Gosh, it feels good to be back to my old self once again. On Monday morning, we’ll return to Komatipoort to see Dr. Luzaan for another x-ray to determine if the tooth abscess infection is gone. If not, on to Plan B, a trip to see the oral surgeon with his trusty laser in Malelane, a 40-minute drive due to road construction. We’ll report back once we know more.
Tomorrow will be my 73rd birthday. We’re celebrating in the evening at Jabula Lodge and Restaurant (for the first time since our arrival) with Louise and Danie, outdoors, on their upper veranda. The mozzies will be plentiful, but the humans, not so much, so we’ll all feel safe dining outdoors. There is no place we’d rather be to celebrate another blessed year of life, let alone celebrating with Louise and Danie, one of the most fun couples we’ve ever known.
The pillows on my side of the bed have been replaced with new ones, and the dust mite rash is gradually fading away. The itching has stopped, and all that itches now are the few mosquito bites I’ve somehow managed to get even when slathered in DEET repellent.
The recent rain has caused a proliferation of mosquitoes. Tom, who rarely is bitten, covered his bare skin in strong spray repellent last night during sundowners when they were chomping on his ankles. It’s always worse around dusk and after dark. We know it’s time to load up on repellent once we hear Frank making his nightly noise at sunset. As an extra precaution, I add more repellent frequently throughout the day and evening.
Once summer ends and it cools down, there will be considerably fewer mosquitos and insects. That will be a welcome relief. The cool, pleasant winters in Marloth Park are truly a delight. We love bundling up at night to sit on the veranda and wait for the visitors to come. Besides, knowing the cool weather is also a relief to the wildlife, adding only our joy.
As we wind down our 90-day visas, ending April 12, 2021, we are well aware we have to high-tail out of here in 52 days. However, with the car rental shops closed on the weekends at the Nelspruit airport, we’ll have to leave on Friday, April 9, to return anytime after April 12, when the car rental facilities will be open again. That means we only have 49 days until we have to leave.
This means we need to have a plan in place when we have about 30 days remaining. It’s possible President Cyril Ramaphosa may institute another visa extension due to Covid-19 for all foreign nationals, comparable to the one in place until March 31st. That last extension doesn’t help us at all. But, he may institute another such extension in the next few weeks. So we’ll wait and see what transpires.
In the worst case, we can always catch a flight out of here to another nearby country, although none physically touches South Africa, as per the requirements. We can always quickly fly to Zambia and return a few days later, which we’d done a few times in past visits. Sure, it would be nice to visit a country we’ve never been to in the past, but in light of Covid-19, the less traveling we can do, the better. It would feel safer if we could get the vaccine by then, but that is highly unlikely.
No doubt, this visa thing is often on our minds. It’s hard to relax when this is hanging over our heads. But, we can’t let this concern weigh heavily upon us, preventing us from the joys of being here. We’ll continue to watch the news for any updates that could easily impact us. We remain hopeful.
Today, Friday, we’re reveling in better weather. We just had a late brunch of scrambled eggs with cheese and sausage. Later in the evening, we’ll be cooking juicy t-bone steaks on the braai while simply enjoying our wildlife friends when they stop by for a visit.
Although the roads have improved from recent grading, it’s still overly bumpy out there. But, most likely, later in the day, after uploading this post, we’ll head out for a drive and see “who” we can find. Boredom is never an issue in the bush. There is always an adventure waiting to happen.
Oops! Time to toss some pellets! One-Wart and Fred and Ethel just showed up.
Photo from one year ago today, February 19, 2020:
|Sunrise over the Ganges River. For more photos, please click here.|