Hottest day since we arrived last January!!! What a scorcher!…Expected to be 105F, 42C…Trail cam photos…

    There was Little hanging around in the garden at 5:45 am. We weren’t up yet, Little!

Other than in Africa, we’ve never experienced such heat without using air conditioning during daylight hours. Thank goodness we have aircon at night, or we’d never be able to sleep on during these heat peaks that often occur in the spring, summer, and fall in Marloth Park.

Not all locations in South Africa are as hot as it is in Marloth Park. Right now in Cape Town, it’s 59F, 15C, a far cry from what’s going here right now at noon at 100F, 38C, and rising by the hour. The peak will be reached in about three hours. We can’t help but be indoors right now. Even Johannesburg is a comfortable 81F, 27F.

But this is the bush, the savannah, and the plains in Africa, and it’s consistently hotter in these areas.

A case of malaria was reported in Marloth Park a few days ago. The mozzies are back in their rampant mission to consume human blood, and without Deet, we have no chance of avoiding their annoying and potentially lethal bites. Every six hours, I apply another dose to any exposed skin, which I keep to a minimum.

Clothing is a good mosquito deterrent, and I am seldom bit beneath my clothes. In the morning, after showering, I cover myself from head to toe and then let it dry. If my clothes potentially rub off any exposed skin areas, I reapply them promptly. Its become quite a habit. I don’t give it much thought except when it’s time to reapply, which I rarely forget to do.  At night, when preparing for bed, I make a similar application.

This is Thick Neck at 3:08 am, who often stays in the garden most of the day and night.

When we go sit on the veranda in the evenings, Tom sprays the bedroom with Doom and keeps the door shut to kill any mozzies that may invade the room during the day. Tom doesn’t get bit, and thus, he doesn’t apply repellent except on a few rare occasions we may be out in the bush after dark. Lucky him.

With all these diligent precautions, I still get bit. Right now, I have a few bites on my neck and two on my arms. They are easy to pinpoint. The itching lasts for five days or more. I’ve tried every cream on the market, and nothing makes the itching go away for any longer than an hour or two. It’s not unusual to awaken during the night with all the bites itching at once.

Need I say, we’ve become used to this, and other than mentioning the heat, the insects, and the snakes here to provide our readers with the raw facts of the discomforts of the hot months in Africa, both of us do pretty well. In our usual way, we don’t complain to one another. Not even right now, as the temperature has risen to 102F, 39C, since I began preparing this post, neither of us mentions how hot it is, other than the curiosity of how high it goes.

When we were in Henderson, Nevada, in summer 2019, staying at son Richard’s home in Henderson, we sat outdoors on his veranda by his pool, dunking every 15 minutes when the temperature was 115F, 46C.

This is Holey Moley and an unknown friend at 11:54 pm. She spends most of her days and nights with us. Note the huge temperature drop at night, as indicated by the camera’s description.

According to this chart, the temperature we are experiencing today is within a few degrees of the highest record temperature in this area of 106F, 41C. But even these highs may be surpassed from time to time. When this happens consistently, the power grid can’t keep up with the electrical use of air conditioners, and we lose power.

Hopefully, our electricity will hold, and we’ll make it until tomorrow when we’ll see a substantial drop in temperature to a high of 69F, 21C. It’s hard to believe there will be a considerable drop in 24 hours. We’ll see how that rolls out and welcome such a huge change, one that may require us to get out the hooded sweatshirts once again.

This morning I prepared most of the food for tonight’s dinner. I made a prawn and vegetable stir fry for myself, a huge salad, and a batch of homemade dressing. Later Tom will cook his pork chops on the braai, which he’ll have with rice, green beans, and salad. His muffins, ice cream, and apple crisps are no more. He’s back to eating healthy, along with me.

Somehow, Tom can eat white rice, called a “resistant starch,” and lose weight. That’s not the case for me. For more information on resistant starches, please click here. Lucky him. Good genes.

I hope you are experiencing a relaxed and comfortable day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 16, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India,  on day #207. As more guests from Camp Olonana arrived, the women and children waited patiently to begin their welcoming dance. For more, please click here.

The wind was roaring…The power and WiFi were out!…What a day and night!…Covered in bites…Chicks.

Helmeted Guinea-fowl and their four chicks stop by daily for seeds. They are so shy it’s difficult to take a good photo when they don’t stay still for a moment.

Africa has its challenges. As is the case in most countries with extreme humidity, when it rains for days, weeks, or months, the mosquitoes breed in standing water as follows:

“10 to 14 days
How Long Does It Take for Mosquitoes to Breed on Standing Water? The length of the mosquito breeding cycle varies by species, but mosquitoes generally need 10 to 14 days to develop in standing water. Insect control authorities often recommend dumping any standing water at least once a week.”
Of course, we are well aware of the malaria risks when being bitten. Our friend Alan lost his dear wife and nearly died from a rare form of malaria, which they both contracted while living in Marloth Park in 2019. People who live here regularly don’t take malaria tablets. The side effects are too dangerous for long-term prevention. Instead, like me, they use the dreaded DEET, the only chemical that has the potential to work.
Mom and Dad and four chicks, of which only two are shown in this photo.
But, even so, we all still get bites. It’s easy to miss a spot when applying the product or be an hour late in re-applying the next round, usually every six hours. There’s no easy answer.
There is a pond with vegetation growing outside our bedroom window. It’s no wonder we are being bombarded day and night. Then again, Tom rarely is bitten and doesn’t wear repellent, except when we’re outside at night. At this point, after weeks of non-stop rain and humidity, I have no less than 50 bites.
Although I cover myself with Tabard Repellent, popular in South Africa, specific to its types of mosquitoes, a DEET-containing product, every six hours, I don’t protect my eyes, face, and head, but now, they are biting me on my eyelids in a desperate search for some exposed skin. Finally, I’m starting to feel better from being off of those strong antibiotics, and now I am constantly itching.
Two Ms. Bushbucks were looking for pellets.
Last night was when I could finally savor a glass of wine with the required eight days passing since I started the antibiotics. There was nothing for us to do indoors with the WiFi and power out in the inclement weather. We decided to “rough it” in the bad weather, and we spent the evening on the veranda to have our first sundowners in a while. I loaded up on repellent from head to toe to ensure I wouldn’t be stricken with one more mosquito bite. It worked out.
It appears that about half of my “bites” are reactions from dust mites to which I am allergic. Oh, good grief. I inherited most of these medical issues (allergies, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, joint problems, and on and on), and I was a bit fed up yesterday but feeling better today after a good night’s sleep.
With the power out and no idea when it would be restored, we decided to make the best of the evening. We’d never experienced such high winds in South Africa during the 19 months we’ve spent in this country in the past eight years. Yesterday’s midday meal required the use of the electric stove, which, when the power wasn’t restored, we had no choice but to cook on the braai. We managed to figure it out, although our meal wasn’t as good as it would have been cooked on the stovetop. The power and WiFi both came back on during the night.
Mom and maturing baby bushbuck.
Whew! I’m not particularly eager to whinge in our posts, nor do I care to complain much to Tom. He’s so accepting of my various health issues, but only because I spend as little time as possible talking about them. He’s well aware of my problems and is entirely supportive. I can only imagine what a mess I’d be if I didn’t work hard as possible to be healthy.
But, these are the realities of living in South Africa and other parts of Africa with the heat and humidity due to the unpredictable weather. The insects are another thing.
While in the hotel room in Mumbai, India, I promised myself that no matter how bad the weather, the insects, and the bites, I’d still be grateful to be here, and I am. Only moments ago, Tom came in to tell me that Frank and The Misses were on the veranda, looking for me. When these situations occur, I forget all about the inconveniences and revel in the joys of why we are here.
Once again, Wildebeest Willie poses for a photo.
Yes, I could avoid mentioning any of my woes on our site. But, we always promised to “tell it like it is.” By no means am I a “Pollyanna” pretending that all is sweetness and light. Once, while living in Minnesota, we lost power for five days due to a severe summer storm. That was a tough five days. Nowhere in the world is exempt from issues of daily life, and here is no exception. Right now, the power outages in the US are equally challenging for many citizens to tolerate.
Last night in the wind and rain, we sat on the veranda while I was sipping on my glass of wine and  Tom, on his cocktail, reveling in the joys the bush has to offer. We were pleasantly surprised when it proved to be the most prolific night of visitors we’ve had since we arrived over a month ago. We were thrilled! Photos will follow tomorrow.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.
Photo from one year ago today, February 17, 2020:
The soldier prepared for the big event, the nightly ceremony closing the borders between India and Pakistan. For more, please click here.