Making friends while traveling…A local friend’s birthday celebration…A social life…Please scroll for more visitors…

A photo of a lovely painting on the wall of the restaurant, Tambarina.
How lucky we’ve been to befriend local Marloth Park residents, some living here year round and others who have homes in other parts of South Africa or other parts of the world.
At lunch last Friday with our new friends, Piet and Hettie, with whom we celebrated both of their birthdays over a fabulous lunch at the Tambarina Restaurant in the town of Komatipoort.
The commonality of the interest in wildlife creates an easy segue into lively conversation. Add the combined travel adventures to the conversational mix, the unbelievable friendly nature of the citizens of South Africa and friendships bloom with gusto.
Hettie’s lunch of prawns from Mozambique, a neighboring country we’d love to visit. Due to political unrest at this time, we’ve been advised to stay away.
We won’t take any credit for this pleasing friendship-making other than the enthusiasm we share for meeting people along the way in our travels.
Piet T-bone steak platter which he said was excellent.  We were so busy chatting I forgot to take a photo of Tom’s meal.
While cruising we were again lucky to meet many wonderful people from all over the world, many of whom we stay in touch via email. Once we landed in Belize for 2½ months, we made friends with neighbors on either side of us, who happened to have their other homes 35 minutes from our old home in Minnesota. We stay in touch regularly.
My prawn salad was perfect for lunch.  Next time I’ll order the plate of prawns that Hettie ordered and enjoyed.
There’s no location that we’ve lived in the past 15 months have the locals been so welcoming and open to befriending these two vagabonds, who’s three months stay in Marloth Park is rapidly waning.
The elusive monitor lizards occasionally honor us with an appearance. Recently, one of the two of them ate an egg we’d left out for the mongoose family living in our yard, which occurred so quickly we were unable to take a photo.  

In a few weeks, I’m going out to a “girls only” lunch date with two lovely women with whom we’ve socialized as couples. It’s been 15 months since I’ve had a “girls only” lunch with my dear friends from our old neighborhood; Nelleke, Jamie, and Sue, when they planned a get together one last time before we left on Halloween 2012. 

Although not daily visitors, we can count on the kudus to stop by once a week. The wildlife grazes on a rotating basis to ensure they don’t “wipe out” any single area of vegetation. How clever, Mother Nature!

Last Friday, our friends Hettie and Piet invited us to lunch as their guests to one of their favorite restaurants in Komatipoort, Tambarina, a quaint Portuguese restaurant. Offering the freshest of ingredients and known for their jumbo prawns imported from the neighboring country of Mozambique, their menu was diverse and appealing, the resulting food absolutely delicious.

If we lived here, we’d never tire of the graceful beauty of the kudu or for that matter, of any of the wildlife that comes our way with the exception of poisonous insects. Whether a dung beetle, a tree frog, a mongoose, a turtle or the yet-to-visit wildebeest, we love seeing them.

With both of their birthdays early in the month, we celebrated, enjoying yet another excellent time together.  We look forward to their return by the end of this month as well as the return of other friends, we’ve been fortunate enough to make in Marloth Park.

The mineral lick hasn’t garnered as much attention as we’d anticipated.  A few days ago a warthog pushed it out of his way with his snout, showing no interest whatsoever. Thus far, a few kudus have nibbled at it. Guess we won’t need another one of these.

Of course, Louise and Danie, our hard-working hosts, are much more to us than “landlords.” They frequently stop by to see if we need anything but more importantly, for both of us, is the time they spend visiting with us, as we all get to know each other. They are very special people.

The center kudu was nudging the kudu on the left with his massive horns. We seldom see a female kudu in our yard who protect their young in secluded locations during their infancy.  Once impregnated, the males permanently avoid the females and the offspring. A dominant male may mate with many females, leaving other males without a mating opportunity. Later, the boys hang out together, the dominant male heading up the herd.
Not unlike Minnesotans, many homeowners here have a house elsewhere and a house in Marloth Park, as one would have a house and a cabin on a lake in Minnesota. After lengthy holiday stays, many return to their other homes for a period of time with plans to soon return to Marloth Park.
Both of us have always been “social butterflies” making a concerted effort to nurture and cultivate relationships with friends. In the past, we frequently entertained as well as being entertained in the homes of friends. Having left all of those friends behind, making new friends has been such a pleasure.

With only 53 days remaining in Marloth Park, we plan to cherish every moment with our new friends, both human and animal, which apparently are in abundance in this glorious location.