Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hedgehog hunt - Success!

This past weekend we have had visitors from the Bulgaria Sofia Mission. Elder and Sister Bower, who live in Istanbul, came to visit our little branch of the church here in Adana. The branch members all took turns having them for dinner. Ours was Saturday evening.

I made Cafe Rio salads and Apple Pie Cake for dessert. We had a lovely dinner and enjoyed visiting with the Bowers. They lived in Hawaii for most of their lives and raised their family there. They also served as mission president for the Fiji mission. As missionaries they now teach institute and seminary classes and help train church leaders in the Istanbul branch.

After dinner we gave them the option of playing games or going for a walk in search of hedgehogs while we let our food digest. They chose the latter. Sister Bower brought her camera and I fervently hoped that we would find some hedgehogs for her to photograph. We did!! We found the first one over near the perimeter fence. Geoffrey and Brother Bower were standing there talking for a while. Once we caught up, they moved on down the path, not realizing there was a hedgehog just 5 feet behind them.

The trick is to look for lumps on the grass.  Some of them are just lumps but others will be cute little spiny potatoes with legs.  I noticed a lump on the hill and told Evan to shine his flashlight on it. Sure enough, it was the biggest hedgehog we have seen yet.  The Bowers were fascinated and Sister Bower got several cute pics of it.  We all touched its spines (which don't come loose or have poison) and then nudged it into a ball so they could see how completely it rolls up.

After a while we walked on some more. Near the tennis courts Evan found another one! We've never found two hedgehogs on the same hunt so this was a personal best! We tried to get this one to run away so the Bowers could see how cute their little skittery legs are. But he was determined to stay where he was.  Oh well.  On the way back home we were also able to show them examples of the spotted frog population and the huge nasty spiders that live in holes in the grass here. 

Sister Bower told me today in church that her favorite part of this trip was the chance to be in the church members' homes and visit with them. They were not expecting that and had really enjoyed it.  I hope our hedgehog adventure will be a pleasant memory for them and maybe a good story to write home to their kids.  And now when we get up to Istanbul we will have some friends to take us around to the sites of the city. So bonus for us!

BTW - if you are thinking of trying this at home, I'm afraid that won't be possible. There are no indigenous hedgehogs in the Americas.  Or Australia. But you can buy them as pets. Just sayin'.

P.S. There are also 4 young elders in Istanbul right now. They are only here on visitors visas and not allowed to do any active proselyting. But it's a start!

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