No word on the funeral date yet…Tom’s departure up in the air…What about his pending visa extension…

We spotted this leaf insect on the outdoor refrigerator door. The Phasmida (stick and leaf insects) are plant-eating insects, often resembling sticks or broad leaves. They do not have their hindlegs adapted for jumping as in the closely related order Orthoptera (grasshoppers, katydids, crickets, and relatives). While there are about 3000 species, only about 30 are leaf insects.

Tom is still waiting to hear from his niece when her father and his brother Jerome’s funeral and memorial service will be held in order to book his round-trip flight to the US. He has to time it correctly to ensure he is still in the US on March 9. the expiration date on our current visas.

If he returns after March 9, which he will, he will receive a new 90-day stamp to reenter South Africa will cancel the requirement for his pending visa extension we did with the law firm in Cape Town. Since I am staying behind, the visa extension will continue as planned. At some point, I’ll have to go to Nelspruit to the immigration office to open the “secret” envelope to determine my new visa extension date.

This morning, I wrote to the law firm to explain the situation and ask if there are any issues we need to be aware of before Tom leaves to ensure there are no surprises. I just heard back from the law firm, and he is good to go. He only needs to bring the receipt we received when we submitted the visa extension a few weeks ago. I found his receipt, which he will place in his passport.

Hopefully, the required exit dates will coincide as to when we will be required to leave South Africa. If those dates are different, which we expect, we will leave together on the earliest date. Fortunately, we haven’t had to book a flight out yet and will do so once we know more. We don’t stress about not knowing. We’ve both become used to having travel plans “up in the air.”

Today in the US, Jerome’s family will meet with the funeral director to arrange the service. With the eight-hour time difference, Tom won’t hear anything until later this evening, most likely after we return home from Jabula. Tom still wants to go about our normal lives while he waits to make plans for his departure to the US.

Leaf mimicry often is elaborate among the leaf insects, with the insects’ wings and legs closely imitating leaf color and form. Female elytra typically resemble, in their vein pattern, the midrib and veins in a leaf. Some species are even adorned with markings that resemble spots of disease or damage, including holes. Nymphs may sway side to side as though mimicking the movement of a leaf in the wind. Leaf mimicry is thought to play an important role in defense against predators. Some species possess rows of tubercles on their antennae that, when rubbed together, produce sounds that may also serve to ward off predators.

Once we know and he books the flight, we’ll head to Komati for a few things I’ll need while he’s away. At this point, we don’t know how long he’ll be gone, but most likely, it will be for a week or more. We shopped last Thursday, and although I won’t fuss over meals for myself, I’ll need a few items to last while he’s away and also for the first few dinners after he returns.

I don’t want Tom to have to grocery shop with me as soon as he returns after over 36 hours of travel time. He always recovers quickly after no sleep on the plane, but we’ve rarely felt like embarking on a big shopping trip right after we return from a long travel period.

Am I concerned about being alone in the bush for eight or ten days and nights? The reason bush houses often have a security system using a security company in Marloth Park is due to several break-ins and attacks at times. But this house has a good alarm system connected to a local service, and a security vehicle could be here in about three minutes.

I will keep the house keys with the emergency key fob in the bedroom. If anything worries me, I’d only have to push the red button to immediately alert the security company to head this way. Plus, that button triggers a loud alarm that won’t shut off until disarmed by the alarm company or me.

As for the animals, I have no fear whatsoever. If the lions show up, I’ll go inside the house. The other animals pose no risk as long as I continue to respect their space as we always do.

I won’t have a car while Tom is away, but Louise and Danie will help as needed, and I’m sure friends at Jabula will ensure I have a ride both ways if I decide to go on Friday or Saturday nights if Tom is still; away. If I don’t need to go to the market, which I won’t, otherwise, I won’t need transportation.

In tomorrow’s post, we’ll likely know more and report here accordingly. No words can express the gratitude Tom and I feel over the multitudes of thoughtful condolences expressed by our family, readers/friends on our site and Facebook. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and condolences over losing Tom’s dear brother Jerome.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, March 3, 2022:

Our resident tree frog lives atop this structural post on the veranda. She croaks intermittently during the day but ramps it up at night, communicating with other frogs. For more photos, please click here.

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