|Little doesn’t disappoint. He stopped by this Christmas morning and began walking up the steps to the house. I found him on step #3 and encouraged him to eat outside. He complied. I tendered pellets, apples, and carrots. He ate the produce and left the pellets thinking about the human leftovers he could get elsewhere at a holidaymaker’s house, maybe chips, Christmas cookies, and marshmallows (not suitable for him). But, after all, he is a pig, and he likes junk food, too.|
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
|Ms. Bushbuck (no baby for this one) stopped by today on Christmas morning. We rewarded her generously.|
This is our seventh Christmas since we left Minnesota in 2012 to travel the world. We don’t have a Christmas tree, decorations, gifts, or a kitchen filled with baked goods and holiday treats. We didn’t send Christmas cards.
We didn’t awaken early this morning to make hot chocolate, coffee or savor the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven. We didn’t listen to Christmas music, turn on all the tree lights and the switches for the animated characters scattered about the house.
We didn’t look out the windows to see billowy puffs of snow atop the Weber grill, tree limbs sparkling with crystal-like coverings, and a frozen lake inviting ice skating, cross-country skiing, or ice fishing. Those days were over, eight Christmases ago.
Instead, this morning we awoke to intense humidity with the inside of the house feeling like an oven…it never seemed to cool off. Today’s expected high temperature should be about 40C (104F), and the thickness in the air leaves us sticky and sweaty.
The floors, washed yesterday, are sprinkled with live and dead insects that collected over the night. In the heat, the trash bin begins to smell from remnants of foods we cooked in the past 24 hours, but we can’t take outdoors for fear the monkeys or baboons will come. When the boys return to work tomorrow (after only one day off for Christmas), they’ll take it away as they always do.
|This Big Daddy stopped by for a visit on Christmas Day five years ago, at the Hornbill house. Tom said, “Here’s my Christmas gift for you…a reindeer.” I couldn’t have been more thrilled.|
I’d promised to bake Don’s favorite, a cherry pie, to bring to tonight’s Christmas dinner at his and Kathy’s bush home. But again, due to the intense humidity, I struggle with the pie crust.
Oh, oh, will this be another “pie day from hell” similar to my experience making pumpkin pies in the heat last month for our Thanksgiving dinner party? (See here for details).
But then, we threw open the two large front doors, and there it was, the bush green and lush from recent rains, Ms. Bushbuck and Baby waiting in the wings for their turn at some pellets, Frank and the Misses, chirping from a tree and walking up the steps and so far, on step #3, was my boy “Little” who’d come to call on Christmas morning.
Suddenly everything is right with the world. This is where we’re meant to be on this seventh Christmas of our world journey. In only 51 days, our time in Marloth Park will come to an end, and off we’ll go on to new wonders, new experiences, and making new friends, as we revel in Mother Nature’s magical hold on this planet.
Photo from one year ago today, December 25, 2017:
|Here was our Christmas Eve dinner last year in Palermo, Buenos Aires, which we repeated on Christmas Day when all the restaurants in the area were closed except for a few fixed-price menus served at 2100 hours (9:00 pm) with many foods I couldn’t eat. Instead, we stopped at a mini-mart deli to purchase this goofy meal. Nonetheless, we had a good Christmas as the only guests in the boutique hotel. For details of this and other Christmases in past years of world travel, please click here.|