Pleasant Easter in the bush…What’s on the menu?…Utility and cost of living for us in the bush…

Notice the puffed-up cheek on this giraffe. Aa they eat vegetation, they store it in their cheeks for short periods.

We had a very pleasant Easter in the bush. Many visitors came to call which is unusual during holiday weekends. Last night, at one point, we had nine warthogs in the garden, getting along quite well, although Tiny was chasing Mom, of “Mom & Babies” for romantic purposes, while the two babies tagged along wondering “What the heck” was going on.

Laughter ensued from our places at the big table on the veranda as we watched these peculiar wild pigs interact with us and one another. Each evening when they start arriving around 4:00 pm, (1600 hours) we grab ourselves a beverage and sit back and enjoy the evening’s entertainment. Last night was one of the best.

This wildebeest was the first animal we saw on this morning’s drive through Marloth Park.

By the time they left, our dinner was ready which Tom had prepared on the braai. It wasn’t a fancy or varied Easter dinner as mentioned in yesterday’s post. Tonight’s meal will be a little more interesting; homemade mozzarella stuffed chicken breasts, well -seasoned and wrapped in back bacon to be baked in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. On the side, rice for Tom and eggs for me.

When the mosquitoes became fierce outdoors, we headed indoors to our bedroom, turned on the air-con, and streamed a few favorite shows on HBO Max on my laptop. We use the kitchen’s wood cutting board as a base for my laptop, to avoid it getting too hot while situated on the bed. We’ve learned to adapt to watching on the small screen which we keep fairly close between us.

Several electrical poles in Marloth Park are leaning like this, certainly contributing to power outages during storms.

From time to time, we sign up for additional streaming services after we’ve canceled another. At most times, we have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime and occasionally add another service for a particular show we’d like to stream.

In our old lives in the US, the cost of cable services was no less than  US $234, ZAR 3435, a month, almost 9 years ago. Of that total, US $79, ZAR 1160, was for unlimited WiFi, leaving US $155, ZAR 2275 a month for TV cable service with a few added select services.

We drove down Volstruis to find several giraffes munching on trees.

Now, with whatever streaming services we use during any given month, we usually spend about US $45, ZAR 661, and we’re free to cancel any one of those at any time. (Unlimited WiFi service is included in our rent here in Marloth Park). Soon, we’ll be dropping Netflix for a while since, during those 10 months in lockdown in the India hotel, we watched everything we wanted to see on that service.

Electricity, however challenging at times, is included in our rent, as well as running and bottled water, and gas for the braai. Our only living expenses in the bush consist of rent, groceries, and other supplies, dining out, pellets, fuel and car rental, tips for cleaning staff and servers.

It’s always delightful to spot giraffes.

Living in the bush in South Africa, we spend less than 50% of the expenses we’d bear if living in the US in a similar house, eating the same types of food, dining out once a week, and driving a similar economical car. Then again, what kind of a price tag can we put on the exquisite, daily experiences of being “one” with nature? For us, that is priceless!

Today, we’ll stay put once again with many tourists still in the park for a few more days. Once they leave, we’ll head to Kruger National Park and today, we commenced our frequent drives in the park searching for more and more photo ops which proved successful. It’s a peaceful, low-stress, highly entertaining, and enriching life here in the bush.

We were fortunate to get these shots this morning.

We remain grateful and humbled by nature and the humans surrounding us.

Off I go to work on the treadmill. Renting the treadmill has been another expense of US $40 a month, ZAR 587, but has proved to be well worth it, keeping me moving when I usually work out almost every hour during the day.

Munching on treetops.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, April 5, 2020:

Not quite sunset, sunny views over the Kenomane Bay in Kauai across the street from our condo in Princeville. Photos today from this post on this date, six years ago. For the year-ago post, please click here.

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