Day #266 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Friends…Pigs in a pile, too!…

Little told his friend that the “pickings” were good at this house, so they both climbed the six steps up to the veranda to the front door. 

Today’s photos that we enthusiastically share for a chuckle are from this date in 2018 while we stayed in Marloth Park for 15 months. For more on the post, please click here.

Friends. It’s incredible to be blessed with good friends. Without them, our lives would be different. Daily, we communicate with friends via email, text, and social media, many from our old lives and new friends we’ve made along the way in our travels.

The Big Daddies didn’t seem as interested in the lucerne as the female kudus, but this one managed a mouthful.

The two places in the world where we made the most friends were Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii, in 2015, and Marloth Park, South Africa, in 2013/2014 and 2018/2019. No doubt, an influencing factor in returning to South Africa is due to the number of friends we made there, most of whom we’ve stayed in close touch with since we left in May 2019, 20 months ago.

Knowing we’ll be able to spend time with so many of those friends when we hopefully arrive soon only adds to the excitement of getting out of this hotel room after ten months (as of our scheduled departure day on January 12, 2021). We realize that COVID-19 restrictions will be in place, even in the relatively safe Marloth Park, such as mask-wearing, social distancing, hand washing, etc.

“Pigs on the porch,” Pigs in the pond,” and Pigs in a pile,” and “Pigs in the parlor.” It’s “Pig Paradise in the Park.”

Will we be able to hug our friends when we see them next month? We aren’t sure at this point. I suppose doing so will be predicated by the presence of COVID-19 upon our arrival, which can change on a dime. At this point, there are few known cases in MP and certainly no major outbreak, but we will remain cautious, even in the presence of the people we know and love.

With Marloth Park a popular tourist location, an outbreak could happen at any moment. We wonder if we’ll be able to go to Jabula for dinner, although they have ample outdoor seating. It’s one of those scenarios. We’ll simply have to play by ear. But, without question, our top priority will be protecting ourselves and, if it limits socializing and dining out, so be it.

“Little” was checking out what the kudus were eating. 

Our animal friends will surely visit in any case. The thought of sitting outdoors awaiting their arrival is a massive appeal and comfort to us now, a far cry from being stuck in this room a day longer than we have to. Speaking of wildlife and friends, I couldn’t resist posting today’s main photo of our friend Little, champion warthog, bringing a friend with him to visit us at our bush house in 2018 to share the bounty we so freely offered daily.

We laughed out loud then and over again over the past 20 months from this unique scenario many times. I think it’s easy for us humans to believe we are the only creatures on earth possessing the depth of emotion to develop friendships with our species. And yet, we’ve often seen this ability to make friends in our pets, for us, most often dogs.

Piglets in a pile.

In our old lives, we often laughed over the friends our dogs made over the years. We lived on a private road, not requiring our dogs to be on a leash, with just about every house on the peninsula with friendly little dogs. Some became friends with our dogs, and others did not. But, it was not uncommon for our neighbors or us to have ours and their dogs in our houses visiting one another.

Some animals in the wild are no different. They find companions that they become attached to as much as their family members, especially, as we’ve witnessed after spending considerable time in the bush observing wildlife daily. We often observed this behavior in warthogs, usually two females with or without piglets and males who often visited in pairs rather than large groups.

A male ostrich’s flattened feathers after a downpour.

They may, or may not, be related. Many wildlife species hang out together in large family groups such as impalas and mongoose, giraffes, and others, while many twosomes we observed were mating pairs. But warthogs and pigs are consistently rated in various studies as one of the most intelligent animals in the animal kingdom, as indicated in this article. Pigs are reportedly smarter than dogs. And we all know how intelligent our dogs are!

In any case, we’ll be back amongst “friends,” both human and animal, in a mere 30 days. We hope.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, December 14, 2019:

We sat outside on the veranda several times during our stay in Apache Junction, Arizona, frequently using the gas grill. The weather is warm and sunny most days. For more photos, please click here.

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