Part 1 of 2…An old friend from Africa…Playing with my phone…

Are these Daffodils?

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

Click on our video of a fast-moving weather phenomenon in Atenas.

Playing around with my phone when we have a good Wi-Fi signal keeps me occupied during quiet times of the day and night. There are a few foolish games I play, one of which is a “jelly” thing that cuts me off after about 15 minutes requiring I wait for more opportunities to play or…pay. I don’t pay. I wait, entertaining myself elsewhere in the interim.

Then, of course, there’s email, Facebook, and various news apps I’ll read day or night, keeping me informed of what may actually be embellished, untrue, or blatant out-and-out lies. Oh, I won’t get into that.

Long driveway to a villa in the neighborhood.

A highlight of playing with my phone is at night when I can’t sleep. I attempt to avoid the bright screen facing Tom while he sleeps and stay huddled on the edge of the king-sized bed, facing away from him. It’s during those periods when sleep escapes me, often for a few hours during the night that my phone brings me much solace and entertainment. 

Over these past few years, I stopped worrying about being awake in the middle of the night.  If one studies anthropology and early humans, you’ll discover that millennium ago, humans often were awake in the middle guarding their camp, tending to the fire, and handling the myriad tasks required for basic survival. 

This is referred to as a “first” and “second” sleep. It may not be in our DNA to lay down and sleep for eight hours or more. Information on this topic may be found here at this site and many others.

Villa in the neighborhood.

Knowing this gave me peace of mind in not worrying about being awake at 3:00 am. Of course, the typical working life of citizens in many countries and its subsequent stressful lifestyle may require that they pack in as many hours of sleep as possible in order to manage the upcoming day.

Now, as a somewhat retired person, I rarely need to be concerned with how much consecutive sleep I accrue during the night. Although not much of napper, (neither is Tom) we both, with the same habit of waking up midway through the night, seem to do fine staying awake and alert during the day.


Most nights I fall back asleep at some point ending up with about six to seven hours of sleep, all I seem to need, especially when we’re having lazy days at the villa without a huge amount of physical activity. 

Oh, I’m no couch potato. Each day I end up putting thousands of steps on my Fitbit, at times as much as 10,000 only from moving around the villa. This is a huge house and I’ll have 2,000 steps knocked off before 8:00 am from just getting the day started. That’s a good thing.

There must be some type of solar panels on this roof.

Anyway, back to the phone at night…With friends all over the world, it’s not unusual for me to get a message on Facebook during the night. I keep the sound notification off to avoid waking either of us while sleeping. 

But, it’s kind of fun to begin chatting with a distant friend during those wide wake middle-of-the-night stints. I take my contact lenses out at night and need to use reading specs to read anything on the phone during the night. I keep a sturdy pair under my pillow for just such occasions.

Lavender Bougainvillea.

A few nights ago, I found myself chatting in Facebook Messenger with our safari guide, Anderson, with whom we’ve stayed in close touch since we worked with him in 2013. He left an indelible mark on us with the hope that should we return to Kenya, we’d definitely have him work with us again.

As we’ve contemplated future travels and our return to Africa we came to the conclusion that we won’t be returning to Kenya. We have other plans for Africa when we return in a mere six months. As a matter of fact, six months from today will be my 70th birthday which we plan to celebrate with our many friends in Marloth Park, South Africa.

Pretty little purple flowers.

The date is set for my party at Jabula Lodge in Marloth on February 20, 2018, and many of our wonderful South African friends already have it on their calendars. Thank you to my dear husband for offering me this extraordinary 70th birthday gift, a return to my favorite place in the world. 

I can’t wait to dine on Peri-Peri Chicken Livers at Jabula’s fabulous restaurant and spend time with owners Dawn and Leon with whom we became great friends. It was at this very location that we met and became friends with so many amazing people who taught us the ways of life in the bush. To see their faces in person, once again, is  truly a treat we look forward to with considerable enthusiasm.

These orange flowers were often seen in Hawaii. My friend Colleen who lived in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands for decades, wrote and explained that this flower is an Ixora. Such an unusual flower and name. Thanks, Colleen!

Tomorrow, before we head out to pick up the first rental car, we’ll complete this story, particularly as to how it relates to our dear old friend Anderson, our guide in the Masai Mara, Kenya, and how and if we’ll meet again.

May your day be fulfilling and pleasant. Ours certainly will be. We’re sitting here on the veranda now listening to one noisy cow or bull obviously suffering some degree of discontent or another. Along with all the sounds of the birds singing, the roosters crowing and the water bubbling in the pool, it’s all music to our ears.

Photo from one year ago today, August 20, 2016:

Colorful shrine in front of a private villa in our area in Phuket Thailand. For more photos and our story of how I dropped my phone in the toilet and the end result, please click here.

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