How do we feel about cruising after getting Covid on a ship?…New video!…

At this point, we have four cruises booked. The first three are back to back, back to back, and back to back for 42 nights on the same ship. We’ve been looking forward to this lengthy and exciting itinerary for a long time. It will bring us back to South Africa via Cape Town a few days before Tom’s birthday and Christmas.

We’ll have kept this house in our absence, preventing us from the necessity of moving into another house when we return, which we may not like as much as this one. As we settle in more and more each day, we’re finding that this is the perfect environment for us. It fulfills all of our needs and desires.

We gave the mongooses Tom’s rib bones from dinner at Jabula and a good-sized portion of Paloney, cut into bite-sized pieces.

It’s not uncommon in Africa for a shortage of electric outlets in houses and for switches for the existing lights to be in odd locations, far from where one might expect them to be. Yes, there were a few workarounds we had to make to make it suitable for us. But, with Louise and Danie’s help, we have it all figured out.

But, in the almost two weeks since we arrived, everything has worked out, and we are as content as we could be in a holiday rental. Subsequently, we have no desire to move to a different house during the year we’ll be living here, except for the trips we must make for visa stamps and, as mentioned, upcoming cruises.

This female kudu jumped over the little fence to get closer to us.

So now, after contracting Covid-19 which we believe was Omicron, and having such awful cases, especially with Tom ending up with pneumonia, we can’t help but wonder what will happen going forward when we begin to cruise again in five months.

When listening to cruising podcasts the past week, there’s a lot of talk about requiring masks to be worn while on board a ship except when eating and drinking, which wasn’t the case on this last cruise when we became infected. But couldn’t one become infected while in the dining rooms with hundreds of guests at any given seating?

Tom walked to the edge of the veranda to offer pellets to the kudus and a few warthogs.

There’s no easy answer, and I must admit, I am concerned about getting Covid again while on a ship. What if we became ill on the first week or two of the 42-nighter? That would be a nightmare. At this point, with cruising rules changing, we can’t be assured we’d get our money back. We’re still waiting on a refund from Azamara for over US $8000, ZAR 122950. This was for the cruise formerly planned to go to Ukraine. We all know what happened there.

We’re hoping that Covid will die down a little more between now and then. But, it doesn’t necessarily look like that could happen. Ah, these times we live in! How peculiar it is!

What a joy when Big Daddies stop by!

Today, Monday is a quiet day. We have no plans other than to cook a roast on the braai, with rice for Tom, avocados stuffed with seafood salad for me, and coleslaw salad. This morning, I made low-carb homemade ketchup, which we’ll use for the roast beef, burgers, and other meats. I prepped everything else for dinner, making it easy later on in the day.

Tom enjoyed his homemade blueberry muffins each morning with his coffee while I’ve been savoring my homemade low-carb blueberry scones, a rare treat to my morning coffee. We don’t eat anything the remainder of the day unless we get starving. We’ll have some meat and quality cheeses to hold us until dinner, but that rarely is necessary.

Rueben and Lonely Girl.

Since Tom lost so much weight and is feeling good, he’s been able to eat the high-carb muffins I made for him using regular flour and sugar. He’s been able to keep the weight off since we arrived. We’ll see how that goes. We both continually strive to keep weight off since we don’t want to have to replace our clothes for bigger sizes, nor do we want the potential health risks of carrying excess weight. It’s a constant struggle when we both love good food so much.

Be healthy and enjoy life!

Photo from one year ago today, June 6, 2021:

Wildebeests in the driveway near the rental car. For more photos, please click here.

Hot today!…

It’s not easy to spot baby mongooses. They run very fast and stay close to their moms.

Whew! When I stepped out of the bedroom this morning, I was taken aback by the blast of hot air so early in the day. It isn’t always about the temperature. As we’ve learned from living in Africa, the dew point determines how uncomfortable we will be on any given day. Today is one of those days.

The high will only be 94F, 34.4C. But the dew point right now is 73, making the air sticky hot and us sticky sweaty, even after a cool shower only a short time ago. I am sipping on my iced coffee, which I’ve switched to since summer began, and at the moment, sitting on the bed with the door closed and the fan on. The room retained some of the coolness from the aircon during the night.

Kudus and warthogs were vying for pellets.

When I resumed my indoor walking schedule this morning, I was reminded of how much of a scorcher today will be. I can’t wear skimpy clothes, not only because I don’t have any, but also because wearing skimpy clothes invites mosquito bites with any exposed skin. If I weren’t concerned about the electric bill, which we now pay ½ (based on our insistence), I’d probably turn it on while working on the post and while exercising. I’d rather use the electricity at night so that we can sleep than during the day.

I cover any exposed skin with DEET repellent three times a day, the only repellent that works for me. Since we added the hypo-allergenic mattress cover, I haven’t had a single dust mite spot anywhere on my body. Wow! That’s been great! Right now, I only have three or four itchy mozzie bites, mainly from being outdoors in the evenings. Last year at this time, I had hundreds.

This is Bad Eye. We can hardly see evidence of her torn right eyelid since she healed so well.

Right now, there are some power outages in Marloth Park. Most likely, this is due to a brief thunderstorm that rolled through last night. Fortunately, our area isn’t included in this annoyance.

Yesterday, we went to Komatipoort for our 11:00 am dentist appointments to have our teeth cleaned. A Covid-19 patient showed up for their appointment, knowing they’d tested positive but, due to no symptoms, kept their appointment as scheduled. Once we arrived at the dentist’s office, the receptionist, Daleen, told us that she’d sent me an email to say our appointments had to be canceled.

Bossy often stops by daily since she’s become pregnant.

As a result, the dental office had to close for a week, and the facility had to be sterilized. All appointments were canceled, including ours, which we fully understood. We rescheduled for February. We still had to go to Komati to grocery shop and pick up my year’s supply of contact lenses from the optometrist. Tom’s new glasses will come in next week, which we’ll pick up when we shop again.

Due to numerous Omicron cases, all the schools and many businesses in Komati had closed. We were cautious when we shopped, wiping down the cart with sanitizing wipes made available and avoiding getting close to other people. It was quiet in the store, which was unusual.

Baby mongoose hides under mom. Zoom to see.

Based on how active we’ve been socially these past months since the onset of Omicron, we’re surprised we haven’t been infected. We know that Omicron is not as dangerous as the Delta variant, but we still are very cautious, based on my health concerns. I don’t know how well I’d handle getting the virus and don’t care to find out.

Tonight, we’ll meet with Rita, Gerhard, Petra, and Fritz for their last night in the bush. They will return to Germany starting tomorrow from Johanessburg. Rita and Gerhard will drive them to the distant Tambo airport (a five-hour road trip), stay overnight to avoid driving back to Marloth Park in the dark (very dangerous due to carjacking), and return to Marloth Park on Sunday. They will move out of the huge Khaya Umdani house and move back into their favorite house on Hornbill, where we stayed in 2013/2014.

Lots of warthogs in the garden every early evening.

We’ve been staying in quite a bit this past week and are looking forward to getting out. No doubt, we’ll all have a fantastic time together at Jabula tonight with good food, drinks, service, and hosts. We haven’t made plans for Saturday evening yet but are considering some options.

May you have an enjoyable day and evening wherever you may be!

Photo from one year ago today, January 28, 2021:

Many kudus came to call before the storms. Ironically, eight female kudus arrived in the garden just as I wrote this. We’ve yet to see one since as the inclement weather continues. For more photos, please click here.