A warm and friendly visitor this morning…Social media benefits…More photos from Kruger National Park….

The baby elephant just discovered his trunk.

This morning while I was lounging in bed at 7:00 am (Tom was already up and outside as usual), I received a text from the lovely woman, Agnes, who’d delivered both of our lost duffle bags. Over the period when both bags were found, after being missing for two months, she and I texted back and forth on WhatsApp, building a warm and friendly relationship.

When she texted this morning that she’d be dropping off a bag in Marloth Park and wanted to meet up face to face after all of our interactions. She met Tom last week at Louise’s office when she dropped off his lost bag but had not met me at that time

I was flattered that Agnes wanted to take the time out of her busy day to stop by our house. It was lovely to meet this exceptional woman who has been through so much in her life but was a wealth of love, faith, and kindness that was a treasure to behold. How lucky we are to meet such fine people as we travel the world!

“I love this thing,” he says.

After Agnes left, I had difficulty wiping the smile off my face. Each day brings some unique experiences we will never forget. Whether it is an encounter in Kruger National Park, on the road in Marloth Park or out to dinner at Jabula, or shopping in Komatipoort, we never take for granted the people, the wildlife, and the scenery that surrounds us everywhere we go.

It would be easy to assume that special situations are a normal part of daily life, but the moment we’d start doing that, we could stop traveling the world. The little things and simple experiences make this lifestyle meaningful to us. Whether it’s a tiny, noisy frog on the edge of the splash pool, a rambunctious piglet in the garden, or a colorful flower blooming in the parkland, it is all a part of the bigger picture of nature at its finest.

We spotted this small family of elephants with a few babies.

Then, add all the warm and loving people; we couldn’t ask for more. That’s not to say our friends and experiences in our old lives were less meaningful. They were not. And it’s not unusual for us to reminisce about many treasured memories with family, friends, wildlife, and nature.

Our friends in the US remain a big part of our lives when we easily stay in touch via social media, email, texts, and phone calls. Calls on Facebook, Skype, and WhatsApp are free when both parties use the apps. Many don’t know that calls using Facebook’s Messenger are totally free of cost if both parties are talking on the app simultaneously. This also includes calls made from anywhere where Facebook is allowed. (Believe it or not, some countries don’t let their citizens use Facebook. See below:

“Many countries have banned or temporarily limited access to Facebook. The website has also been restricted in various ways in other countries. As of July 2022, the only countries to continually ban access to the social networking site are China, Iran, North Korea, Uganda, and Russia.”

A mom and her baby.

Most South Africans use WhatsApp for “free” communication, although it does require an internet connection. We feel fortunate we have access to social media, which has become an integral part of our ability to stay in touch with family and friends. Also, we frequently use social media to keep in touch with local friends here in Marloth Park.

In the US, WhatsApp is used less frequently, from what we could ascertain while there, although everyone seems to know about it. I suppose this is because most Americans have a monthly cell service that may or may not have an unlimited country-wide WiFi service, calling, and text plan.

An elephant on his own.

Here in South Africa, few use a monthly cell service plan, instead finding it less costly to use a SIM card to which data and calling are added regularly. That’s why we have the South African phone with a SIM card installed for making local calls. Our Google phones don’t have an extra slot for an additional SIM card other than the one provided with Google Fi, our pay-as-you-go WiFi, calling, and text plan. When we are at the house, with WiFi, we can use WhatsApp at no charge, eliminating the need for using data on the South African phone.

That’s it for today, folks. We’re staying in today with excellent leftovers for dinner. It’s not very hot, but the humidity is awful, with a dew point of 73, nine points above “tropical.”

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, February 7, 2022:

An orange-billed and a black-billed oxpecker peeking out over a kudu’s back. For more photos, please click here.

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