Summer solstice…The task has begun…Trying to recall every item in our missing bags…One video today…

It’s the first day of summer in Africa and other countries in the Southern Hemisphere.  Based on the hot weather this past month or more, one would think summer had already started here in the bush. When visitors come here from Cape Town, Johannesburg, or other big cities in South Africa they are often shocked by how much hotter it is here.

We’re often shocked by how cold it gets in Cape Town during the winter months. We hear visitors discuss the snow in the mountains and the chill in the city. It gets cool here in the winter which we always appreciate. Today is almost like a winter day with temps much lower at only 77F, 25C with humidity at 71%, and the dew point is 67, considered tropical. But, it feels good not to be sweating.

I’m seated at the dining room table with lots of “lost baggage” paperwork beside me with a clear view of the garden, just in case my favorites stop by. We had a busy morning but now midday, it’s settled down, and only a few visitors have stopped by. When sundowner time arrives, invariably, the animals wander out of the bush and parkland and come to see what we’re doing. It’s a delightful time of the day.

We both make a point of being done with tasks by 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs., each day so we can sip on our preferred beverages and enjoy idle chatter and the quiet solitude that bush so blissfully provides. But, tonight might be a little different. We need to list each item in each bag and submit it to Ethiopian Air for reimbursement if possible.

Today, I finally reached a rep, and they sent me a claim form that we asked Louise to print for us. Tom went to the busy Info Centre to pick up four copies of the form which, weirdly, have to be completed by hand, not online. How ridiculous is that? My handwriting is illegible and has been so for most of my life. Tom writes very slowly, but it’s possible to read what he’s written.

When we received the claim form I noticed their maximum payout is US $400 per bag. That doesn’t put a dent in the value of the items in those two bags. How frustrating. Now, we need to file a separate claim with our credit card company. We’ll see how that goes. The offer more reimbursement but the process is time-consuming and frustrating.

So this evening with the day’s tasks behind us, we’ll sit outdoors at the table on the veranda and begin compiling our lists of items in the lost bags. We’ve already shopped at the Bush Centre this morning for a few items from the meat market and the little grocery store. Now, we can make it until after Christmas for another run to Komatipoort to do the grocery shopping.

Since we’ll be at Jabula Friday and Saturday nights (Christmas Eve) we won’t have to cook anything until Christmas day. We’ve decided to make keto pizza for Tom with just the two of us, and I’ll have chicken breasts on the braai. I want to eat the pizza with him, but it’s just too fattening for me while I am doing so well losing weight. It tastes so good it’s impossible for me to eat only a tiny piece. I won’t even take a taste. To me, it’s as good as eating a gooey doughnut, an occasional treat I may have had in my old life before going keto in 2011.

Tom is currently at his lowest weight since we were in Belize in 2013. He has no health problems, is not pre-diabetic, and takes no meds. Right now, he is enjoying some treats I make for him and more when dining out. But, he avoids bread and desserts and doesn’t drink any sweet drinks.

Many times while we’re at the bar in Jabula, other patrons will offer to buy us each a “shot.” I’ve never done a shot in my life, and Tom isn’t interested in them either, regardless of what alcohol they may be. Neither of us cares to take such a quick intake of alcohol and potentially get drunk. We certainly don’t judge those who partake, but I doubt we ever will if we haven’t started doing them by now.

Surely on Christmas Eve, the drinks will flow, but we will both stick to our usual choices, not overdoing it, while sipping on our preferred beverages. Nonetheless, we’ll enjoy the merriment of the holiday season and the festivities. It’s a very special time in the bush.

My laptop’s battery is about to need a recharge, and I’ll need to plug it into the bedroom plugs near the one inverter-fed outlet by my bedside table. Several of our adapters were in the missing bags, and we now have a shortage of plug-in spots in the remainder of the house. Gosh, we lost a lot of stuff in those two bags!

We’ll be back with more tomorrow, folks. Have a fantastic day as many of you prepare for the holiday season.

Be well

Photo from one year ago today, December 21, 2021:

Wildebeests were resting near Verhami Dam in Kruger National Park. For more, please click here.