Close encounters of the human kind…How did we get so lucky?…Monday morning mongoose mania…

A mongoose is sitting on a step while waiting for eggs.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Mom and three babies…the fourth baby warthog has been missing for a week.  It’s sad to think about what has happened to her.
We returned from the hospital to Marloth Park on February 23rd, 16 days ago.  During that first week, I was a mess, and we didn’t see many friends while I was struggling so much, other than Louise and Danie and Kathy and Linda.

Over this past week, we’ve had a steady stream of friends stopping by to see how I’m doing. No words express how grateful we are to have made such wonderful friends here in Marloth Park.

Tomorrow night, Tuesday, we’re invited to dinner at Lynne and Mick’s home along with Kathy, Don, Linda, and Ken. This will be the first time out socializing since the surgery on February 12th.

This particular band of mongooses has been here many times.  They knew exactly where to wait for Tom to deliver the eggs.

We’ve been out before this when we had to return to Nelspruit for an appointment with the surgeon on March 1st. The long drive surprised me as tolerable when Tom drove like a champion keeping the little red car as steady as possible.  

Tomorrow, I am heading to Lynne and Mick’s home, although only two minutes “as the crow flies,” will require some driving on the outrageously bumpy dirt roads in Marloth Park. I’ll bring along a pillow to hold against my chest to soften the blows of the ruts and potholes in the road.  

Then, on Friday night, Kathy, Don, Linda, Ken, and the two of us are meeting at Jabula for dinner before Linda and Ken head back to their home in Johannesburg.  

The baby mongooses are not quite sure about the eggs in the bowl.

Most likely, we won’t see Linda and Ken again before we leave for Ireland. They have a tremendously busy travel schedule, visiting family in the US and Australia over the next few months. Kathy and Don will come and go between their homes in Pretoria and Marloth Park, so most likely, we’ll have several more opportunities to spend time with them.

Lynne and Mick stopped by on Saturday for a pleasant visit. It was great to see them.  Had we left for Kenya as planned, we wouldn’t have seen them here again due to their month-long self-drive and tour of Namibia on a major bird-watching adventure.

When Lynne read in a previous post that I only had two pairs of pants to wear now as I recover, both of which are very hot and uncomfortable, yesterday she returned with a stack of comfy, soft cotton pajama bottoms, pants, and a dress I can wear until I can start wearing jeans again. How thoughtful and generous is that?

They went as far as beginning to climb the veranda’s steps to get our attention.

And Kathy, good grief! She’s gone over the top during this entire ordeal of ensuring I had everything I could need or want while providing, along with Linda, an enormous dose of emotional support, friendship, and love.

Uschi and Evan stopped by between the angiogram and the surgery to say goodbye before embarking on their month-long holiday. But surely, we’ll see them again when they return.

Today, Lesley and Andrew surprised us with a thoughtful visit to offer their love, support, and offer to help in any way possible. It was beautiful to see them as well.

They came to the garden from all directions.

As busy as they are, Dawn and Leon from Jabula never faltered in their love and support during this challenging period.

Then, of course, there’s Louise and Danie who’s thoughtfulness extends well beyond their role as our property managers, who’ve become loving and dear friends. The flowers they had waiting for me when we returned from the hospital, the impeccable house, the grocery shopping, and literally every possible need covered in one way or another. Currently, they are on holiday in Cape Town, and we look forward to their return. 

Once the bowl of eggs is licked clean, they start looking at us for more. This time Tom complied, bringing out some whole eggs.

How did we get so lucky to have so many kind and caring people in our lives? Add the fabulous people who’ve stayed in touch, some daily like our dear girl Okey Dokey, who’s texted me daily to offer words of encouragement and who sent me the adorable stuffed “Jessica the Hippo,” which I’ve used over and over again to support my chest as I moved about, coughed or sneezed.

And then, there’s been the endless stream of messages from our dear readers/friends from all over the world who remained steadfast in their prayers and well wishes.

They scattered about, looking for more eggs.

Of course, my family has been there for me, along with many members of Tom’s large family offering prayers and good wishes for a speedy recovery. It goes on and on. I’m in awe of the kindness and generosity of spirit that so many have freely offered during this trying time.  

Merely saying “thank you” doesn’t express the depth of appreciation both Tom and I feel over the outpouring of prayers and warm wishes by so many special people. 

Although not a story in itself, today’s post provides me with an opportunity to let all these amazing people know how much they are appreciated and how much they all mean to us.

Photo from one year ago today, March 11, 2017:

Jonas, a youthful-looking 40-year old owns several businesses and has done well in his life considering many hardships. Many years ago, he was attacked by a lion in Marloth Park and lived to tell the story. For the complete account of this frightening event, please click here.


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