Part 1…Fantastic farewell party in the bush with friends…More photos to follow tomorrow…

Tom and Danie is a huddle chatting up a storm, as always.

Last night, it was quite a party poolside at Jabula. Dawn, Leon, and the staff went over the top to ensure it was a perfect party, and it was. Almost everyone we invited appeared with their meat to braai and drinks. We brought 12 bottles of wine to share, six red and six white left from my birthday party in February, which we knew wouldn’t stay fresh in the store room with the heat and humidity.

Trevor and Wimpy (pronounced VImpy in Afrikaans) are enjoying the evening with drinks in hand.

The kitchen staff had made salads, pap and Sheba, and other sides to go with the meat while Dawn arranged ice, glasses, plates, and flatware, making the event easy to maneuver for our guests. Staff members Eric and Ivan ensured everything flowed smoothly after the guests arrived. Dawn and Leon worked hard to ensure everything was set up for easy access, and we couldn’t thank them more for their hard work.

Estelle, a lovely friend we’ve enjoyed over the years with Les, Tom, and Leon in the background.

By 5:00 pm, 1700 hrs., everyone was there, and the party was in full swing with lively music, drinks, and a bonfire. Fortunately, it wasn’t a scorching and humid day which made the party all the more enjoyable. The mozzies were at a minimum. I’d brought a spray can of repellent to share, but few took advantage of it. Tom and I sprayed ourselves well a  few times before the party got so lively we’d forget.

The two cakes I baked were a huge hit, and by the time we left, they were gone, with some taking their pieces home in styrofoam containers Dawn provided. Nothing was wasted.

Our dear Dawn, Maria, and Marilyn were seated at the high-top table on the veranda.

Of course, this party was quite lively with a friendly, fun-loving group of people with whom we’d been together many times in the past. Looking around the area, we couldn’t help but smile and remind ourselves how lucky we’ve been to have such good friends during all of our time in Marloth Park, now coming to an end in eight days.

Tom, Leon, Trevor, and Wimpy, as the party was just getting started.

We both moved from person to person, ensuring we had to chance to talk to almost everyone there. We may see those we missed at Jaula sometime in the subsequent three visits. Before leaving around 10:00 pm, 2200 hrs., with many hugs and kisses, many said they’d stop by and see us there on one of those three nights before we depart a week from tomorrow.

Is it any wonder they call these “monkey bars” in some countries? This was actually a jungle gym intended for kids who stayed at the lodge.

It couldn’t have been a more fun evening, and we’re grateful for Dawn, Leon and their exemplary staff, and all of our lovely friends who came to say goodbye at this lively event. I took as many photos as possible, and our friend Janine also sent me many photos this morning on WhatsApp.

Marilyn and Erica were fun and friendly, as always.

I’d never downloaded several photos at one time from WhatsApp, which proved to be a bit tricky. I ended up linking my WhatsApp phone account with a desktop version I downloaded, and using a QR code, I could connect the app on my phone to my laptop version. I could download and save all the photos Janine sent me using WhatsApp.

I’ve always wondered how to do this since it doesn’t appear user-friendly in the app itself. I looked for instructions online and could easily maneuver the photos to my laptop, which I use for doing the daily posts. It’s nearly impossible to do the posts on my phone other than for a short notice, such as when we’re unable to post due to WiFi issues.

Darling Felix and Tom chatted by the steps.

This morning, after an excellent breakfast, we went for our walk, and for the first time, I noticed I was able to walk with a little more ease. It’s walking on dirt rocks filled with rocks that make walking all the more challenging for me. I believe once we get to Florida, it will be easier to walk on flat, even surfaces. I’m hoping this will be the case. as we’ll continue to walk up until the last day we’re here.

Felix’s husband, Lorne (pronounced Lon in Afrikaans), is a serious-looking guy who’s quite funny and friendly!

I continued to work on extricating the hundreds of tablets from the cumbersome plastic blister packs to minimize the amount of packaging we’ll take with us. Doing so is a wise decision since taking all the paper and plastic with us made no sense. However, getting this job done and out of the way takes a lot of time.

More party photos will be shared in tomorrow’s post. Also, I did one load of laundry.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 21, 2013:

Photo of a photo of the Norwegian Epic on its maiden voyage in 2010. For more photos, please click here. Click this link for a news story about us in a local US newspaper.

Planning a party at a party…Oh, oh…is this a good idea?…

Not quite a Big Daddy with his horns still growing, this male sipped from the pool.

Danie always jokes when he says, “Don’t plan a party at a party.” Invariably, this often happens to us. It’s hard to avoid planning other social events while at a social event. One is more relaxed after a glass of something while hugs and lively conversations ensue, creating a party-inducing scenario.

Last night while at Jabula with the bar filled with many patrons who’d attended my 75th birthday party in February, Dawn and Leon suggested we have a farewell party poolside at their place. We resisted at first, but everyone said they’d attend and that having a farewell party was a must-do when we’ll be gone so long.

As of 11:00 am, the invitations have been sent, and although some of our friends have left the bush for a while, we’re expecting about 20 guests. As always, we could have invited more, but the space is limited, and we don’t want it to be too much work for Dawn, Leon, and the staff.

A young male kudu on the left and a female on the right.

We chose Thursday, April 20, at 1600 hrs., 4:00  pm, and asked everyone to bring meat to braai and their drinks while Dawn had her kitchen staff make salads and sides, including the ever-popular South African dish, pap and Sheeba. Here’s a link for details on how to prepare this staple dish served at most social events.

Neither Tom nor I eat pap and Sheeba. Tom won’t like it (I never tried it), and I can’t eat it with the sugar and corn in the recipe. I’d love this if I could eat these ingredients, but I’ve never tried it. (When it comes to living a keto lifestyle, even a bite is too much).

The other sides will be vegetables in one form or another. People in South Africa are used to bringing their drinks to parties. It is more the “norm” than not, and we’ve become quite accustomed to doing this. When in the US over the past several years, we’ve noticed that most often, the hosts provide drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

This forkl of kudus entered the garden looking for pellets. Due to the Easter holiday weekend, there are few visitors right now. It will pick up again on Tuesday.

With the high cost of alcoholic beverages in the US, I believe more people would entertain at their homes if they didn’t always provide ample wine, beer, and other drinks. Also, asking guests to bring their meat is as popular as it gets. When getting people together for socializing, it makes sense to let guests bring their meat and drinks.

Traditional, old-fashioned roles are observed here, more than we’ve seen in the US and other countries, especially today. Also, it seems that in South Africa, men gather around the braai, drinking beer and carrying on lively conversations. At the same time, the women often spend time together at picnic tables and hovering in the kitchen.

When the food is ready, typically in South Africa, the couples sit together while everyone dines on the delicious braai meats and side dishes.

We often see kudus when no other wildlife is around.

One of the reasons I prefer not to bring meat to a braai is because Tom often overcooks my meat when he’s having such a good time talking with the “guys” while hovering over the braai. At the last “bring your meat” party we attended a few weeks ago, I made chicken salad and coleslaw ahead of time for both of us, which worked out perfectly for us. Tom could still chat at the braai and didn’t have to worry about cooking our meat.

Even here at the house, he doesn’t love cooking meat on the braai. Often, he puts the meat on while I keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t get overcooked. It works out better if the meat is the type to slow cook. Let’s face it; Tom doesn’t care to do the cooking. But he does all the dishes, and I’ll cook anytime to avoid doing dishes.

We’ll have a dishwasher when we get to Florida and won’t have to worry so much about using electricity without load-shedding impacting electric costs. It will be great to use a clothes dryer once again. Also, it will be fun to shop at grocery stores where we can get some of the grocery items we can’t find here. It’s been a while since we had such conveniences.

Hmmm…We’re both OK about leaving at the end of the month and capping off our wonderful time here in the bush with friends at our farewell party. We couldn’t ask for more of a send-off. As of the completion of today’s post, almost everyone we’ve invited to our farewell party has RSVP’d.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, April 8, 2022:

Celebrity Silhouette Itinerary, Current Position, Ship Review | CruiseMapper
One year ago today, we boarded Celebrity Silhouette for a transatlantic cruise. We got Covid-19 during the last two days of the cruise and had to cancel our next cruise while still testing positive and being very ill. For more, please click here.