Saying goodbye to all of our friends, human and animal…Saying goodbye to Marloth Park and South Africa…

Tangled necks!  Love it!
Yesterday, as we approached the 13 giraffes, we were all excited!
As they began to gather…


As they began to untangle…

By far, this is the most difficult of all of the goodbyes since leaving the US many moons ago. Tonight will be our last night’s dinner at Jabula Lodge. Okee Dokee will join us as our guest trying to squeeze out every last moment with her. Saying goodbye to her, to Zeff today, to Dawn and Leon tonight and to Louise and Danie tomorrow, won’t be easy. 

Giraffes hogging the road. We happily waited for them to move.
“Oh, oh, I’d better get out of the way!”

At 4:00 pm today, Okee Dokee will pick us up to head to the Crocodile River one last time to say goodbye to the wildlife in Kruger National Park. 

Mr. Tree Frog sits on his perch in the rafters, returning for the sixth time in these past few weeks at the African Reunion House, staring at us most of the day, occasionally closing his eyes for a nap. 

Clive, our friendly neighborhood Ostrich, was hanging out in the driveway of the same house where we’d first met him, almost three months ago. He also visited us at the little house.
Life is simple for Clive as he wanders about, visiting houses, foraging for vegetation with a “bird’s eye view” of the world.

At 4:00 am I awoke to the sound of him wildly croaking, simply being a frog. If anything, my attachment to him is as if he were a representative for all the “small things” that have brought us so much joy in Marloth Park, let alone the “big things.”

Our resident tree frog continues to watch us most days. He ventures off this ledge in the ceiling of the veranda every few days for food and water, returning to this exact spot. We’ve counted six return visits thus far. How does one find it difficult to say goodbye to a frog? With the same childlike wonder, we all possessed at one time, that freely come to the surface when living in this wonderland.

Mrs. Warthog and babies stopped by several times yesterday as if she knows we’re leaving soon. We hope to see them one more time.

Giraffe at sunset.

The photos we’re posting today were taken yesterday morning when Louise and Danie picked us up at the tented lodge. Only a few blocks from the African Reunion House, we were “gifted” with a few joy-filled sightings; 13 giraffes near the road, “Clive,” the ostrich, and later in the day, two giraffes walking through the yard on a mission. 

These two were more interested in this tasty bush than us taking photos with flash as night fell.

I was on a Skype call with my sister and didn’t take photos, instead, describing every detail to her as they raced through the yard. (We don’t always use video on Skype to keep data use under control when talking to grownups).

Packed? Almost done. Yesterday, I tossed out no less than 10 pounds, 4.5 kg of old worn clothing. I think the weight of my bags will be OK. It’s funny how I now have little interest in clothing, shoes, and accessories, only needing enough until the next wash cycle.

A few minutes ago, Tom asked me if I feel sad about leaving. I do. I know that once the guy meets us at the taxi stand (no cars allowed in the Medina) with the little wooden cart to wheel our luggage the 10-minute walk to our new home, Dar Aicha, in Marrakesh, Morocco, where we’ll reside for the next two and a half months, I’ll be smiling and once again taking photos.

See if you can find five giraffe heads popping up in the bush!

But, the memories of Marloth Park, Kruger Park, and South Africa will linger in our hearts and minds forever, eternally grateful for the experience. We’ve changed in many ways from our time in South Africa, and again in Kenya. How we’ve changed has not been easy to describe.

We’ve become more tolerant of discomfort, more attune to our surroundings, more appreciative of the perfection that God created (or whatever or whomever you may believe as our maker) when He created us, His creatures, and His vegetation, all which is magical in the manner in which it relates to our universe.

For only a second, he picked up his head out from this bush.

We’ve come to understand that the oldest human remains found on this planet were found in Africa, known as the “Cradle of Mankind.”  The science and history are clear. It’s no wonder to me that I’ve felt a powerful sensation of being “home” while in Africa. Perhaps, that infinitesimal aspect of our DNA explains this phenomenon for me.

I’ve come to better understand my way of eating while in Africa while watching the animals forage for what their bodies need. Man/woman was intended to eat the available food in their environment, the hunter-gatherer concept; meat and vegetation, the core of my daily diet. 

It’s all here in Africa, the vast array of nuts growing wild and farmed, the free-range chickens and resulting eggs, the grass-fed meat, and a plethora of vegetation befitting human consumption, easily grown in the chemical-free fertile soil in a land that overall, abhors chemicals in food. 

Thus, dear readers, we continue on…on to our unknown future, less fearful, more accepting, more at peace than ever before. We hope and pray for safe travel, however long and discomfited, to bring us to our next location, eyes wide open, full of wonder, and grateful to be alive.

Note: Tomorrow, before leaving for the airport in the early afternoon, we’ll post the total of final expenses for the three months we’ve spent in South Africa. As we travel to Morocco, we’ll be posting at varying times, in real-time, as to the progress on our 29-hour journey, while on four separate flights as we transverse the continent of Africa.

Close to our house, this giraffe was checking us out.  Unless a lion or leopard sneaks into Marloth Park (which happened a few times during our stay) there is little danger for most of the wildlife which primarily is herbivores. Their natural instinct keeps them constantly on the lookout for predators.  Lions and leopards can take down a giraffe.

Comments and responses Saying goodbye to all of our friends, human and animal…Saying goodbye to Marloth Park and South Africa…

  1. Anonymous Reply

    Jess & Tom

    Thanks for taking us with every day of your journey. The pictures have been wonderful. As you move on travel safely.

    Vikki & Bob

  2. Jessica Reply

    Vikki & Bob, so wonderful to hear from you once again. Thanks so much for you wishes for safe travel.
    The packing is almost completely done and we're set to go.

    We're so happy to know you're both enjoying our photos and stories. It means the world to us. We'll keep posting all the way through our long travel time over the next few days. So, please stay tuned.

    Warmest regards from both of us to both of you.
    Jess & Tom

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