Final social evening in the bush…Good news!!!…One day and counting…

Tom’s favorite, Ms. Bushbuck is totally comfortable near him. 

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Toad peeking out from the ornamental mask.

Last night, Kathy, Don, Linda, Ken and Louise and Danie arrived at 5:30 loaded up with prepared dishes and meats to cook on the grill.  It was an easy night for me when everyone pitched in while I simply sat at one end of the table with the girls while the boys carried on at the opposite end.

What a great evening was had by all.  Kathy, knowing how much I love steak and lobster brought along fantastic lobster tails she’d purchased in Pretoria, filet mignon steaks and baked potatoes.  
Closeup of our toad peeking out from a hole in a decorative mask.

Linda brought along a wonderful salad to share and chicken to cook on the braai and Louise and Danie brought a home roasted tongue with a fabulous mustard sauce and a bacon cabbage dish.  Little did they know I love tongue but hadn’t had it in years. 

Our plates were filled with tasty treats and of course, as always, the conversation was lively and animated.  Tonight we’ll spend our last evening together at Jabula Lodge and Restaurant and this time, since I now can sit, I’ll be able to attend.

Eventually, we stopped giving mongooses whole eggs and beat up the eggs in the green dish  That way there would be enough for everyone.

This morning we headed back to the doctor’s office for our final visit for the treatment on my leg and Doc Phillip’s assessment as to whether I need to go to a wound clinic every other day in distant Galway, Ireland, a 90-minute drive each way.

Much to both of our delight, the wound in continuing to heal and we’ll be able to treat it ourselves since it doesn’t require any more debridement and only needs to be cleaned with a special antibacterial liquid, have a silver based cream applied along with moist treated gauze and fresh sterile bandages added, along with a freshly washed pair of compression stockings.

Interesting marking on zebras, each of which is so unique.

I will continue to wear the compression stockings until the wound sufficiently heals, for an additional one to three months, when it no longer requires treatment and bandages.  The purpose of the compression stockings is to prevent dangerous blood clots from forming and they must be worn around the clock. 

Finally, I’ve become used to wearing them at night and they no longer cause my feet to burn during the night, a huge relief.  Last night when our friends asked how I was feeling overall (although they’ve asked almost every day) and I said “I’ve been so preoccupied with my legs, I hardly noticed the ongoing improvement in the healing from the bypass surgery.

Big Daddy, of whom there are many, comes to call on a sunny morning.

In two days, it will be three months ago since the bypass surgery and I can say without hesitation that I am almost totally healed.  I no longer need a pillow for my chest when driving on bumpy roads and I can sleep on my side without discomfort in my chest.  I can use my arms without pain in my chest which took two months or more to change.

“Retired Generals,” cape buffalo males who hang together after being kicked out of the herd when they lost the battle for dominance and the right to mate.

Surprisingly, I am not tired during the day and generally feel well except for the ongoing pain in my left leg which in no time at all should be healing. I can walk 6000 steps per days and within a month should be up to 10,000 steps per day, to be continued for the long haul.

Last night our friends complimented me saying I made it through this with bravery and strength.  I didn’t.  I whined and complained to my girlfriends (not so much to Tom since he had his hands full) and at times, I wondered if I’d ever get well.  

The Mrs. (francolin).

Their love and support saw me through and I’m no braver or stronger than anyone else who’d go through this difficult surgery and subsequent two legs surgeries on both legs.

But, here we are leaving Marloth Park tomorrow, traveling for 24 hours to finally arrive at our next location in our continuing world travels, Connemara, Ireland where we’ll stay for the next 90 days.  

Frank, our resident francolin was a regular, making his loud noise day and night, was always welcomed.

In three months from tomorrow, we’ll be on our first cruise since Antarctica, ending in February 2018.  We’ll be sailing in the Baltic Sea and at long last be able to visit St. Petersburg, Russia and many other amazing locations. 

Grateful to be alive?  Immensely.  Grateful for the love and caregiving support of my husband Tom who never faltered in the quality of his care?  Forever.  Grateful to the fine medical care in South Africa, especially Dr. Theo Stronkhorst?  We’ll never forget.  Grateful to our friends who stood by me through this difficult period?  Always. 

A leopard tortoise visited our garden.

And, grateful to the animals who always put a smile on our faces, made us laugh and cry and reminded us of the delicate balance of the relationships with humans and animals as we share this world with them, their world with us.

Tomorrow will be our final post from Marloth Park, from South Africa.  We have a very special story to share, a story of love and understanding in two different worlds and yet, in many ways, in one.


Photo from one year ago today, May 10, 2018:

We were thrilled to see a wildebeest in the yard this morning, an uncommon occurrence.  We named him “Wildebeest Willie” and he’s been a frequent visitor since.  For more photos, please click here.

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