Last night together with new friends along with old friends…The frustration with our shipments…

Zebras stopped by this morning for pellets. As mentioned, they “eat and run.” Of course, that’s Lollie and Busybody photobombing in the background.

As it turned out, Rita and Gerhard didn’t get back in time from their trip to join the rest of us for dinner last night at Jabula. Louise, Danie, Lee, Marylin, and Gary, and we had a great time together, knowing this would be the last time we’d see Marylin and Gary, and Lee for a while.

After Marylin and Gary followed our site since 2012, we easily fell into a close and meaningful friendship, one we’ll always treasure. Hopefully, we look forward to their return to Marloth Park while we’re still here or at least down the road when we’ve returned after being away on our future adventures.

The seven of us engaged in lively conversation that flowed easily as we sipped on our beverages and ate our usual delicious food. Owners Dawn and Leon were away for a few days, but David, their reliable assistant, was as warm, efficient, and helpful as always. His support staff was always on the ball to ensure we had everything needed. It was a lovely night.

If we don’t quickly deliver pellets to them, they rush off, whereas others will wait patiently.

Back home before 9:00 pm, 2100 hrs., we streamed one episode of The Blacklist, season 9, and hunkered down for a much-needed good night’s sleep. It was the first night in a week that I’d doubled the dose of the medication I was taking to help with the pain, per Doc Theo’s instructions. I repeat that 10 mg dose tonight, and then tomorrow night, I double it again to 20 mg, hoping to take care of it. If it works, I’ll continue to take the medication for a few months and see what happens when I gradually reduce the dose.

The good part about this off-label use of the drug, it causes drowsiness; that’s why it’s taken at night. Last night, I slept much better on the 10 mg, although I woke up several times in the middle of the night but easily fell back to sleep right away. We’ll see how it goes.

In July, I ordered a shipment of supplies to be sent to us using UPS through our mailing service, MailLinkPlus, in Las Vegas, Nevada. We ordered everything we needed from the US to be sent to the mailing service, and then they packed it up into one box and sent it to us in one box weighing 23 pounds, 10.4 kg.

They are handsome but don’t have much personality when around humans. I suppose that is why they were never domesticated and used for farming or riding.

The box was received in Johannesburg on August 2; we still don’t have it. So far, we’ve had to pay customs fees of about ZAR 400, US $23.35 but expect more fees to be assessed before they release the package to be delivered. The health minister doesn’t like the several packages of Crystal Light Iced Tea in the box, concerned it is a health hazard to the “community.”

Yesterday, after staying on top of this for weeks, we received a request for product information on the iced tea, which is in the form of a powder to be mixed with water. This product is the top iced tea mix sold in the US. Similar products are sold in South Africa but we don’t like their taste after trying several.

Subsequently, we’ve always brought in the iced tea or had it shipped to us in the past, never having had an issue in the past. We will be charged a “health inspection fee” for an undetermined amount, for which we’ll be notified within five business days. Go figure. Why??? We must comply, or per their comments, the entire package will be destroyed or…

This is Jasmine, who often visits with her young son, Johnny.

It’s frustrating, to say the least. We had an equally awful scenario with a package when we were in lockdown in India for ten months, awaiting to receive a package from the US. We thought it was due to the pandemic but the amount of paperwork required for us to receive the package was unbelievable. Was this a UPS issue in both cases, or is this an issue generated by customs and import laws? To us, it’s a means for countries to make money by receiving innocuous supplies from foreign countries.

I hesitate to say this, but perhaps this should be the last time we order supplies from the US. How prepared will we have to be when visiting the US next time to ensure we have everything we need on hand? It’s tricky. It is one of those things that result from our long-term commitment to continue to travel the world.

This morning I got up extra early to ensure I sent the pdf document to UPS per the requirement, but it wasn’t easy finding it online. As a result, I made a document copying information I found on Amazon, where we purchased the iced tea using the product information supplied to them via Crystal Light Corporation. I requested they email with an acknowledgment of receipt of the information, which they did promptly, and now we wait for four to five business days to see what happens next.

This is the ramp Danie made for our friend Jeff coming from the US in about ten days. It’s very sturdy.

Marylin and Gary stopped by this morning before they fly to Joburg for a few days, and then they are off on a cruise. They gave us a bag of leftover food for the mongooses and some items. How sweet of them. Tom eye-balled the potato in the bag and a can of syrupy pears.  He said we could give the animals the potatoes but he’d eat the can of pears. Besides, we’d never give the wildlife food containing sugar.

It was hard to say goodbye, but we know we’ll see them again.  What a wonderful time we all had together. Tonight, we will stay in. Tom will have leftover meatballs and Italian sauce, topped with grated mozzarella cheese, and I’ll have a salmon salad. We’ll both have a crispy lettuce salad with homemade dressing.

Have a lovely day!

Photo from one year ago today, September 6, 2021:

Pretty female kudu at Frikkee’s Dam. For more photos, please click here.

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