Nowhere is exempt from risk…

Hal was taking a big gulp from the birdbath. Yes, as stated in today’s headings, “Nowhere is exempt from risk.” But isn’t this true in the most wonderful places to live in the world in the realm of things?

As it turns out, India is the country with the highest risks of natural disasters, more than anywhere else in the world. Whether it’s outrageous traffic and the possibility of earthquakes in California, the risk of hurricanes in Florida, or flash floods in India, nowhere in the world is free from danger. In 2020, 2021, we spent over a year in India but only saw a few of the existing risks.

Hal was taking a big gulp from the birdbath.

Covid-19 was disaster enough for India while we were in lockdown for ten months in a hotel room. But, on a few occasions, while stuck in that room, we were concerned over hurricane risks when a few washed over the area in which we were confined, Mumbai, which is close to the ocean.

Here’s an interesting article about the most dangerous places to visit with the most natural disasters. This article includes how difficult it is in the United States based on varying climates and terrain, often contributing to catastrophe. China is listed in the top three countries with the most natural disasters.

Giraffe on a drive to the river.

The above article is followed by another story about some of the safest and most dangerous countries in Africa.

Also, this article has a comprehensive list of the most dangerous countries in the world. Notice on this list that the USA is #36, and South Africa follows at #37. Our families are always worried that South Africa is too dangerous for us when our USA is even more dangerous

Let’s face it, in these days and times, nowhere in the world is exempt from natural disasters and the ravages of war, crime, and terrorism. Now faced with Covid-19 impacting every country in the world, the risks have increased exponentially. Will there ever be a time in the future that we can return to “ordinary life” with a carefree attitude as we go about our business of taking care of our lives, loved ones, and our usual responsibilities?

A hippo at quite a distance from the Marloth Park side of the fence.

Perhaps not. Perhaps this pandemic will be the fate of the world for many years to come. I dislike the statement, “a new normal,” but there may be a lot of truth in it. This morning, I was listening to a podcast I’ve listened to every week since the onset of the pandemic hosted by Dr. Michael Osterholm, one of the top epidemiologists in the world from the University of Minnesota.

Today’s podcast was #45, which can be found here: I started listening when I began walking the corridors in India in March 2020. He’s not about doomsday, but his vast knowledge of the virus has been helpful to keep me informed.

Big Daddy was contemplating his next move.

As an “information junkie,” there is nothing more vital for me to do online than to stay informed and educated about what is happening in the world, which impacts our world travels and our personal lives. Information is empowering, and I never shy away from reality.

The state of the economy of the US and the world is Tom’s passion, and he keeps me well informed. The state of the US and the world’s health and well-being is my passion, and I share with him what I learn. No, many of us don’t want to hear about these things, preferring to stay in our little bubble. I get that. Don’t they say, “Ignorance is bliss?”

Ostriches encountered on a drive along the river.

But, avoidance is not a panacea for maintaining a false sense of optimism. Optimism comes from being informed and doing something about it, striving even in the smallest ways for a better chance of getting out of this alive and well, coupled with genuine hope for the future.

I don’t mean to sound down, morbid or pessimistic. I am none of those. But, I know we each can play a role in improving our world, our state of being, and our future, not only for ourselves but also for future generations.

Thank you for an arena to share these thoughts. Some may say, “Stay in your lane about world travel.” That’s precisely what I am doing, learning, researching, and preparing for continuing our world journey, hopefully for years to come.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, November 8, 2020:

 This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #230. It’s odd at times to find lush vegetation, as in this photo from Maui, in what appears to be arid and desolate areas. For more photos, please click here.

Day #2, no water…After all, this is Africa..

A Go-Away bird was sitting at the birdbath for a drink.

Whether it’s no water, no power, or no WiFi, this is the “nature of the beast” (no pun intended).  The infrastructure is delicate. Theft of cables, copper, and various parts for running the water system in Marloth Park is the culprit. Yesterday, we were informed of a theft at the water station.

This morning I signed up for a WhatsApp group for updates, and here’s the most recent, as of a few minutes ago:

“Eskom (the electric company) has reported another theft at the Fig Tree substation near Masibekela. Copper blades were stolen last night around 2300 hrs (11:00 pm). The power supply has been restored. However, low voltage is still being experienced. Water supply is affected due to the low voltage. Eskom is attending the matter urgently.”

Another Go-Away bird is ready to drink from the bottom portion of the birdbath.

Another post from WhatsApp::

“This will happen when power is off. Ideal for perpetrators.”

The question in my mind is, “How are these perpetrators being allowed into Marloth Park to commit such crimes? A lot of controversies exist in regards to the security at the entrance gate.” But, to avoid an unpleasant back and forth with locals, I won’t get into this.

After all, we are just visitors here and not property owners. We have no say in what transpires in the park. Many people are actively involved and work hard in an attempt to avoid such situations. But, again, “This is Africa,” and not everything goes as one would like. Preventing crime is a complex process in this area and other parts of South Africa.

Lots of mongooses wondering what is on the menu today: Paloney? Eggs? Leftover meat?

But, it’s not exclusive to South Africa or Africa itself when we hear about crime throughout the world, including our own USA. The bottom line is, “You can run, but you can’t hide.”  Nowhere in the world is exempt from awful people who commit crimes upon fellow humans, animals, and property.

Today, we have no water pressure at all. Early yesterday morning, while we still had some water, I had put a load of laundry in the washer. When the water stopped running, we now had a load of dark clothes, soaking wet in the washing machine with no way to rinse or spin them. The washer doesn’t have separate settings for these features alone. If the water isn’t restored today, we’ll have to remove all the clothes and wring them out by hand, hang them to dry, and rewash them at a later date.

As for showering, no such luck, this morning, I did a  “sponge bath” using bottled water warmed in the teapot. That worked out well. Tom’s hair is another issue. Without a shower, he looks like the “nutty professor.”

Siegfried and Roy cuddled on a cool morning.

After last night’s dinner, we had dirty dishes sitting in the dishwasher. This morning, Zef used pool water to wash the floors, a daily must-do with all the dust from the animals in the garden. We’re still using pool water to flush the toilets. That also works out well.

Thank goodness we have electricity. No water and no power is quite the nightmare. We are very grateful to have power and WiFi. We can cook, but we can’t clean up after ourselves. We’ve heard stories of water outages in Marloth Park that lasted for weeks. Hopefully, this time won’t be such a case. Two or three days are tolerable. Longer becomes exceedingly annoying.

At 5:00 pm, 1700 hrs, we’re heading to Louise and Danie’s to drop off the money we owe for pellets and stay for a little social time. That will be a nice break!

Have a spectacular day!

Photo from one year ago today, August 19, 2020:

There were no photos posted one year ago today while our new site was going live, and the “to be expected” temporary issues prevented us from doing so.