|A giraffe with two male impalas.|
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
|A photo from five years ago today at this link. On either side of the face are two hanging red-tipped hanging pieces of skin. When the Helmeted Guineafowl moves about, these swing around as would a pair of dangling earrings.|
It’s uncanny how we can’t stop comparing our three-month stay in Marloth Park five years ago to our current one-year stay. We’d assumed when we returned this time in February 2018 there would be many changes but surprisingly there have been few.
|A “confusion” of wildebeest in Kruger National Park.|
One of the social perks in Marloth Park and perhaps in South Africa, in general, is the commonality of the reciprocation of following up after being invited to a friend’s home for dinner or a party by asking them or hosting them to a dinner out. Not everyone enjoys hosting dinner parties.
In other words, those with whom we’ve developed relationships have been exceptionally gracious in good manners and social etiquette. Come to the bush to find an unbeatable social life that compares to none. Who would have thought?
|A “confusion” of wildebeest and a “dazzle” of zebras.|
Another common practice is bringing one’s own beverages to friend’s home when invited for “sundowners,” dinner parties and gatherings. This takes considerable pressure off posts to accommodate guests’ drink preferences, including types of wines, beers, liquors, and non-alcoholic beverages.
In our old lives, I don’t ever recall asking guests to “BYOB” (bring your own booze) when attending one of our social events, nor do I remember us doing so when attending parties in Minnesota. It wasn’t customary. But, here in South Africa, it is.
|Zebras were grazing in the lush greenery.|
On several occasions, after we’ve hosted a dinner party in our bush home, we’ve been invited out to dinner by friends who either aren’t here long enough to host a reciprocal dinner party, don’t have suitable space for dinner parties in their bush homes, or simply don’t incline to go through the time-consuming process of preparing a special meal for guests.
Plus, over these past few hot summer months, the weather has been outrageous with extreme heat and humidity. It’s unbearable to spend the better part of a day or two standing in the kitchen in the heat. Homes here do not have central aircon and few have a wall unit in the kitchen. Turn on the oven to bake a dish and the house becomes a veritable hotbox.
|Certain animals do well grazing together as is the case with giraffes and impalas.|
Never once over the past year have we felt or even thought about not being invited for a meal when we’ve asked others. We’ve loved every evening we’ve hosted, relishing in the quality time we’ve spent with guests over good food and often, their own favorite wine and beer.
Five years ago at the Hornbill house, in which we stayed under two months, we didn’t have the space for entertaining. Once we moved to the Khaya Umdani house (see our link here of this fabulous house), we finally reciprocated guests.
|Wildlife at a distance.|
Eventually, we moved again to the African Reunion house (see our link here for this lovely home) and again could invite guests. It was a very special time for us thanks to Louise and Danie’s kindness and generosity in allowing us to experience two more properties in that three month period.
But here at the “Orange” house, once we started seeing the wildlife regularly there was no way, during this entire one year period, that we had any interest in moving to a different house, should it become available.
|Two closely-knit giraffes may be a parent and offspring or mating pair.|
This house has been ideal for hosting and reciprocating for dinner parties, house guests and of course, the exquisite day to day interaction with our wildlife friends. It couldn’t have suited our needs or desires more.
This house may or may not be available when we return but surely Louise will ensure we’ll have a perfect house for our three-month return in March 2021. (Next time we won’t be staying in South Africa longer than the allowed 90 days due to immigration issues).
|Grazing in the treetops.|
Today and tonight, we’re hanging out at the house. I’m working on projects to prepare for our departure in 20 days, including scanning one year’s worth of actual receipts with our portable scanner, cleaning out cupboards and closets and going through our travel supplies to determine what we’ll really need going forward.
Have a fantastic day hopefully filled with meaningful social encounters!
Photo from one year ago today, January 25, 2018:
|On our way to Antarctica, at long last, this was our first penguin sighting: A one or two-year-old Rock Hopper Penguin on New Island in the Falkland Islands yet to grow his full plumage. Click here for more outstanding wildlife we discovered during this once-in-a-lifetime cruise.|