Saturday night dinner party…we were the guests this time!

Hans built a roaring fire to which he later added a grate in order to cook a full beef tenderloin without  the use of charcoal or lighter fluid. Check out that moon smiling down on us!

The last time we were invited to dinner was for a freshly caught fish dinner while we were living in Belize last March. Our then new friends, Nancy and Roger, had been fishing the prior day, landing a giant grouper and they were excited to share it with us, sending us home with a few pounds of grouper to cook for ourselves at a later date. 

Only moments before we left for Hans’ and Jeri’s home, we were finally able to snap a photo of the female to the little yellow birds that are so shy and quick that we’ve had trouble getting a shot.  Apparently, their reticence is due to the frequent attacks by viscous black birds.  Only a few days ago, Hans showed us where a black bird had snatched baby birds out of a nest. 
We arrived at their home before the sunset to find Hans preparing the fire.

We couldn’t have had more fun that evening as was the case on many more evenings of great food, drink and conversation that we shared with them and their friend Bill during our almost three months in Belize. 

Prior to sunset these flowers in their yard caught my eye.  The combination of the pink and peach coloration is truly a gift from Mother Nature, whom we dearly appreciate.

These bright white bougainvillea are also irresistible.

Living in the remote, although lovely location of Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy gave us little opportunity to make new friends, the language barrier as an obstacle. 

The dinner table for 4 was set on the grass, well lit with candles, beyond their inviting veranda.

In the almost three weeks we’ve been living in Diani Beach, Kenya, we’ve had the opportunity to develop a great relationship with Hans and Jeri, our landlords, next door neighbors and now friends that surely will continue when we’re on our way once again. 

The table was set on the well manicured lawn.  With the balmy breeze and the fire roaring, the mosquitoes stayed away, although we were well armed wearing our BugsAway clothing.

Having had such an extraordinary time on Friday evening, dining in the moonlight at the Blue Marlin Restaurant, located on the Indian Ocean, we hardly felt deserving of another extraordinary night last night. 

Their yard was aglow not only from candles scattered about the lawn but also by landscape lighting focusing on the exquisite vegetation.

We had a perfect evening dining in Hans and Jeri’s yard which they had exquisitely staged for our arrival. The brilliant moonlight in plain view only added to the  charm of the evening. With graciously considered delicious food befitting my way of eating, Gucci and Jessie at our feet, the free flowing beverages, the roaring wood fire on which Hans cooked a full tenderloin over a custom made grate, we couldn’t have felt more appreciative.

Tom was content with his big bottles of beer while I drank my usual homemade ice tea, which I’d brought over.  Few sugar free drinks are available in Kenya prompting me to bring my own beverage.  Since leaving the US we’ve noticed that ice is seldom used in drinks and when dining out a request must be made to get ice in any drink.

Exhausted from a night of poor sleep the prior night, I easily forgot my lethargic state and got into the festivities. They couldn’t have been better hosts. We couldn’t have enjoyed ourselves more.  Thank you Hans and Jeri for a memorable evening.

We our safari clothing, BugsAway pants and shirts to keep the mosquitoes at away. Plus, I’d previously lathered up with repellent on my arms and ankles. Sure, I’d rather have worn a “cute” outfit (of which I have only a few) but preventing bites has become more important than fashion. 

Jeri was the perfect hostess, stress free, at ease with serving her guests. The smoke from the fire is wafting through the air.  The wind kept changing often pushing a huge puff of smoke our way.

We’ve yet to be inflicted with a single mosquito bite beneath our short sleeve shirts and long pants. Oh, I wish I’d known about this clothing while living in the mosquito capital of the planet, Minnesota. 

This morning I washed my shirt again by hand hanging in our outdoor living room to dry, hoping it will be ready by 5:00 pm, when we “dress” for the evening, literally every night.  With it raining all day today and the usual high humidity, it often takes days for a single item of clothing to dry.

Hans breezed through the cooking of the tenderloin mindful of ensuring the meat was cooked to the liking of his guests. Mine was perfect, rare with a warm center.  Tom’s was medium rare, as he likes it.

Spending from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm in our outdoor living room each day and evening, we’ve resigned ourselves to the necessity of wearing these same clothes night after night. During the day, we can wear other clothing provided I am covered with the non-toxic repellent. 

Tom rarely is bit during daylight hours.  Under the mosquito netting at night, we’re totally safe from the mosquitoes but not necessarily the crawling things.

 Each night, we check under the pillows and sheets for anything that may be lurking in wait of our succulent flesh. Each time we put on our shoes, we look inside, tipping them over and slapping them to ensure no creature lies in wait.

Our biggest annoyance here has been the same species of enormous black hornet (or wasps) that luckily warn us by their loud buzzing alerting us to take immediately take cover. We’d experienced what appeared to be the same “creature” in Italy and there too, both of us ran to hide when we’ve heard it coming. We’re both allergic to wasps, hornets and bees stings, carrying several Epipens with us. 

Twice today, we hid in the kitchen while the giant black buzzer tried swarming us. Finally, he flew out of range of our outdoor living room, surely to return as the day progresses.

Here I am, bleary eyed from not enough sleep wearing my every day powder blue BugsAway  shirt which is a definite lifesaver.  See my repellent on the table next to Tom’s beer? Its always at my side, just in case.

Oh, I get sidetracked with biting things. Non biting insects neither scare us or cause us concern.  But, in Kenya, with so many insects it’s best to stay as far away as possible if unsure as to whether it’s poisonous or not.

In any case, we had a memorable evening last night, adding to our repertoire of events that will remain with us year after year as we continue on our world travels.

The roof line in this photo is actually our house next door.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with details of all new future bookings we’ve locked up in the past few days, sharing details, photos and pricing with our much appreciated readers.

See you then!

Comments and responses Saturday night dinner party…we were the guests this time!

  1. Anonymous Reply

    Hi Jessica,
    Thanks for answering my email and for the sweet message.
    Your pictures again are breathtaking. I don't know how you manage to take such great pictures and so many.
    Hans and Jeri sound like nice landlords and friends to have. They sure made your dinner look like they were expecting the King and Queen. I imagine you felt like one too. The food on the menus are always so elaborate, wow, a full beef tenderloin. And his lighting up the yard was so pretty. I used to think that I would not like having the living area on an outside veranda, but now I kind of like the idea.
    The flowers almost look artificial, they are so perfect. God is so creative with His world.
    I find it amazing how the two of you have seemed to adapt so well. If you ever do become unhappy with your living conditions, I guess it would help knowing that you will be moving on soon enough.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Pat and Dan

  2. Jessica Reply

    Pat & Dan, you comments always make me smile. Knowing that you both and others are enjoying our photos and posts makes it all worth the time it takes for several hours each day.

    Yes, God made no mistakes when He created living things. There's a purpose for the beautiful and for the less beautiful. We have the responsibility to appreciate it all, whether animals, humans or our natural surroundings. That appreciation consists of our personal mission to travel the world.

    Capturing as much as we can of these gifts of nature in photos is a task I struggle with each day. A year ago, I couldn't take a decent photo of one of our precious grandchildren's smiles without blurring the image.

    Now, I see beauty in even the ugliest bug. I have so much to learn, still yet a novice, but I continue to try to capture interesting shots.

    Bear with me on my feeble attempts at times. I don't edit the photos in any manner. What you see is what I took.

    Today, I am writing about "moving on" to fill some gaps in our itinerary.

    Back to writing my post now. Thanks for your ongoing comments, each one fully appreciated.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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