — funny… and yet perceptively true. 😉 🙂 I have often thought that life here reminds me of living next to the Rivera’s. Less children, mind you, but still a familiar feel. 🙂

    Christina — Thanks! 🙂

    Shayna — Depends who you ask (and what you put in it. 😉 ). Most people we know say they’ve gotten all the packages they know of that have been sent to them. We’ve gotten one, but I think Tammy sent one, and we have yet to get that. Maybe it will just make it all the more exciting and unexpected when it does arrive.

    Jen — buh-tour-ee. (Okay, so I created my own little phonetic guide….)

  3. Pingback: Return of the Bature Zoo « Those Winklers

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