|This morning we opened the door to find 19 kudus in the garden, breaking our prior record of 17 at once. The one closest to the veranda is the girl that constantly licks my toes. She is identifiable by an oval notch in her right ear.|
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
|Yesterday, this “Grey Go-Away” bird stopped by. The name was as a result of the song this bird sings that sound like, “go-away.”|
It’s imperative that one must temper their expectations when staying in Africa, especially when coming from cities throughout the world that are highly developed and have an abundance of literally everything, for example; in any big city in the US and other parts of the world.
|There were all moms and babies some of which were males.|
When we say abundance in the US, we mean going to a market, a superstore, or a shop and finding anything you may conceive of or anything special on your shopping list.
Do you have almond extract on your grocery list? No problem. You will find it in the first grocery store you visit. Are you looking for a particular brand or popular style of jeans? No sweat. You’ll find them in a number of locations in exactly your size and chosen fashion.
|Tusker, last night in the dark of night, hung around for a few hours,|
But, in Marloth Park and surrounding areas, certain items are difficult to find often requiring a more than an hour drive to be presented with a few less than ideal options.
|A pair of hornbills sharing the bird feeder.|
Sure, one could drive to Nelspruit, (where the airport is located) but still not find what they’re seeking, certainly not, the style, the price or the size. We don’t bother to make the long drive unless we’re flying somewhere as we will in 17 days to make the “visa run” to Zambia, required every 90 days.
In the realm of things, for us, none of this matters. There’s always a workaround of one sort or another. Last week, when we grocery shopped on Thursday, the Obaro store where we purchase pellets for wildlife was totally out of pellets.
|In attempting to recognize different animals within a species, we search for variances in their markings. In this case, of Ms. Bushbuck, her lower facial marking is a round dot as opposed to an oval dot. Another identical-looking female bushbuck has two white dots similar to the upper dot in this photo. Now we can distinguish between the two females.|
We usually purchase three 40 kg (88 pounds) bags which will last a little over two weeks with all the visitors we have here. There were other options if the stock never returned for a while. We could pay a higher price (as much a 30% more) where they were available at other locations.
|Very distant photo taken a few days ago at the overlook entitled “Two Trees” across the Crocodile River and up the hill to Kruger.|
We’re slowly doling out our last bag of pellets, instead focusing on tossing the carrots and apples. This morning, I called Obaro and the pellets are again back in stock. We’ll head out in a few days to purchase more.
One week there will be celery at the market. The next three weeks there won’t be any. It’s the ways it is. We’ve learned to accept these situations and be flexible in our meal planning.
|Big Daddy was drinking from our cement pond.|
Over the weekend, I opened two bottles of my favorite low-alcohol red wine, called Skinny Red by Four Cousins, a South African brand which also carries many wine options that aren’t low-alcohol, to find both bottles had gone bad (turned bubbly and vinegary). This has happened at least ten times in the past several months.
In each case, we’ve returned the bad bottles to the Spar Supermarket in Komatipoort where we’d purchased the wine and were quickly given a refund without a receipt, no questions asked. In the realm of things, it just doesn’t really matter. We’ll purchase more when we return to Spar in the next few days.
|He seemed content after pellets and a few big gulps of water.|
In certain instances, expiration dates have long past on some items in the market. No worries. We don’t purchase those. Also, most recently, we’ve been dealing with the fact that the package we had sent from the US on May 28th has yet to arrive.
|Wildebeest Willies stops by almost every evening.|
There was a strike slowing it down. Right now, it’s still “stuck” in Pretoria. We have no idea when and if it will eventually arrive. This is probably the situation most likely to cause a certain degree of frustration.
There are power outages every few weeks some lasting a short while and others lasting for several hours. In the realm of things, it really doesn’t matter, as long as our food doesn’t spoil. It hasn’t as yet.
|We can always count on a visit from Tusker and friends.|
However, we don’t forget that in the US during the stormy season, we could be out of power for days. We don’t forget that fe had trouble with the TV cable company for years, often requiring service once a month, never seeming to be resolved.
We recall dealing with incorrect statements for medical bills, utilities, and more. We easily recall the difficulty in handling specific insurance claims, often requiring tremendous time and effort.
|Mom, babies, and Tusker seem to get along while nibbling on pellets.|
Now, we don’t have medical bills (we pay cash when we have an occasional doctor or dentist appointment). We don’t pay for utilities or cable bills (we don’t watch TV). And, we don’t handle any insurance claims. In many ways, this life is easier even amid occasional incompetency and slow service.
Wherever one resides, there are inconveniences, annoyances, and frustrations. I suppose it is how we handle these situations that determine the overall quality of our lives. We chose to take an attitude of “it just doesn’t matter.”
If we have our health, well being, safety and financial stability (by sticking to our budget) and, each other, the rest is of little cause for worry or concern…in the realm of things.
Photo from one year ago, July 30, 2017:
|Tom’s Reuben sandwich with chips (fries) when we were out to dinner and movie with son Richard and friends on our last night in Henderson, Nevada. For more details, please click here.|