One week and counting…

Male tree frogs fertilize a foam nest that a female frog made overnight. Nature is amazing! The photo was taken in December 2013.

A week from today, we’ll be on the road to Guayaquil Airport, 3 hours and 22 minutes from our location. We’ll likely head out the door around 8:30 am for our 2:53 pm flight to Panama City, with a 1-hour 33-minute layover, and then on to Las Vegas. Our flight arrives at 10:40 pm, and after going through immigration, getting our bags, and picking up the rental car, we most likely won’t arrive at the condo until around 1:00 am or later.

Of course, we won’t unpack that night, only taking out toiletries and clothes for the following day. I hope we get at least six hours of sleep since we’ll wake up to a busy day. First on the agenda is the trip to Costco to purchase my much-needed computer and pick up a few groceries, enough to last a few days.

Once we’re settled, most likely, we will do an online grocery order from Smith’s, where we’ve shopped in the past and been pleased with their products and service. Initially, I’d planned to buy a lot of food at Costco, but I have found some of their prices on groceries are not necessarily better than prices at a grocery store. Plus, Smith’s will have a better selection of miscellaneous items we use. Large sizes of many products don’t work if they end up spoiling.

Then again, how much we buy at cost depends on how we feel if we don’t sleep enough. Costco is not fun when one is exhausted. It may be challenging to recall prices on items that may or may not be a good deal, especially since we haven’t grocery shopped in the US since we were in Florida last summer.

With inflation, prices have crept up over the past several months. We are in for a rude awakening of increased costs since we left Florida at the end of July. And most likely, prices will be as high in Las Vegas as at The Villages.

If my medication arrives, we’ll head to our mailing service the next day to pick it up. This morning, when I checked the tracking number, apparently, the package had arrived in the US from Singapore, where many prescription drugs are manufactured. Often, Americans assume their medications are manufactured in the US, and many are not.

Here is an interesting article about where prescription drugs are manufactured worldwide. It’s a fascinating article that may surprise you. As for the world’s manufacturing countries, here is the list and percentages:

The USP Medicine Supply Map analysis (Chart I) counts the number of active API DMFs by location.

  • India accounts for 48%
  • China accounts for 13%
  • U.S. accounts for 10%

We are deluding ourselves by assuming that most drugs are manufactured in the US. Surprisingly, buying them from a US pharmacy costs so much. The cost for the blood thinner I must take, Eliquis, buying from Singapore through ProgressiveRX is $95.49 for 56 pills (almost enough for one month), compared to buying it at a pharmacy (without a pharmacy plan) is $599.97. Who can afford this?

I realize I’d mentioned this in a past post, maybe more than once, but if one of our readers sees this after missing that post and is paying these high prices, it would have been worth posting it one more time.

We’re bracing ourselves for higher prices on most things in the US. But, while we’re in the US, we look forward to a broader selection than most other countries.

One reader wrote and asked how long we’ll be in the US. If all goes well, we’ll likely return to Marloth Park in June as planned. However, we won’t stay more than 90 days this time. According to many reliable sources, South Africa’s immigration department still cannot process extensions due to a lack of staff. We won’t be applying for an extension again.

We’ll be back with more tomorrow. Be well.

Photo from years ago today, December 7, 2013:

While walking in our neighborhood, Tom spotted this ostrich that had wandered into a homeowner’s driveway and appeared fascinated by looking at himself in the window. For more photos, please click here.

Fun evening in the bush with readers/friends….No water today…Photos from last night…

This was our bowl of well-seasoned prawns with a homemade dipping sauce. There’s a little left for me to eat tonight for dinner.

This morning there was water, and I could take a shower. But, after I loaded laundry into the washer, I noticed only a trickle was flowing, certainly not good enough to do a load of laundry. Most likely, we won’t have water until tomorrow since the reservoir and the pipes have to refill. Thank goodness we had water last night for our delightful sundowner party.

We had a great time last night with our guests. It worked out fine for seating. Six of us sat at the table, and Tom Gerhard and Lee sat at the bar. The two areas are close enough that all heard the conversations.

We served the food on the lower section of the bar and on the wood shelves on either side of the outdoor refrigerator. Marylin brought the tasty deviled eggs.

All the food came out well, just as we expected, and serving buffet-style made everything easier. While our guests were here, I spent little time in the kitchen. By the time everyone left at 8:00 pm, 2000 hrs., we were satisfied that we had had a lovely evening.

We didn’t leave the food out for long in the warm weather, so we’ll have some good leftovers for tonight’s dinner. It’s great that I don’t have to cook with the water out. It’s a pain when we can’t do dishes when there’s no water, let alone because my first load of laundry is sitting wet in the washer tub with nothing I can do. It never washed, so I can’t put it on the spin cycle. So it goes.

We had plenty of serving space for the various dishes.

We have a bucket of water from the pool in the bathroom so we can flush and a container of bottled water in the kitchen for washing our hands. Tom won’t be able to shower today, but oddly he is never stinky in these circumstances. So no big deal. I can put up with him!

He was such a help last night. While I packed up all the leftovers, he washed all the dishes. When we headed to bed, everything was back in order, except for washing the linen napkins and many dish towels I’d used. Hopefully, by tomorrow morning, I can finish the laundry in time to go to Stoep Cafe with Rita. We won’t be able to return to Stoep Cafe until they return in September.

Forward is Carrie and then Marylin. They all are frequent travelers, and the stories flowed with ease.

Once our friends Jeff and Connie arrive, Rita and I will include Connie to join us for breakfast at Stoep with more “girl talk.” It’s a particular time I always treasure, having left so many of my female friends back in Minnesota almost ten years ago. On October 31st, we will celebrate our tenth anniversary of traveling the world. It’s hard for us to believe we left so long ago. Nor did we ever expect to do this for so long.

It was enjoyable for the 11 of us last night. Louise and Danie stopped by for a drink and stayed about 45 minutes. We were sad to see them go. Our readers/friends remained; Carrie and Jim, who’ve since purchased a gorgeous home in Marloth Park, and Marylin and Gary, who live in Utah but travel a lot. Marylin is from Zimbabwe and knows the bush very well. Rita and Gerhard,  whom we met four years ago from them reading our website was here with their friend Lee.

Rita and Jim (Carrie and Jim) sat at the end of the table.

It has been such a joy to share this magical place with others. And we look forward to hosting friends Jeff and Connie in mid-September. We’ve been friends with them for 31 years since we met at a gourmet club dinner party near our home in Minnesota. We took turns hosting gourmet multiple-course dinners at our respective homes. When life’s responsibilities ended with the club, we stayed friends with Jeff and Connie, even seeing them a few times when we returned to the US to visit family.

As for today, without water, it’s a low-key day. I am a little under the weather from the big doses of two antibiotics and look forward to seeing some improvement in the next day or two. So, today is a good day to take it easy and pamper myself, which I seldom do. Later this week, we’ll start packing for our upcoming trip on Saturday.

From left to right, Lee, Gerhard, Gary and Danie.

Have a fantastic Monday!

Photo from one year ago today, August 15, 2021:

Elephants were heading to the river. For more photos, please click here.