Alpacas in the Zoo:
Because of the lack of infrastructure in Haiti, luxurious amenities such as public parks, museums, and zoos are virtually non-existent. Our humble little zoo is the only zoo in the entire country. The few other museums that exist throughout the country are not free to the public, and many of the places intended to be public parks are not family-friendly. So, the daily struggle for many families to make ends meet exclude most of the population from participating in these kinds of activities. That is why we continue to own, operate, and improve Noah’s Ark Zoo. It is a ministry in and of itself to have a family-friendly, open campus where people can come and enjoy a relaxing and educational experience as a family without incurring a financial burden or worrying about their safety.
Unfortunately, many of the animals in the zoo died soon after the destructive earthquake in 2010. For a while, the only exotic animals were snakes and birds. Many members of the community still ask about what happened to Charlie, the monkey. It was an amusing tradition for new students at the Summer Bible Institute to be initiated by being made to go to the zoo and evangelize to him. But, thanks to the generous support of several donors, we have begun to acquire more exotic animals such as the crocodile, peacock, and most recently the alpacas.
Two weeks ago, three nervous and tired alpacas arrived at the mission. They had been traveling for two days to get from their donor’s farm in Indiana to their new home. Many people stood around to watch the spectacle as their traveling container was unloaded. The locals, who had never even heard of alpacas, didn’t know what to expect to come out of that container. “They’re related to tigers,” Noah joked with one of the employees as he unlatched the door. Before he had a chance to tell him he was joking, Shama was halfway down the road, and three goofy fur-balls came prancing out of the container making humming noises akin to a confused cartoon character as they began to take in their new surroundings.
Since then, they have settled into their new home and have been a very entertaining attraction for many people in the community. Please pray that the mission staff can exemplify Christian community and act in the love of Christ towards the thousands of people who visit each year.