Out! Out! and out some more!!! We’re back up!!…

Mom and Baby Zebra were waiting to cross the road.During the night, our water cooler leaked all the water from a fresh bottle onto the floor. No big deal. Zef was here this morning and fixed the issue. No big deal. This morning at about 7:30 am, the power went out. A big deal. Eskom, the unreliable electric company, is supposedly working on it. I won’t blame the workers. They seem to work hard to resolve issues as they occur.

Several hours ago, the WiFi went down. A big deal for us. It most likely doesn’t have anything to do with the power outage since often, when the power is down, we still have WiFi. The service provider is working on it. We shall see how this goes. In the worst case, I will upload a short post from my phone using its pricey data plan through Google Fi. (As I prepare to upload this post, the power is back on!)

It is so hot and humid today. It isn’t easy to breathe. We’ve been sweating like crazy. An occasional respite in the bedroom with the air-con on wouldn’t have been possible without power. However, our almost fully charged inverter allowed the fan in the bedroom to work until it ran out of juice. Not knowing when the power would be restored,  we avoided using the fan. We saved the inverter power for recharging our phones and laptops.

I have to wear clothes with a lot of coverage due to the mozzies. Right now, I am wearing a tee-shirt, jeans, and heavy socks. The mosquitoes love to bite my ankles, bare arms, neck, and hands, regardless of how much repellent I add to my bare skin several times a day. I am covered in bites from the past several days.

Tiny rarely misses a day visiting us. Each time he stops by, he is tentative at first. But, he becomes more at ease as we talk to him.

Yes, I know. I promised not to whinge (to complain about these things) once we got out of that hotel room in India. Overall, we are fine. Tom and I don’t complain to one another about any of these issues. It doesn’t make it any easier if we do. Instead, we find ways to busy ourselves, playing games on our phones, which I’ll do when I’m done preparing the day’s post while offline, to which I won’t be able to add photos and eventually upload until the WiFi returns some point.

Yesterday, we used the oven to roast a beef brisket that was very fatty and boney, but the meat turned out delicious. With the fridge not working due to the power outage, we reheated the meat on the braai to eat it before it spoils. After lunch, we tossed dozens of bones to a 60 member band of mongooses. They love the little bones, eating the marrow and the scrapes of meat and fat. They bang to bones against the wall of the swimming pool in an attempt to “crack them open” for better access to the marrow. It was fun to watch.

A lone frequent warthog visitor, whom we’ve aptly named “Lonely Boy,” stopped by for a few hours. He’s easy to identify when one of his warts on the left side of his head is droopy and larger than the wart on the right side. We make a point of remembering little odd markings on the different species, making it easy to identify our regulars. We call them by the names we’ve given them, knowing full well at the bush house down the road, they are called by different names, not ours.

No doubt, giraffes like to get a load off their feet from time to time. Giraffes are the tallest land animals. “Female giraffes are up to 4.2 meters, 14 feet tall, and weigh up to 680 kg, 1,500 pounds. Meanwhile, males are up to 5.5 meters, 18 feet tall, and can weigh 1361 kg, 3,000 pounds.”

Any animal could have dozens of names as they wander through their preferred territory. But, oddly, once we’ve called them by a specific name a dozen times or so, they respond. Whether it’s the response to my high-pitched voice or the reputation we’ve bestowed upon them, remains to be seen. In any case, it’s great for us to see their ears perk up and see them look into our eyes when we mention their names. It’s all a part of the joy of being in Marloth Park.

Yesterday, we headed to Daisy’s Den, the feed store, to purchase a 5 kg, 11 pounds bag of birdseed. Frank and The Family have been enjoying the seeds, stopping by several times a day, squealing, making his loud Francolin noise to let us know he wants more. We appreciate it every time he stops by. Even if we’re indoors, we know he is, thereby the sounds he makes.

While we were out and about, we drove for a while in the park, looking for photo ops, and found only a few, which we’re sharing in today’s new photos. We’ve yet to see the ostrich family, we’ve heard so much about but continue on a mission to meet up with them at some point soon.

Impalas as seen across the Crocodile River.

We’re never disappointed to see giraffes and zebras. Oddly, since our arrival, no zebras have entered our garden. We believe it’s due to the low-lying brush surrounding the property that makes it difficult for them to get through. Nor have we seen any Big Daddies in our garden, the huge fully horned kudu bulls, again perhaps for the same reason.

Driving around Marloth Park provides us with an opportunity to see even more wildlife. The municipality road workers are busy grading the rough dirt roads to make it easier for cars to pass. It will take a while for this job to be completed. In the interim, it’s really risky to drive the roads with many dangerous ravines, deep trenches, and potholes. When we drive, we often have to turn around, unable to go forward without risking damage to the rental car or even getting stuck, neither of which we’re willing to risk.

Yes, it would be more sensible to rent a car with a 4-wheel drive, but based on how long we stay, the cost of such a vehicle is prohibitive. We make this sacrifice to keep our costs under control, something we always consider in our world travels.

We can’t resist taking photos of the growing Helmeted Guinea-fowl chicks with Mom or Dad.

Our friends, Linda and Ken, will arrive in Marloth Park sometime tomorrow. We’re excited to see them over the weekend. They will be staying at friends Kathy and Don’s home in the bush along the Crocodile River. Kathy and Don are waiting to get their Covid vaccines in Hawaii, their other home, until they head this way. That makes sense. It will be fantastic when we all can be together again, along with other friends who may arrive over the next several months.

I just heard from Louise. The power outage is a result of Vervet Monkeys climbing up an electric pole. Sadly, they were electrocuted, resulting in a power outage. They were high up on the pole; It could have been all day before the power was restored. What a relief! But, as I finish up this post, the power and WiFi are both back on.

Have a great day!

Photo from one year ago today, February 25, 2020:

Perfection! A painting from a local artist we met at the resort at the Kanha National Park. For more, please click here.

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