An outrageously fun night at Jabula…A mind blowing coincidence…

We were at Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center in 2014 and had an opportunity to interact with this cheetah, their mascot. If we had any apprehension, which we didn’t, the fact that he was “purring” welcomed our touch. See this link for the original post, and please read our story below for the significance of posting this photo today.

We arrived at Jabula at 5:00 pm, 1700 hrs, our usual time. We were a little apprehensive about going at all due to the number of holidaymakers in Marloth Park during the holiday season. Under normal circumstances, we wouldn’t have been concerned about crowds. But in light of Covid-19 and the Omicron variant, I thought about it several times during the day. Will it be safe to be inside the bar that can become packed with party-goers during holiday times?

Our usual seats at the bar were taken when we arrived, but during the entire time, three hours, there was never more than 10 or 12 hovering near and around the bar. I sat at the furthest end with no possibility of anyone sitting next to me but Tom. We decided we’d eat at the bar when we ordered our food after a few hours.

But, in the interim, we met some fabulous people and caught up with Sindee and Bruce, who have invited us for Christmas dinner at their home. There will only be 11 of us, a manageable number. When dining at a home in the bush, drinks, and meals are often served outdoors. We anticipate this will be the case on Christmas Day.

The conscientious guide ensured our safety. But, we had no fear.

First, we met a lovely group of three, including Gabby, her brother, and sister-in-law. Gabby works for SanParks, the park system in South Africa. We had a fantastic talk about marketing, our website, our mutual love of wildlife, and Marloth Park.

Gabby has been coming here for 30 years and is as excited by wildlife as we are, especially with her job with such easy access to national parks. She has many interesting videos on YouTube. You can see them here at this link. Hopefully, we’ll have an opportunity to talk again in the future. We certainly hit it off!

After a while, the three of them left, and two men moved in and occupied their seats. Rico sat at the bar on Tom’s right, and immediately the two of them started chatting. In no time at all, they were like long-lost friends. That’s the magic of Marloth Park.

Rico is a fun and animated guy. I leaned in to hear the conversation and pick up pieces here and there. At one point, Rico told us that his son works for Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center, which we visited in 2014 when we did the Panorama Route, which is a self-driving tour with many sights to see along the way. We had a wonderful time on the route and stayed overnight at a fabulous resort, making memories we’ll always treasure.

While he and Tom continued talking, I looked up our post on my phone from our time at Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center. After thumbing through a few posts, I stumbled across the above two photos when we had an interaction with the center’s mascot. This rehabilitated cheetah couldn’t return to the wild based on injuries he’d incurred at a young age. He’d never learned to hunt and fend for himself. Instead, he became the center’s mascot.

I leaned forward and showed Rico and Tom the photos from our post from January 19, 2014, almost eight years ago. Rico practically screamed when he exclaimed, “That’s my son in those photos!!!?

Oh, my goodness! We were aghast! What a coincidence that eight years ago, we’d taken photos of the cheetah and Rico’s son. It’s a small world, after all, like the song, here on YouTube. When I opened the song and read the lyrics as listed below, I was reminded of how small the world really is and how grateful we are to have met so many wonderful people along the way:

Lyrics
It’s a world of laughter
A world of tears
It’s a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There’s so much that we share
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small, small world
There is just one moon
And one golden sun
And a smile means
Friendship to ev’ryone
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small, small world

Have a fantastic day!

Photo from one year ago today, December 19, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #271. “Puerto Madryn (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpweɾto ˈmaðɾin]Welsh: Porth Madryn) is a city in the province of Chubut in Argentina, Patagonia. It is the capital of the Biedma Department and has about 93,995 inhabitants according to the last census in 2010.”We toured the oceanfront village on foot on this date in 2017. For more photos, please click here.

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