South of the equator…It’s spring here now…Monday was the hottest day so far…Power outages for over two days…Rain, rain and more rain…

Three rainy days in a row.  Humid.

As I lay in bed this past Monday morning thinking of getting up after a fitful night, to turn on the hot water heater for my shower, the sudden sound of the overhead fan going off, alerted me once again to a power outage. How long will it be this time? 

Lizards live inside the webbing of the chair. I’ve tried to get a photo, but they move too quickly. Jessie and Gucci chase them when they exit, to later spend hours looking at this chair, hoping for more action.

Here it is, now Thursday with our power finally stabilized on Wednesday. During several periods of time, we had no juice left in our computers and our smartphones were dying rapidly, leaving us with nothing to do but play Gin, which with Tom constantly beating me, was getting dull.

When the power would return in an hour or less, we’d quickly charge everything, repeating this process throughout the days. How we managed to write and post the blog, escapes me. I must be online with power to write in the website. 

As long as he keeps smiling…

Feeling hot and sticky from the humid nights after several reapplications of insect repellent, I decided to go the cold shower route two days in a row, which in this heat,  wasn’t so bad after all. After drying off, the usual lathering up with more insect repellent is a must before dressing for the day in the most minimal of clothing, shorts and a tank top. Tom sits around in a swimsuit on most days.

When the power returned for short periods, Tom showered and we both changed into our BugsAway long pants and shirts for the evening outdoors. It’s not easy to put on warmer clothing after such hot days with temperatures in the 32C+, 90F+(very humid heat) but, it is worth it. 

The ebony handmade base to the glass table where we sit each day.

Although there’s a generator here it seldom fulfills our needs. Hesborn has managed to get the generator going from time to time but it becomes difficult when the power goes on and of so frequently, often for hours at a time. 

With the gas-powered generator serving both houses and the likelihood of running out of gas quite high, we suggested he hold off using it until dark if need be. With no one here having a car, going out to get “petrol” would be inconvenient, to say the least, especially at night. 

Hand washing our underwear and placing it in the kitchen window seems to dry it more quickly than hanging it anywhere else inside. I no longer use the clothesline. The last time I walked out back to hang a few items in the tall grass, I was stung on my thigh, resulting in a very painful huge welt that eventually turned into a huge black bruise, lasting for weeks. 

It’s been raining in buckets since Tuesday, all day, all night. On Tuesday, the outdoor switch for the generator to our house blew out from the rain, making a loud sound. Then, neither the electricity nor the generator was working. 

We waited for the electrician to arrive, but with all the problems in the area, we anticipated that he wouldn’t arrive by nightfall. This would result in yet another night in the dark, all equipment dead; laptops, MiFis, and phones leaving only candlelight. To date, he hasn’t arrived.

Gucci, a fabulous watchdog is always on the lookout, mainly for monkeys. When he spots one, he “tells” Jessie and they run to the walk toward the monkey. They never bark at the monkey, knowing that the barking will chase it off..  Quietly, they wait, never “catching” one, thank goodness.  A baboon would tear them to shreds in self-defense.

With plans to go out for on Tuesday night with the power still off, Tom had no choice but, the cold shower route. Plus, as we wrote yesterday, we got soaked on the treacherous long path from the taxi to the restaurant and back. 

As I was writing this a few days, the power went out again. I had to shut down my laptop to save “juice” so we can have something to do in the dark, perhaps watch a downloaded TV show or movie. I’ll continue when the power returns at some point. 

Now, here it Thursday, one of three of our usual dining out nights. Tonight, we’ve decided to eat in, not interested in getting soaked again. None of the local restaurants are indoors with a close drop off point. 

Jessie waits patiently for a sign from Gucci that a chase is on following him in a flash. Although I adore them both, she and I have a very special bond.  This fluffy little mixed breed, age unknown, was tossed aside by her original owner, taking up residency in Jeri and Hans’ yard and glomming onto Gucci.  Tom says that Jessie is Gucci’s pet.  She lives completely outdoors, day and night, only coming inside to look for us or to be fed.  In the mornings she comes to the door of our house, making a wild animal sound we’ve never heard, wanting us to open up for the day.  If I look outside during the night, I see her sleeping on the floor or looking at the door, waiting for us. It will be hard to say goodbye to these two dogs.

Today, our future planning continues. Although living on a safari game reserve in South Africa for three months will be exciting each day by not only going on game drives and game walks, but watching numerous animals visit us at our vacation home in a remote location, we still feel a desire to venture out while in Africa. 

At this point, we’re planning another flight on yet another tiny plane to spend three or more nights at another tented safari camp in Zimbabwe to finally fulfill Tom’s dream of seeing Victoria Falls. Guess I’ll jump into that dream!

Mid-January will be a good for this adventure, midway into our three months in South Africa. As soon as we book it, in the next month, we’ll share the details and of course, post days and days of photos of all-new wildlife and scenery. Hopefully, our “safari luck” will continue in Zimbabwe.

Last night flying ants were attacking our faces during dinner in our outdoor living room. I put on my BugsAway hat, wearing it during dinner and into the evening. Our surge protector and one major adapter was blown out by the generator. We found out we can receive a package in South Africa. We’re ordering replacements. The humidity is so high that it takes three days for my hand washing to dry. I noticed mold on a pair of socks I’ve been drying for days. Eventually, the sun will come back out and everything will dry. I finally found a bottle of bleach at the Nakumatt grocery.  I’ll bleach the socks.

A few mornings ago, I felt crunching under my foot when I stepped outside the bedroom door. I’d stepped on a bright green leaf-like insect that had come inside from the rain. I had recently started keeping my Minnetonka Moccasins inside the mosquito netting at the foot of the bed so I can put them on when I get out of bed, taking my LED flashlight with me. Glad they were on my feet that morning.

This is a False Katydid, the leaf-like insect I accidentally stepped on, which was too destroyed to take a photo. This is a “borrowed” photo as shown in the link.

For today, we have power, the temperature is in the ’70s for the first time during the day in over two months, we have plenty of food for cooking meals; Jessie and Gucci are at our sides continually making us laugh, my shoulder is getting better and the world. It’s a big place. Life is good.

Comments and responses South of the equator…It’s spring here now…Monday was the hottest day so far…Power outages for over two days…Rain, rain and more rain…

  1. Anonymous Reply

    You and Tom never cease to amaze me. You tell of the 2 days without power, no hot water for a shower, bugs biting, feeling hot and sticky and still having to put on the bug repellant, your underwear taking more than 3 days to dry, mold on your white socks, computers and phones down with no power, Tom always beating you in Gin (he could be a gentlemen and let you win sometimes ha-ha), stepping on an insect in your bedroom, and oh my!
    I would be in tears.
    And then you end with "today we have power, temperature in 70's for first time in 2 months, we have plenty of food for cooking meals; the 2 dogs at our sides making us laugh, my shoulder is better; the world is big.
    And Life is good."
    That ending really says it all.
    This is what makes your blog so fun to follow. Your positive attitude and always looking toward what tomorrow will bring, forgetting the past hardships and enjoying your new blessings.
    We can't wait for your adventure to start in South Africa. And I cannot imagine what traveling in Zimbabwe would be like.
    We will be heading out in the morning for the Lake but they told us we might be able to get wi-fi from our balcony and for sure at the office. So maybe I will write from there.
    Stay safe,
    Dan is following also

  2. Jessica Reply

    Pat & Dan,
    Waking up to yet another rainy humid day, a hot shower, a hot cup of tea and then opening the email I received with your comments, my day was made.

    Thank you for reading. Thank you for writing. Thank you for supporting us in this some times difficult but ultimately enriching experience. It is comments such as yours, that we hold close to our hearts when its gets harder than we'd expected. And, it is comments, such as yours, that make us run to download photos and stories that we hope you'll enjoy.

    Have a fabulous time at the lake and we hope to see you online again soon with news of your good travels.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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