Day #179 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Hope on the horizon???…

Last night as we greeted Jeri and Hans in the yard, Tom took this shot.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013, while we were living on the island of Diani Beach, Kenya. For more on this date, please click here.

Yesterday, after preparing and uploading the daily post, I spent the entire afternoon, writing, and editing the first of five special 2000 word posts required for our web developers to set up with keywords to increase our web traffic. Doing so will increase our position in Google and other search engines for us to be found more readily by the user searching using specific keywords.

Only moments later he took this shot, but oddly, the sky appeared brighter.

Since our site’s main focus hasn’t been to generate income in the past, we never went through this procedure in the past. Generally, this is a very expensive process since the site must be observed by the developers on a regular basis.  Based on the wonderful relationship we’ve built with Kate, we have been able to secure a reasonable cost of this ongoing process. She can be reached at the following:

Name: Kate Miller
Phone No: +91 8431344070
A baboon shot on our return cab ride from the grocery store. They approach the car when we stop, curious to see what food we may have for them. We had none but a lot of tourists buy bananas to give to them.
Several weeks ago we wrote a detailed post, at this link, about this fine company who has diligently and professionally handled my frequent questions and changes with the utmost patience and ease. I couldn’t recommend them more. The fact they are also in India was merely a fluke, but somehow it provided us with an added level of comfort knowing they were working with us from India.
However, they will work with clients from all over the world. No longer is a face to face meeting needed for web development for small to mid-size sites and businesses. Writing a post with 2000 words was challenging. Our usual posts are 1000 words or less. By the way, recently, we watched a fantastic Australian TV series, entitled “800 Words” about a blog writer, his daily 800 word posts, and his interesting life after his beloved wife passed away.
Our glass table was set and ready for our dinner guests, the landlord, and his wife. With no Windex or glass cleaner in the grocery stores, I’ve had a heck of a time cleaning the glass table top. I asked Hesborn how he is able to clean it so well with no streaks. He said he uses soap and water on a rag, drying it with a dry towel. I tried this method, only to end up with streaks.
If you’re into “binge-watching,” “800 Words” is an easy and entertaining series to keep you engaged for days, if not weeks, with its many episodes. We found it on Amazon Acorn for US $5.99, INR 439, a month. Acorn has many fantastic British, Irish, and Australian series. Please feel free to ask us for suggestions if you decide to give it a try.
On another note, there’s a lot of commotion in the corridors lately, making it difficult for me to walk every 30 minutes. I recently changed my walking schedule from every hour to every half hour still reaching my 10,000 step goal each day. Breaking it up this way has made it less boring, I’ll do anything within reason to break up the boredom.
This is Jessie, who disappeared for 24 hours to later be returned by a kind local man after he’d heard that a small long-haired dog was on the loose. She and I became very close during the three months. She wasn’t allowed indoors but she waited outside our front door all night, excited to see me in the morning.
Lately, busy with the new site and all the changes requiring most of my day, along with the walking, I’ve had little time to watch shows in the late afternoon, instead, saving dinner time and the evenings when we can finally relax. I have never been one to enjoy “working” in the evenings.
But, most recently, the web developers who work well into the night, have asked me questions which couldn’t wait until the next day.
In an attempt to avoid stress and cut into our relaxation times, today, I asked them to save their questions for me for the following day, if possible. It’s a true balancing act for us to maintain a positive attitude in this peculiar situation.
We’ve found that maintaining our comfortable routine helps us avoid “over-thinking” and worrying. Escaping into our shows each evening is an excellent opportunity to escape.
Jeri and Hans, our landlords, neighbors, and new friends joined us for dinner.

Subsequently, we are both holding our own, staying upbeat, and hopeful for the future. News coming out of South Africa states (true or not) they are opening their borders soon, but are restricting travelers from certain countries from entering.

This could easily exclude India and the US. Both have to be allowable for us to be allowed to enter. The wait continues.

Right now, we can’t plan a thing until our FedEx package arrives. It’s still stuck in Delhi, after two full months. We shall see how this goes.
Stay safe.

____________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, September 18, 2019:

An adorable pygora goat on the farm in St. Teath, Cornwall, England, posing for a photo atop the picnic table.  “The pygora goat is a cross between the pygmy goat and the angora goat that produces three distinct kinds of fleece and has the smaller size of the pygmy.” For more photos, please click here.

Suddenly well again…Two and a half years of a miserable condition now resolved…

Wildebeests, zebras and impala in Kruger National Park.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”


Check out the wear and tear on this old elephant’s right ear.

Early posting today.  We’re off to Kruger again to see our friends with a more pinned down plan as to where to meet in Lower Sabie.  We’ll be back tomorrow with more new and hopefully exciting photos.

You’ve read over and over again regarding my awful gastrointestinal issues which began in Fiji in 2015 after eating octopus at the five star resort on Christmas Day, the only scenario to which we could attribute the illness that has lingered over the past two and a half years.

Oh no, it didn’t keep us from continuing in our world travels and in enjoying doing so as illustrated in the past hundreds of posts we’ve uploaded since the onset. 

Wildebeest and zebras.

I’d decided at the time, that as long as I could function in our day to day lives, nothing was going to “keep me down.”  Never once, did we cancel or change any travel or social plans we’d made during this extended period.  Never once, in these past two and a half years did I have a single day free of pain or discomfort.

While living in Tasmania, a year after the symptoms began, I visited three doctors based on areas we were living during our three months on the island.  Only one doctor did a blood test after which I was diagnosed with Helicobactor Pylori and prescribed two rounds of two potent antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor (PPI).

Elephant on the side of the tar road.

Once the infection was resolved, as was typical, I developed ulcers and suffered with severe gastritis which continued on and on.  To make a “long story short” only months ago the ulcers seemed to be gone and I stopped all medications only to begin going through a form of withdrawal from PPIs. which reduce acid in the stomach.  It wasn’t easy stopping the PPIs due to an “acid-rebound effect” which lasted for three weeks, after which I felt a little better.

This elephant was nestled in the dry bush.

Now and then, I’ve mentioned my condition here in our continued desire to be transparent in the realities of world travel, living without a base, without a home, condo or apartment (or storage) anywhere in the world and, without a doctor with whom we’d established a history of care and treatment.

Of course, some days were worse than others as is often the case with a chronic condition. I’d come to a place where I resigned myself to accepting this would be my lot in life…constant distress, inability to eat normal portions of food, feeling hungry and needing to eat something every few hours which only exacerbated the symptoms. 

Sitting down for a break.

Not used to eating so often, I gained 7.7kg, (17 pounds) over these past few years.  My clothing was no longer fitting comfortably, a disaster based on our limited wardrobes.  It wasn’t as simple as going to a shopping mall and replacing all of my clothing.  I was hopeful something would change.

Based on my way of eating, I found myself frequently snacking on cheese several times a day and just not getting any better.  A few months ago, I stopped eating salads. They seemed to make it worse.  A year ago I gave up coffee and cream.

Two elephants grazing.

Why wasn’t I getting better?  I was determined not to have to go through a battery of invasive medical tests, only to be told what I already knew.  Sure, at times, I worried I had a life-threatening issue and would end up in an emergency room somewhere in the world.  This was a frightening thought that I tried to dismiss when it cluttered my mind at the worst of times, on the worst of days.

Visitors to the park must remain diligent, staying far back to avoid a confrontation.

Two and a half weeks ago, everything changed in one day.  I decided to try to avoid eating cheese when the hunger pangs came, instead eating boiled eggs and cooked vegetables.  I didn’t have salad that night with dinner. Instead, I had steak on the grill and cooked green beans. 

The next morning upon awakening something was different.  I couldn’t pinpoint it until a few hours later when I realized…IT WAS DAIRY!  I hadn’t eaten anything with dairy in 24 hours and I felt so much better. 

We noticed a patch of hide missing from the neck of this giraffe.  See the close-up below of this injury.

Since that time I haven’t had one iota of lactose (dairy products).  It wasn’t the salad that bothered me, it was the dairy in the homemade salad dressing.  It was the cheese I continued to eat daily in an attempt to ease the gnawing discomfort which only made it worse. 

It was the cream in my coffee I’d given up so long ago, not the coffee.  And, it goes on and on.  I ate a lot of dairy to compensate for lack of sugar and starch in my diet.  Before I realized this, I decided to see if eating unsweetened Greek yogurt would help but I was only worse the next day.  Now I get it.

This injury could be the result of a confrontation with another giraffe during this mating season when they may engage in “necking,” a fight for dominance using their weighty and dangerous necks.

For over two weeks I haven’t consumed one morsel of dairy and I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in years.  As more time marches on, I’ll continue to heal the damage done to my gut by entirely avoiding all dairy products.  I’m a new person.

Yes, my diet is now limited to animal products (no chemicals) and non-starchy vegetables. I don’t care.  In the past two weeks I’ve lost 2.7 kg, (6 pounds) and surely will lose the remaining weight easily in the next few months. 

Elephant family crossing the road.  Note that tusk of the largest (which could be the matriarch) on the baby’s back to keep it safe and on track.

Mainly, I’m eating chicken breasts and frozen wild-caught fish, (no fresh fish is available nearby), a wide array of cooked vegetables as often as I’m hungry. I’ve been able to enjoy a few glasses of red wine as a special treat when we’re socializing and dining out. 

Perhaps in time I’ll get more creative.  But, for now, I want to feel well and fit back into my clothes.  The bloating and pain I suffered with day after day is literally gone, gone, gone.

Tom, of course, isn’t eating the same foods I’m eating.  As a result, I’m making two separate meals each evening.  But, I don’t mind at all.  He’s not big on plates of roasted vegetables with a chicken breast or piece of fish nor do I expect him to eat like me.

This family wanders off into the bush while other members of the family after a short distance behind them.

I’m so happy to be better I literally don’t care about food. Once I return to my former weight, I’ll up the amounts of chicken, fish (occasionally pork and beef) and veggies I consume in order to maintain my weight and stay healthy.  Its a no-brainer for me. 


Thanks to all of our readers who’ve gone through this with me.  I’ve always felt badly mentioning health issues.  We all want to “appear” strong, healthy and fit.  But, as we age, the reality is, we may no longer be able to “pretend” all is well with our health. 

If anything, perhaps dealing with this issue here has helped or will help even one reader who’s attempting to figure out solutions for their own health. 



Note:  The information provided here today is not intended as medical advice nor do we profess to have any medical knowledge or expertise.  Please see your own medical professionals for assistance.

______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, June 13, 2017:

My chopped salad with a side of Mexican season shredded beef.  When we’re in Minnesota in 10 months, we can still go to this favorite restaurant but I’ll leave off the sour cream and cheese and have lettuce, meat, salsa and guacamole.  Sounds fine to me.  For more photos, please click here.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?…New, or shall we say, returning special feature?…

With a lack of rain, there was little water in the Crocodile River.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

We love Hornbills.  “The hornbills are a family of bird found in tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia and Melanesia. They are characterized by a long, down-curved bill which is frequently brightly colored and sometimes has a casque on the upper mandible.”

Note:  Today, we’re beginning a “Sighting of the Day in the Bush” feature which we’ll continue during our time in Africa.  We hope our readers will enjoy this feature which we’ve presented similarly in certain past locations. 

The first zebra we spotted in the park.  We’ve seen several more since taking this photo a few days ago!

This is the first dinner party we’ve had since Fairlight, Australia when we invited our dear landlord Bob and another couple we’d met who was also staying in his properties.

A baby zebra, most likely approximately four to five months old.  Zebras weigh from 30 kg to 35 kg (66 to 77 pounds) at birth. 

With friends Kathy and Don and Linda and Ken returning to Marloth Park yesterday we could hardly wait another day to see them all once again.  We haven’t seen Kathy and Don since we were here four years ago.


As for Linda and Ken, we met up with them for lunch in Sydney, Australia and had a spectacular time together.  Please click here to see the post about our get-together.

“Ossicones are horn-like (or antler-like) protuberances on the heads of giraffes, male okapis, and their extinct relatives, such as Sivatherium, and the climacoceratids, such as Climacoceras. The base that a deer’s antlers grow from is very similar to an ossicone.”

We’ve stayed in close touch through Facebook, Messenger, and email, never losing touch with any of our South African friends during the past four years after leaving on February 28, 2014. 


In a way, it feels as if it was a lifetime ago we were in Marloth Park.  But now, as we’ve settled in, it seems as if it was only a short time ago.  Lathering up in repellent several times a day, sweating in the high temperatures and humidity, batting off the mozzies while living every moment to the fullest is not hard to forget.

Giraffes lay down to rest but rarely sleep for more than five minutes at a time.

Yesterday, after we uploaded the post, we drove for two hours in Marloth Park searching for wildlife.  During the first hour we didn’t see much and what we did see was too far away for good photos.

During the second hour, everything changed, which is typical when on safari.  You search and search often coming up empty-handed and suddenly there they are, one after another.

A male giraffe can weigh  1200 kg (2646 pounds) while a female may weigh 830 kg (1830 pounds).

I should mention that when we refer to “safari” we’re always referring to “photo safari.”  At no point would we ever participate in shooting wildlife for sport or trophy.  Thus, going forward we’ll simply say “safari” here, always referring to photos safari unless stated otherwise in regard to the senseless slaughter of endangered animals. 


With dwindling populations of most animals in Africa and the toll poaching is taking on nearly extinct wildlife it makes no sense to kill any for sport or profit.  But, I won’t get into that here.  Our readers know how we feel about this controversial topic.

No words can describe how excited we were to see these giraffes. Not wanting to disturbs them we stayed on the road, taking photos from afar.

Much to the delight of all of us here in Marloth Park, its been raining off and on since yesterday afternoon.  This provides much relief for the wildlife who so desperately need to eat the greening vegetation. 

Right now, it’s nearing the end of summer.  The green vegetation will begin to wane in the fall season commencing on March 21st and throughout the following cooler winter months. The wildlife will be on its own trying to find food.  It’s a sad time for them and many don’t survive the long winters.

Large ant hill with trees growing from it.

Today is a busy day, like few others, as we prepare for our six-person dinner party tonight.  What a unique and special experience for us…to be entertaining in our “temporary” home, here in the bush in South Africa.

A vervet monkey sitting in a yard of a house as we passed.

The temperature today is currently 90F, 32C and the humidity is a bit uncomfortable after the rain.

May today bring you unique experiences!

__________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, February 17, 2017:

Tom was proud of their big catch, all flatheads when he went fishing with our landlords.  He had a great day!  For more3 details, please click here.

Goodbye Braai…Both human and animal visitors in attendance…An overnight adventure on the Crocodile River starting today…Back tomorrow to pack…

“Hey, you guys, come on!  They’re serving pellets for breakfast!”
This morning, zebra mom was scolding her baby about fighting for the pellets.

The seven of us and coincidentally, seven zebra visitors had a night we’ll always remember. Even Mr. Tree Frog returned to his perch in the rafters after a 36 hour absence. 

Check out those interesting suction type toes.  Mother Nature certainly provides the appropriate body parts to aid in functioning in life.  Mr. Tree Frog came down from his usual perch to show off for our guests, later returning to his usual spot in the veranda rafters this morning.

Later in the evening, while the festivities were in full bloom, he made a rare appearance on the wall in the veranda enabling me to take this close up of him. This morning he was back on his usual perch, in the exact spot, in the rafters. 

From left to right, Okee Dokee, Louise, and Dawn.
Tom with his hands flying as he talks! In the middle is Danie with Leon on the right.
The table was set and we were ready for our feast.
The zebras visited, hanging around most of the evening. On the left is Dawn and Leon, our friends and owners of Jabula Lodge, as Tom tosses the pellets.
As soon as we ran out of the carrot chunks they looked at us for more. 
Although zebras are herbivores, they enjoyed the fire and the smell of the meat.

How does one become attached to a frog? In reality, it’s no different than the excitement we feel when any visitors come to the yard. They are God’s creatures with their own unique story and purpose in our world. 

Feeding the zebras by hand using a flat palm. 

The party? Stupendous! The food worked out well. It was fun to share an American type meal with our South African friends and they enjoyed it. But, most of all, the companionship, conversation, and laughter was as delightful as it could have been. 

Finally, at 9:00 pm, we were ready to dine. With starters earlier, none of us minded the late meal. 

Danie managed the braai, making a roaring fire to cook the sweet corn and steaks with Tom at his side.  Once the fire was at a full roar, the zebras appeared, gathering around the braai, two together and another five together shortly after the two departed. 

This morning, the family of five was back including one mom and baby, one pregnant mom and two young males.
“See, I can reach up there for a few pellets.”

What is it about the noise that attracts the zebras? Simple. They associate “partying” humans with treats. Makes sense. Last night, we went through an entire bag of carrots.

Last night, this baby spit out the chunk of carrot. Today, she’s anxious for more pellets.

This morning, we’re busy packing for an overnight stay at a safari camp directly on the Crocodile River that we’ve been invited to by the owners, orchestrated by Louise and Danie. We’ll be sleeping in a tent with AC, a bed, and a bathroom. Sounds good to us.

Mom and baby cuddling.  Zebras are very affectionate with one another.

Our minds, preoccupied with packing to leave in three days, make packing for an overnight trip a challenge. But, we’ve been graciously invited and we accepted. If necessary, we could pack everything in one day. 

Happily sticking out her tongue at the prospect of more treats while making eye contact. 

We leave for the lodge at 2:30 today, returning less than 24 hours later. Once back at the African Reunion House, on Wednesday, we’ll start folding, sorting, and packing. The diversion may prove to be good for us with our minds wrapped around our departure on Friday. 

We’ll be back tomorrow with photos from a day and night spent living on the shore of the Crocodile River, meeting new people, and tonight’s bush braai at the campsite. Crocs, anyone? 

Okee Dokee displaying this beetle we found inside the house during the party.