The day that we returned to Crocodile Bank with Dad.
Mani looked especially excited when he said, "Good morning, Ma'am." (Since we were spending the day at Crocodile Bank, Dad, the girls, and I accompanied Byron to work so we could drop him off and go on to our destination--about a 40-minute drive from Byron's workplace.) As soon as we dropped Byron off, Mani turned to me and said, "You see car, Ma'am?" I had no idea what he was talking about. "You see decorated car?" he persisted, as he pointed to the front of the car. I asked him to stop the car in the parking lot so I could see. I got out, went around to the front, and exclaimed in surprise.
Then I got the girls and Dad out so they could see. Mani just beamed. I've never seen anyone in Kansas decorate the front of their car with jasmine flowers and vegetables, but I've seen a few cars donned with that in Chennai. Mani seemed especially proud of the decorations, and happily posed for a picture. He kept the garland on the car for weeks, until the flowers had dried up and fallen off, and the vegetables (it looked like garlic and peppers?) had faded and shriveled up.
Lily sporting her bravery at holding an 18-month old baby crocodile. This appears to be the same crocodile that Erin held about a month ago, and the sign said that the baby croc was 18-months then, too. This makes one wonder, "Exactly how many months old is this creature anyway? I doubt they paint up a new wooden sign every month. . . ." Heidi, Dad, and Dawn elected not to hold the baby crocs. Dawn's reason? I was the photographer/videographer, and pay-the-crocodile-man person. I didn't have an extra set of hands to hold the crocodile!
Dad, Heidi and Lily baring their teeth in their best imitation of crocodile smiles, while Erin stands nearby pretending she doesn't know these people.
I think this was a baby python. I was sure my girls wouldn't be interested in holding a snake, but Erin worked up her courage and surprised me by announcing, "Mama, I want to hold that snake!" She was quite calm the whole time, too.
Lily held the snake, too. She wasn't quite as calm, but wanted to do everything that Erin could do. Being at least a foot shorter and quite a bit smaller than her big sister, Lily found the snake to be heavy and unwieldy. There was not a calm moment during the entire 3-minute stint of Lily handling a baby python, and after she nearly dropped it (it kept wrapping its head around back to look at her, which she didn't like), the snake handler guy grabbed it back rather abruptly.