As we entered the park, Naima started complaining because she didn’t want to stay in her stroller. She hates to be confined. To keep her calm, I allowed her to hold onto the stroller and walk beside me. As we strolled past a balloon cart, Naima pointed at the balloons flying in the breeze. She kept shouting, “Mommy, Frozen! It’s Frozen!” I wasn't planning on buying any balloons, so I quietly ignored her and kept walking. As Anaya and Leonard were walking ahead of me, I proceeded to take out my phone and call my friend to see where she was. As I’m talking to my friend and trying to figure out if we were in the same area, Leonard turns around and gives me this frantic look. He yells, “Where’s Naima?” I look down and she was no where to be found! Mind you, this is was a holiday weekend and the park was packed. At that moment, we had just entered the zoo area and there was a baboon enclosure to our right. I started to panic, and I immediately headed in that direction. I told Leonard that I remembered her pointing at the balloons and to check near there. I asked Anaya to find someone that worked at the park to help translate.
When Leonard and Anaya got to the balloon cart, he asked the seller if she saw Naima. The lady said that she saw Naima go into the burger restaurant across from her. Naima loves to eat, especially burgers, so we knew it wouldn’t be too far off. Right after Leonard spoke to the lady, Naima walked out of the restaurant. She appeared to look all nonchalant as if she wasn’t even the least bit concerned that we were looking for her. Then Naima tried to walk off as if she didn’t even see Leonard. He grabbed her and brought her back to where I was. Here’s a picture of her right after we found her - After that, I made sure she was STRAPPED AND LOCKED IN!
Being in a crowded place and not knowing the whereabouts of your child is such a frightening feeling! Kidnappings do happen in Korea but not at the rate it happens in the U.S. If I had been in the U.S., I think I would’ve gone crazy! The scary part of all of this is that Naima is such an adventurer that she isn’t afraid to venture on her own. The good thing is that we live in Korea so her being one of the only black children in the park made it much easier for her to spot.
After finding Naima, Anaya shook her head in disappointment and said,
Here are more pictures of this memorable day! lol