Facing the facts and the potential risks…Recalling one year ago…Two days and counting…

This morning while I was in the kitchen, I saw Broken Horn in the front of the house in the driveway. With the kitchen windows closed (no screens), I called out his name. I ran to the back garden to see if he heard me and came around the back. This is what we saw, making us laugh out loud. He peeked his head around the side of the house to see if we were there. How can we not love these clever animals?

We’ve been discussing the possibility, which exists, that South Africa won’t let us use our new visa stamps for another 90 days. The laws surrounding this are vague and unclear. When we’ve left in the past, on one occasion, we were told we couldn’t “do this again” without applying for an extension.

Yesterday, four wildebeests stopped by (without Broken Horn, who is a loner), and after a long while, we finally saw Crooked Face and Hal along with two friends, Bart and Ben.

With a lack of support staff at South Africa’s immigration department, due to Covid-19, applying for an extension would be a waste of time. The only guarantee that we’d be able to get back in is if we flew back to the US and turned around and came back. But, we didn’t want to wear ourselves out for a quick return with little to no sleep for the two to three-day journey each way.

Although we’re flying to a non-bordering country as required, we may not be staying away long enough. But, the necessary time to be in another country is unclear. We’re taking a risk with five days. We knew the risk existed when we booked the five nights in Zambia.

It’s an anomaly that Crooked Face has a crooked face, but he’s delightful nonetheless.

What could potentially happen if they disapprove of our re-entry? From what we’ve determined, we could be told to immediately leave the country or be given seven days to collect our stuff and leave. With this in mind, we needed to discuss our options if we only had seven days to clear out.

Wildebeests make eye contact and react to our presence. Zebras, on the other hand, rarely make eye contact.

No, we’re not trying to be pessimistic about the situation, but we attempt to be realistic to avoid being shocked or terrified by this possibility. We won’t have everything we own with us. We’re each only bringing a duffle bag with some of our clothing. We’ll need to return pack the remainder of our stuff. Five days away doesn’t warrant more than that.

Most people find the wildebeest, also known as a gnu, to be quite homely. We see them be quite handsome.

We haven’t overstayed at any point since we arrived here last January. The only time we overstayed was when I had open-heart surgery in February 2019, and we had to wait 90 days for me to recover sufficiently to fly on the long flights. At that time, as mentioned in past posts, we were considered undesirables even with all of our doctor’s letters and medical documents. We wouldn’t have been able to reenter South Africa for five years.

We decided to hire a law firm in SA to represent us in getting a waiver; After considerable time, paperwork and expense, we were granted a waiver allowing us to return at any time. We were relieved and grateful to have the ban lifted.

They stayed for quite a while, partaking in our generous offering of pellets.

So, now, with a sense of uncertainty, we are off to Zambia in two days. Today, at 2:00 pm, we head to the Marloth Park medical clinic for Covid-19 PCR tests, another of which we’ll be required to get before leaving Zambia on October 26th. The Marriott hotel will make the arrangement for us to get the tests in hand before we depart.

On another note, today, while preparing the “year ago photo below,” I ended up rereading the entire post here, It was day #210, and our frustration level was over the top. The inconsistency of the taste, portions and preparation of our meals was outrageously inconsistent.

They interact freely with one another, giving little nudges and making body contact in a caring manner.

It was on this date that Tom decided to stop eating dinner. He couldn’t eat one more night of chicken penne pasta with white sauce. He wanted to try no other options when the flavor was Indian, even without added species and sauces. It’s hard to believe at that point that we still had three more months to go until we could escape.

Wildebeests are large animals weighing as much as 180 kg, 400 pounds, and one must maintain a safe distance. They don’t appear aggressive but can inadvertently injure humans with their massive horns and weight.

I started packing this morning and will wrap it up tomorrow.  Tom will pack his bag tomorrow. We have jeans drying outdoors on the veranda since they’d never dry inside in three days on the rack with the high humidity and delightfully cool weather. It’s hot in Zambia right now, and we will pack accordingly. No jackets and sweatshirts will be required for this trip.

That’s it for today, dear readers. We hope you all have a relaxed and comfortable day.

Be well.

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

This photo of Matafoo’s Resort in Kenya was posted one year ago while in a hotel in lockdown in Mumbai, India, on day #210. The sunbathers left as the sun began to set, and we moved to the restaurant for dinner. For more photos, please click here.

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