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Today’s photos are from this date in 2013. For the post, please click here.
|Partial view of the yard from the second level.|
As I continue to work on corrections, line, and paragraph spacing on each of our old posts, I can’t help but reread each one as I go along. There are 148 pages of 20 posts each. It takes me at least one hour a day to make the corrections, sometimes longer. As of today, I’m down to Page 137 since I am working from the oldest first.
It’s shocking to me, after all these hours, I’ve yet to accomplish 10% of the posts. At this rate, it will take another 4½ more months. But, the time will pass and I will be happy to have tackled this monumental task, one I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
|The sink in the galley style kitchen. I moved Tom’s bottle of Courvoisier out of the window so the monkeys don’t knock it over when they come to visit.|
In reference to today’s photos, it was quite a day on September 4, 2013, when we posted photos of our very first experience of living in Africa for an extended period, in this particular case, in Diani Beach, Kenya, a resort community on the Indian Ocean. Although this area was known for its attraction due to its upscale resorts and holiday homes, it still was an area requiring stringent policing, and military control due to high risks of carjackings, kidnapping, murders, and other heinous crimes.
|This stove and refrigerator are much smaller than they appear in the photo.|
We lived in a gated community, manned by a guard for the 18-holiday homes. We were told not to rent a car, but to use a well-known local taxi driver recommended by our landlord, for any shopping trips and sightseeing. All entrances to shopping were guarded with rifle-carrying police and military as were ATMs and banks.
The various resorts where we dined, behind sturdy 12-foot high gates and guarded required a reservation and passports to enter. Our holiday home, within the gated community, was fenced with wrought iron fences, gates, and stone walls was guarded 24/7, while during the night a guard sat in a chair not far from our front door, from dusk to dawn. Our houseman, guarded during daylight hours.
|The master bedroom. The mosquito netting is very secure around the beds, leaving little opportunity for any flying insects. Bugs that walk may find their way to the bed from below. The bed was comfortable and we slept well most nights when it was cool..|
There was a red emergency button next to the bed and bars on all the windows. There were ceiling fans but no air-con. There were bamboo sofas, tables, and chairs on the veranda, but no living room, lounge, den, or seating area inside the house. Subsequently, we spent 16 to 17 hours a day outside on the veranda for three months. We’d never lived in a house without a place to sit indoors.
There were venomous centipedes and insects inside the house requiring we wear shoes at all times, including placing our shoes inside the mosquito netting at the foot of the bed each night, in the event we had to get up to go to the bathroom. We inspected our shoes each time before putting them on to ensure no insect dwelled therein.
|The guest bedroom with two beds and two separate mosquito nets.|
With no air-con, sitting on the veranda all day in temperatures around 40C, 104F, and high humidity, we sweated like fools. Luckily, our houseman, Hesborn washed our clothes every few days. The house was swept and cleaned daily. He was a wonderful help to us.
The adaptation required to accept this way of life early on in our travels was a rude awakening, but entirely necessary in order for us to continue on. If we wanted to see Africa and stay for extended periods, this was how we had to do it. We’d never lived outdoors for three months. Who, in their lifetime ever does this? If you’ve done so, please write to us and tell us your story.
|This spiral staircase to the second level is very steep with the steps far apart. There was no reason to go upstairs when there’s no furniture except on a second veranda.|
It was a good thing we had this experience early on. We learned. We adapted. We didn’t complain. We chose this life and we were going to accept it. By the time we reached Marloth Park, South Africa in December 2013, we ended up spending another 16 or 17 hours a day outside, although there were two air-conditioned living rooms indoors which we never used.
We spent all day watching and feeding the wildlife while seated on the veranda. We’d adapted to the sweltering heat, bugs, possibility of snakes, lack of air-con during the day, and never turned on the TV.
|The vanity area of the single bathroom in the house. Bugs loved this area.|
In Kenya, we learned to cook in a tiny galley space as shown in today’s photos. At night, when we went to bed I used a flashlight to inspect every corner in the bedroom, placed my shoes under the mosquito netting, and pulled down the covers all the way to see if any creatures had crawled inside during the day.
It’s no wonder, this tiny space while in lockdown in India, now approaching six months, is not as hard for us as it could have been. We have air-con, no insects, no snakes and have the TV on in the background most days, watching news of the world. It’s just not that hard.
Yes, it’s boring. But, we busy ourselves in many ways. We’re grateful to be in this location during these challenging times. Sure, we’d rather be back on a veranda in South Africa feeding pellets to our wildlife friends, in the heat with the bugs and possible snakes. But this, dear readers, could be a lot worse.
Thank you for traveling along with us and now as we are stuck in this odd situation. We’re grateful you’ve stayed with us during our new website’s transition and during this boring, travel-free scenario in Mumbai, India.
Photo from one year ago today, September 4, 2019:
|Chris, Barbara, a lovely couple we met through friend Liz, and Tom standing in the pub at the Boathouse in Falmouth, Cornwall, England, one year ago today. For more photos, including our meals, please click here.|