Our 14-day self quarantine is over!!…But, caution remains in Marloth Park…

Bushbucks are one of the most widespread kinds of African antelopes. Their small size, coloring, and reclusive behavior helps them survive close to human settlements and in very small habitats. Bushbuck horns have a single twist and smooth edges.

The heading of our post, one year ago today reads: “The flurry of activity has begun…2 days and counting…Not freaking out about Coronavirus…” Little did we know at that time. It wasn’t until six weeks later that we ended our private tour of India, after which we began the 10-month process of trying to figure out how to get to South Africa.

And now, here we are now, 14 days after we finally arrived in Marloth Park, South Africa on January 13, 2021, and the following has transpired:

  • Power outages, no less than 8 times, including a 29-hour outage a few days ago
  • WiFi outages,  no less than five times, including two extended periods
  • Cyclone Eloise, dumping 200 mm, 7,9 inches rain in Marloth Park with high winds at times
  • Flooding in many parts of Kruger National Park
  • A highly venomous Boomslang snake visiting our veranda within inches of us, within days of our arrival
  • Outrageous heat and humidity (which has returned today as Cyclone Eloise passed)

    Frank, The Misses, and The Chicks reside in our garden along with other francolins. They are friendly, noisy, and entertaining birds.

And then, of course, we’ve enjoyed the following perks in the past 14-days during our self-imposed quarantine:

  • Reveling in up close and personal interactions with many wildlife including giraffes, kudu, warthogs, wildebeest, bushbuck, impala, mongoose, Franks, hornbills, many other birds, and, of course, our snake.
  • A few highly enjoyable masked/social distancing, get-together with Louise and Danie
  • Dining on beef no less than eight times in the past 14 days, cooking our own meals. Yeah!
  • Washing clothes in the washing machine in the kitchen and hangin them to dry on a rack. After handwashing all of our clothes for 10 months, this has been a treat
  • Spending no less than 12 hours a day in the fresh air on the veranda enjoying Mother Nature at her finest
  • Enjoying the freedom of moving around the house with all the space we need
  • For me, exercising on a rented treadmill Louise found for me on Facebook which Zef delivered
  • Receiving an endless stream of supportive email messages and comments from our dear family/readers/friends

    The waterbuck is a large antelope found widely in sub-Saharan Africa. It is placed in the genus Kobus of the family Bovidae. It was first described by Irish naturalist William Ogilby in 1833. The thirteen subspecies are grouped under two varieties: the common or Ellipsiprymnus waterbuck and the Defassa waterbuck. Please, visitors and locals, stay away from the fence while waterbucks are on the wrong side of the rising river. They are easily stressed and frightened and could become injured in a rush to escape from humans.

The list of the wonderfulness could go on and on, mainly for the simple pleasure of life. As a result, the above less-than-desirable scenarios have been all the more tolerable. Then again, during our previous 18 months spent in Marloth Park in 2013/2014 and again in 2018/2019, many of the above scenarios transpired during those times.

Even then, we were grateful to be here, tolerating the nuances of living in Africa, especially after we spent three months in Kenya in 2013 before coming to South Africa, where conditions were much more challenging than here.

We drove past this unusual cactus shape.

Such conditions in Kenya included; nowhere to sit inside the house other than on the bed; lived only on the veranda day and night; no air-con in the bedroom making sleep impossible; continually looking out for venomous insects on the floors, walls, ceilings and in our shoes, a tiny galley kitchen only suitable for one person at a time, making cooking painstaking and difficult; high risk of crime, guards at our house 24/7, armed military at grocery stores, ATMs, and other venues. This list went on and on.

A local, protecting their plants from animals. There are mixed opinions on plants in Marloth Park such as “Shouldn’t all the plants be suitable for the diets of the wildlife? Isn’t this their territory?”

By the time we arrived in Marloth Park, directly after leaving Kenya, this lifestyle was easy comparatively. Louise’s homes always have great fully equipped kitchens, air-con in bedrooms; fewer insects; and overall, more comforts and conveniences. Yes, it’s still Africa, hot, humid and at times, uncomfortable. And yes, at times there are dangerous snakes or potentially dangerous other creatures among us.

We drove by “The Orange” house which is now for sale. We love this location so much, we aren’t missing the former house where we stayed for 15 months in 2018/2019/

However we look at it, we belong here. And yes, we’ll miss the socialization we so cherished due to Covid-19 but surely somehow we’ll manage to get together with trusted friends and neighbors, exercising the utmost of caution and diligence to stay free of Covid-19. As for the vaccine here in South Africa, it could be a year until it’s available to us.

We made it through the first year of the dreadful virus and we hope and pray we’ll make it through the next.

Baboons, who are annoying and destructive, are seated in the garden of a house we drove by.

Stay safe. Wear a mask covering your mouth and nose. Protect yourself. Protect others. Our 14-day quarantine flew by, albeit eventfully so, as shown above, and we’re no worse for the wear!

Photo from one year ago today, January 27, 2020:

Three years ago today, we wrote: “This is unreal…the Black Browed Albatross on Steeple Jason Island, Antarctica, remove tall grass from these massive “pod-like” structures, adding mud and vegetation to make it a freestanding pod on which they can nest. Here’s a young chick making a little noise while atop her/his elevated nest.  That’s amazing!” See the post here. For text from the year-ago post, please click here.

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