A wild start to day…All is under control now!…

Mom and baby elephant munching on the vegetation. We shot this photo from the veranda of the Mugg & Bean Restaurant in Lower Sabie in Kruger National Park.

With Louise and Danie coming tonight for sundowners and dinner, when the power went off before 8:00 am this morning, of course, I started thinking of how I’d prepare the food without the use of the electric oven. Everything I’d planned to make was to be cooked in the oven.

As soon as we were up and about, Tom ran out to purchase four bags of ice. When he returned, I loaded up the chill box, layering it with the perishables from the refrigerator, the items for tonight’s meal, and layered them in the unopened bags of ice, hoping the chill would last longer.

Baby elephant playing with another elephant in the Sabie River.

Also, I placed one bag of ice in a large metal bowl on a shelf in the refrigerator. This has worked well for us in the past as long as the ice stays frozen. I noticed the freezer was doing fine when I had to take out an item, and it could conceivably keep the foods frozen for many hours to come.

I considered how I’d cook the main items we’d planned for the meal on the braai, as opposed to the oven, when some dishes cook better in the oven than on a grill, with a more consistent and even temperature. The braai would have been my only option, and I contemplated the fact that everything wouldn’t be quite as well prepared as I’d planned. Plus, with three main dishes cooking on the grill at once, Tom would hardly have had time to socialize when he was busy tending to the food.

Elephants love to swim, using their trunks as snorkels. They are prolific swimmers.

Fortunately, the WiFi kept working during the outage. It often goes out within an hour or two of an outage since the towers run on batteries that don’t last long without electricity. I contemplated whether or not to post today when it was entirely possible. We’d have no connection in no time at all.

Much to our delight, while drinking our coffee while seated at the big table on the veranda, made with hot water that Tom heated on the side burner of the braai, the power popped back on. The way we know it’s back on is because Tom always turns on the outdoor fan. When the power returns, the fan starts running.

Elephants were climbing out of the Sabie River in Kruger National Park.

Immediately, I got to work prepping the meal, warming the oven for the first item of slow-cooked smoked baby back ribs, and preparing the bacon-wrapped, Emmental stuffed chicken breasts. We’ll cook the jumbo prawns when they arrive. With a few side dishes, we’ll be good to go.

Now, while I’m cooling off in the bedroom with a bit of air-con after sweating profusely in the high humidity, I am preparing today’s post, sharing more photos from Kruger National Park. We can’t wait to return to the park and will do so next week. We plan to embark on a self-drive every week, especially on sunny days.

Elephants on the move.

Although it’s the weekend and our visitor count is usually lower than during the week, today was an excellent start to the day. We’ve had several visitors so far and look forward to more as the day progresses. Once I complete and upload today’s post, I’ll get back to work on prepping for tonight.

I don’t enjoy cooking as much as I did in years past, but we certainly love having sundowners, starters, and dinner guests. In part, I think my diminished interest in cooking is because I don’t have all the cooking gadgets and serving pieces I had in my old life. Also, it’s often scorching and humid, like today, and sweating in the kitchen impacts my level of enjoyment. I suppose that’s to be expected.

Elephants were crossing the paved road in Kruger National Park taken through the car’s windshield.

This morning, I spilled a little liquid from the bags of prawns onto the kitchen floor. Immediately, I wiped it up with hot soapy water. Less than 20 minutes later, while I was here in the bedroom cooling off, I could hear Tom busy in the kitchen, spraying with Doom and sweeping.

My little spill attracted hundreds of ants from outside, who crawled under the front door to the spot on the floor where I’d spilled. I apologized for not cleaning the spot well enough, but he didn’t seem at all concerned. When I asked him what happened, he explained about the hundreds of ants he killed and removed.

Another Mom and Baby in the bush

This is the bush. It’s hot. It’s humid. And insects of many types are found inside the house daily. The power goes out regularly. The water stops flowing from time to time as it did last week. For many, these annoyances and inconveniences would be unbearable. For us, they are fair and reasonable trade-offs for the things that we do love.

Last night I jumped out of bed when some creepy crawler was walking on my neck. I got up, flicked it off, and then shrugged it off, content I didn’t get bit. It’s the way it is. The bush. Nature’s paradise. What more could we ask for?

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, April 10, 2020:

Birdie, contemplating his day. For more photos, please click here.

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