We are seated in a restaurant with less than stellar food, the only place open at this hour close to our gate. We’re boarding the plane in 70 minutes, so I must rush through this.
A few funny things happened in the past 24 hours. One occurred when we were at Louise and Danie’s house before we headed to Jabula to say goodbye to more friends. We were seated at the bar in their lounge, and suddenly, I heard the funny squeaking noises that mongooses make.
I ran out the back door, and there they were, our usual band of mongooses. Now, I should say there are several bands of mongooses in Marloth Park. But, when they saw me, they stood up on their hind legs and stared at me. Out of context, they didn’t know what I was doing at this other house. I made our usual little clicking sound, and they got so excited they started coming into the house and running around.
We all laughed out loud. I didn’t have paloney for them, but this morning, when they reappeared while we were finishing the packing, I was thrilled to see them again. This time, they got little chunks of cheese and savored every bite. When we left several hours later, we left nine eggs in the garden that we hadn’t eaten. They will undoubtedly wonder where we went, won’t they?
Then, we hadn’t seen Norman since last Wednesday, before I went to the hospital. I was hoping to see him once more time before we left. But with the holidaymakers in the park, we doubted he’d return. He had surely been eating “people food” and had little interest in his healthy diet at our place.
Wouldn’t you know, about 30 minutes before we were to head out the door to drive to the airport, there stood Norman in the garden with that little smile on his face. I squealed with delight! I couldn’t have been more excited to see him. Immediately I ran to the kitchen to cut up the remaining apples and cabbage I’d left for him, just in case.
I tossed the food to him. but he didn’t seem interested in eating. Oh, he nibbled on a few pieces of apple I’d cut for him in his preferred small piece. But he only ate a few. Instead, he stood there looking at me, relishing every word I said, almost as if he knew exactly what I was trying to convey…plain and simple…love.
He stayed quite a while, and after I stopped chattering at him in my high-pitched voice, he finally wandered off. “Bye, Norman. I will miss you and hope to see you when we return in 14 months. Be safe from the lions and take good care of your little family. You’ve brought us both such joy for quite a long time.”
Then, there was last night when several couples stopped by Jabula to say goodbye one last time. The kindness and love couldn’t have meant more to us. Of course, Dawn, Leon, and David offered us an outpouring of love that’s hard to describe. It was all so unique.
This afternoon at 2:00 pm, 1400 hrs., we stopped at Louise and Danie’s to drop off the key to the house, and once more, the warm embrace of loving friends filled our hearts. How did we get so lucky?
Now, as we’re seated in this restaurant at the Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, we are ready to move on. The long flight is ahead of us, but as always, we’ll get through it with optimism and hope for the future.
Thank you for sharing this life with us, day after day, night after night, and country after country. It’s been quite a journey.
Photo from ten years ago today, April 29, 2013:
There was no photo on this date as we sailed on a ship through the Strait of Gibraltar. For the story, please click here.
It’s down to the wire. The house is a mess with stuff everywhere as we wrap up the packing, which includes everything we’re taking with us and everything we’re leaving behind in the house’s storeroom across the driveway, between the two flats. Thank goodness Louise was more than willing to let us leave several bins of food supplies, the clothing we won’t need with us, and miscellaneous household items we accumulated in the past few years we spent in Marloth Park.
On Tuesday, after returning to Marloth Park, I couldn’t do anything other than make an easy dinner. I didn’t think I was feeling well enough to tackle this entire house full of “stuff,” but somehow, once I got started, I was on a roll. I stopped every hour or so to take a short break and managed to finish most of it in the past two days.
The next day, I started to regain my strength. and began tackling one area after another. Before I knew it, I had it under control. Tom would gladly have helped with the household items, but he didn’t have a clue what was ours and what came with the house. I remembered everything here and what we’d purchased since January 2021. It was easier for me to do it.
As I write here, Tom is in the bedroom packing his clothes and miscellaneous items. He also will pack all of our digital equipment, cords, chargers, inverters, and adapters. I’ll pack the camera and its equipment, all of which we’ll take with us.
Packing the kitchen was a challenge, deciding on what we can store and the few items we’ll bring with us. There were a lot of spices in the spice drawer, but I remembered what I’d purchased and what was here when we arrived. I didn’t want to lose some of the favorite pans I’d bought in the past 2½ years. I could have left many of those items here in the house for other guests, although we’ve heard that some guests take things home with them from holiday homes… stealing what isn’t theirs.
As for how I feel now, since many of you have written and asked (thanks for your concern and well wishes), which we so appreciate, each day, I regain a little more strength. It was quite an exhausting ordeal, and I am still getting some of the FDA-designed Black Box drugs out of my system, such as a drug called Amiodarone which stays in one’s system for many months and causes me awful side effects while receiving it in the IV while in the hospital.
Hopefully, soon, I’ll return to my usual energized self. Right now, everything I do requires an enormous amount of effort. We have been unable to continue on the walks on the uneven dirt roads. Once we get settled in Florida we’ll be able to start walking on the many paths and trails in The Villages. I’m looking forward to that time.
Tomorrow, we’re leaving Marloth Park at 2:00 pm, 1400 hrs. Our flight from Nelspruit is at 5:15 pm, 1750 hrs., and we have a 4-hour, 45-minute layover in Joburg. During that time, we’ll have dinner and play games on our phones while we wait. After the 17-hour flight from Joburg to Atlanta on April 30, I’ll do a new post while we wait for our next flight to Orlando, with another long layover of 5 hours, 50 minutes.
Although jet lag is usually not a problem for us, it will be straightforward this time since the time difference between here, and Florida is only six hours. We won’t even notice that little of a difference. But, we will notice the lack of sleep on the 17-hour flight. Neither of us is ever able to get any sleep on long red-eye flights. However, after one good night’s sleep, we’re always back to our usual eating and sleeping schedule. It may be a little trickier this time since I am still a bit under the weather.
This is the Freedom Day holiday weekend in South Africa, as described on this site:
Freedom Day on 27 April is an annual celebration of South Africa’s first non-racial democratic elections of 1994. It is significant because it marks the end of over three hundred years of colonialism, segregation, and white minority rule and the establishment of a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela and a new state subject to a new constitution. The holding of the first nonracial elections was the culmination of years of struggle and a negotiated settlement which led to the unbanning of the liberation organizations, the release of political prisoners, and the return of exiles, and the formal all-party negotiations which drafted an interim constitution.
The moment which changed the path of South African history came after long and tension-ridden negotiations held between 1991 and 1992. The South African government, the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP), and other liberation movements engaged in these talks.”
Due to the busy holiday weekend, we are seeing very few animals in the garden. The only visitors we’ve had today are the mongooses to whom we gave the last of the paloney. Tomorrow, we’ll leave them the remainder of our eggs after we’ve made breakfast.
I doubt I will have a chance to say goodbye to Norman, Nina, and Natalie. They usually visit many times a day, but we haven’t seen them since Wednesday, when the influx of holidaymakers began. It’s funny how we’ll see photos of Norman on Facebook when he visits holidaymakers for their “exceptional food,” which he loves as opposed to the healthy treats he gets from us. I will miss him and hope to see him when we return in 14 months.
So it goes. Life in the bush. Unique, memorable, and heartwarming. Tonight will be our last evening at Jabula, where some of our friends are stopping by for a final farewell hug. Before we head to Jabula, we’ll stop by Louise and Danie’s place and say goodbye. They are very busy with their holiday rentals and visitors to the Marloth Park Info Centre so we planned this short goodbye before we head to Jabula.
We’ll be back tomorrow with one more post until the journey begins, and post otherwise, as mentioned above. Thanks for all the love, support, and continued readership during this extended stay in South Africa. As we progress in our world travels in the 14 months, we look forward to sharing many more photos, stories, and adventures. While living in The Villages in Florida, we’ll write about what it’s like living in this massive retirement community of over 100,000 residents. It should be fun sharing all of this information with you.
Photo from ten years ago today, April 28, 2013:
Note; If you are not receiving the automatic email messages with the newest post, we have notified our web guy, and he is working on it. In the interim, you can type in: www.worldwidewaftage.com in your address bar or bookmark it. Thank you for your patience.
I’ll never know what caused the terrifying heart event, which kept me in hospital for three days at Mediclinic in Nelspruit. Was it the vigorous walking we’d done for many days? If there were something lifestyle-wise that I could do to prevent it, I wouldn’t hesitate to incorporate it into my daily life.
I asked the doctor if it could have been stress-related, and he said it was unlikely. Besides, I wasn’t feeling stressed. I was excited about continuing our world journey, especially looking forward to the upcoming three months in The Villages in Florida, where we’ll have an opportunity to see many old and new friends.
Please, if you are planning to get together, don’t hesitate to contact us so we can do so. If you’ve already contacted us to get together, we will reach out to you as soon as we’re settled. and get our passport renewals mailed to the company we’ll be using in Washington, DC.
The cardiologist didn’t restrict my activities since I wasn’t partaking in any activities that could cause such an outrageous heart event. I refuse to live my life in fear of another such event occurring. That would create stress. I have medication to take in case these symptoms occur again in the future, which hopefully can put an end to such an occurrence. Of course, it’s expected that I’d be a little concerned flying on the 17-hour flight from Johannesburg to Atlanta, let alone the other two shorter flights along the way.
But I am not going to let myself focus on that. Instead, I will look forward to arriving in Florida and beginning the next leg of our worldwide journey after spending so much time in Marloth Park, all of which we thoroughly enjoyed. We will miss it, the people and the wildlife.
The three days I lay in that bed in ICU passed quickly with so much activity around me. My sisters (nurses) took great care of me, and the kitchen staff worked hard to ensure that I only received healthy food for my two meals a day; no sugar, no starch, no crisps, and no unhealthy vegetable oils. My eggs were cooked in butter, and I was served meaty back bacon.
One of the nights, Tom brought me leftover dinner from Marloth Park in a chill box covered with bags of ice. Also, he included the balance of my keto chocolate cake from the farewell party. What a treat that was! Dinner the last night was two chicken legs with thighs attached with delicious zucchini and cauliflower, actually seasoned well. I was surprised by how good it tasted. I didn’t eat much for most of the three days, but those few good meals meant a lot.
On the second day, we were instructed to head to the cardiologist’s office for cardiac and carotid ultrasounds. Since we didn’t have an appointment, we waited for some time, me in a wheelchair, wearing a hospital gown and long pants. About 30 minutes after the tests were completed by his technicians in his office, he opened the door to his office and invited us in.
We were thrilled to hear that everything looked good on the scans, other than an anomaly in my right lung which the doctor suspected was one or more pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lung) due to the cardiac event. Immediately, he scheduled a CAT scan with iodine contrast to see what was wrong.
Being unable to take a deep breath and gasping for air was concerning, and I was anxious to get the test done and the results revealed. It was only a few hours later that my sister/nurse handed me the results of the scan (I never told the doctor she did this, or she’d have been in trouble for showing this to me).
With the report in my hands, I read through it quickly to see if there were any issues. I couldn’t stop smiling when the report clearly stated there was nothing of any concern anywhere in my chest (including my lungs), stomach, and pelvis. Whew! When the doctor appeared at my bedside with the report in hand, I acted extra pleased with the good news to avoid revealing that I already knew the results to prevent getting the sister/nurse in trouble.
He attributed my breathing problem to being on the drug Amiodarone, by IV, an FDA-designated Black Box drug, only to be used in a life-or-death situation. At that point, as the breathing got worse, I was thrilled when the IV bag ran out of the drug and another was not being used. Thank goodness. I was given this dreadful drug after a similar cardiac event after the original surgery, and cardioversion was required at that time, as it was on Saturday.
No doubt, it was a harrowing few days. I felt relieved to be off the drug, and within hours I could breathe again. The doctor assumed the dangerous drug caused the breathing issue, a common side effect.
On Tuesday morning, the doctor came by and released me from the hospital. Tom arrived shortly later, and we headed to the accounting department to settle the bill we’d paid in advance upon arrival. I am still waiting for the final bill to see if we owe more or if we paid enough upon admission on Saturday. I should receive that today and will share the details in tomorrow’s post.
Well, folks, that’s the story. This morning, awake at 5:30 am, I got up, showered and dressed, and started packing our stuff in the kitchen that we’ll leave in large plastic totes. We’ll only bring a few kitchen items with us. In all, it looks like we’ll be leaving behind three totes and two duffle bags with our stuff, items we’ll use when we return to Marloth Park in 14 months.
Tomorrow, after a quick trip to Komati to pick up the new emergency prescription and stop at Theo’s office to pay the bill from Saturday and also say goodbye one more time to Doc Theo, we’ll return to the house to continue to work on the packing. It’s a bigger task this time than in the past since we’ve been here for so long.
Again, thanks for all the love and concern from countless readers worldwide. Please accept my apology if I failed to respond to your thoughtful messages. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, especially right now.
Photo from ten years ago today, April 27, 2013:
While on a cruise with a poor WiFi signal, we couldn’t post any photos on this date. However, there is the text for the post we uploaded on that date. Please click here.
First off, let me begin by thanking multitudes of our readers, reaching out with the most thoughtful and kind wishes and concerns while we didn’t post for several days. Knowing all of you are there for us means the world to us. Thank you!
I don’t know where to begin. I still don’t know what precipitated the event and never will, leaving me unable to prevent it from happening again. It was an experience I will never forget, once again staring my mortality in the face wondering if I’d survive this harrowing cardiac event.
It began on Saturday morning at 3:00 am. I was dreaming that my heart was racing and awoke to find that it was racing. When I looked at my Fitbit and saw it was over 200 beats per minute, I immediately grabbed my blood pressure monitor from the closet in the bedroom and was shocked by what it read. I took it again and again, and it read similar numbers. If you know anything about blood pressure, 200/148 was horrifying, to say the least. I could have a stroke or heart attack imminently.
Immediately taking an extra dose of my blood pressure medication, hoping for some relief, I practiced deep breathing and concentrated on relaxing. Stressing about it would only make it worse, but it was pretty hard not to be somewhat panicky. I didn’t awaken Tom.
If we had to drive to the hospital in Nelspruit, it would be dark, and the N4 highway is a dangerous road to drive at night, very dangerous. If we called an ambulance, they’d have to go that same route, and ambulances have also been attacked on this road. I imagined my added terror riding in a speeding ambulance on the dangerous road and going through an area of the drive, the gorge, which always is frightening in itself., even during daylight hours.
The only thing I could do was wait it out until it was a decent hour and I could call Doc Theo and ask him what to do. He gave me his personal WhatsApp number, which he answers 24/7. But, what could he do in the middle of the night other than recommend we drive to the Mediclinic Hospital in the dark? I had to wait it out.
After a few hours, the added dose of the blood pressure drug kicked in, but my pulse was still around 160, and my blood pressure was 180/120—still a dangerous reading. Never sleeping a wink, when Tom awoke, I told him what was going on and that I would call Theo at 9:00 am; six hours had passed. Of course, Tom was distraught, insisting we go to Nelspruit right away since it was light, but I needed to see Theo.
At 9:00 am, I reached him at his home. He said, “Get to my office as fast as possible and meet me at my office.” I grabbed a few things, tossing them in my carry-on bag, and we were out the door in minutes. It’s a 22-minute drive from Marloth Park to his office in Komatipoort. We arrived 30 minutes after I’d talked to Theo. He was waiting for us and came outside to escort me into his office.
Seconds later, he hooked me up to the ECG machine, and seconds later, he was on the phone with Dr. Fanie Fourie, explaining, speaking Afrikaans, what was going on with me and that we were on our way to the hospital in minutes. Dr. Fourie was the cardiologist with whom I had the angiogram four years ago to determine I needed triple coronary bypass surgery when three of the four main cardiac arteries were 100% blocked.
Theo gave me a small tablet, walked me out to the car, and, after a big hug, put me in the passenger seat, attached the seatbelt, and lowered the back of the seat, telling Tom to go to emergency at Medicilnic as fast as he could safely do so. He suggested we could order an ambulance but felt it was OK for Tom to drive, which ultimately would be quicker, with me feeling less stressed.
We were off. I barely remember the drive, not paying attention when we drove through the gorge. Once at the emergency department for only a few minutes, I was whisked away to a treatment room while I was hooked up to an ECG machine, had an IV line inserted into my hand, and was told I was going to have cardioversion which I knew was the preferred treatment for a situation like this.
From John Hopkin Medical in the US, cardioversion is described as follows:
“What is electrical cardioversion?
Cardioversion is a procedure used to return an abnormal heartbeat to a normal rhythm. This procedure is used when the heart is beating very fast or irregular. This is called an arrhythmia. Arrhythmias can cause problems such as fainting, stroke, heart attack, and even sudden cardiac death. With electrical cardioversion, a high-energy shock is sent to the heart to reset a normal rhythm. It is different from chemical cardioversion, in which medicines are used to try to restore a normal rhythm.”
After I had open heart surgery in 2019, I experienced a similar situation while in ICU. I wasn’t afraid, just anxious to get it over with, hoping one time would work. The two doctors treating me explained if it didn’t work the first time, they’d do it again. I had to be anesthetized for this procedure.
They gave me an injection of morphine. I wasn’t sure why since I wasn’t in pain, but I assumed it may have been a part of the procedure to relax the patient beforehand. Wow! What a high that was! But I experienced that for only a few minutes until they injected the anesthetic into the IV, and I was out like a light in seconds. I believe they used a similar drug to that which is used for colonoscopies and other procedures, which is short-acting.
In what seemed like seconds, I was awake and could tell the procedure had worked. My blood pressure and heart rate were almost back to normal. A second “jolt” wasn’t necessary at that point.
Much to my dismay, I was admitted to the hospital ICU/High Care, where the ratio of nurses/sisters to patients is one-to-one. By then, it was Saturday afternoon, and that day was somewhat of a blur for me, during which I didn’t remember much. By Sunday, I was more alert and could determine what was happening.
Yesterday, we returned to Marloth Park after I was released from the hospital. In tomorrow’s post, I will cover this experience’s details. Now, we have to get to the business of packing since the doctor cleared me to travel on Saturday.
Photo from ten years ago today, April 26, 2013:
We had just gone through the scariest few days and nights on a cruise ship when we went through a storm with 50-foot waves. There were no photos posted on this date ten years ago. For this story, please click here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo from ten years ago today, April 21, 2013:
I spent the past day thinking about and making the two cakes in today’s photos below. With load shedding for 9½ hours daily, finding a good time to turn on the oven was tricky. The oven is the only electrical appliance we can’t use during load shedding with the inverter system in this house.
Once the powers came back on, I quickly turned on the oven and got the cakes baking, each separately since the two cakes required two separate oven temperatures. It all worked out, and all I had to do this morning when there was load shedding again was wait for the power to return after 9:00 am to broil the frosting on the oatmeal cake under the oven’s broiler
When I made the oatmeal cake in the US, the frosting was much darker since brown sugar is much darker in the US than in South Africa, where it’s a bigger grain and is very light colored. With yesterday’s heat and humidity, the frosting for the keto cake had to go into the freezer to harden a little since it was too runny when I first made it. It all worked out, frosted well, and I’ve kept the cake in the refrigerator to keep it from melting.
Today, we’ll store it in the fridge at Jabula since it would surely melt if it sat outdoors by the pool where the party is being held. We’ll bring it out after everyone has had their dinner.
Again, we wish we could have invited more people but we were faced with space limitations. If you live in Marloth Park and we didn’t get to ask you due to those limitations, please contact us, and we’d be happy to get together with you before we leave in nine days.
We’ll still be at Jabula tomorrow evening, Friday, and again on Saturday. On our last night here, we’ll have dinner at Jabula one last time before we depart a week later on Saturday, April 29. Our flight from Nelspruit is at 5:15 pm to Johannesburg (an almost five-hour layover) and then on to the long red-eye at 9:35 pm.
Hmmm…the time is coming up quickly. I’ve started going through the cupboards, sorting what we’ll leave here and take with us. Louise said we can use the three big bins we have in the storeroom across the driveway where the two flats are located. No future renters will have access to this area, so our belongings will be safe.
Last time, we left several bins in the room; baboons got in there and destroyed so much that most of it had to be thrown away. Since then, Louise has had baboon-proof windows installed that should prevent this from happening again. We won’t keep any foodstuff that may emit a smell and attract baboons or monkeys.
At 3:45 today, we’ll be leaving the house for the party, bringing the two cakes and several bottles of red and white wine left from my birthday party to share with the guests. Indeed, if we stored the wine, it wouldn’t keep when the temperature rises in the heat and humidity.
This weekend, I will begin packing, doing some of it each day rather than leaving it all for the last few days. I always get peace of mind by not leaving anything for the last minute. There are certain items we’ll be using right up until the last few days, but we’ll figure that out, and all of it will be organized and fine.
With so much to do yet today, I am wrapping up this post now, and we’ll be back tomorrow with photos from the party and more.
Photo from ten years ago today, April 20, 2013:
Yesterday, when I arrived at the pharmacy to pick up the 12-month supply of medications prescribed by Doc Theo, the pharmacy was busy and hadn’t put the entire order together. However, about half of it was ready to go. After waiting in the queue for about 15 minutes, I told them I’d go to Spar and come back in another 15 minutes if they thought they’d be ready. They assured me they’d be ready.
I had dropped off the prescriptions last Friday, but they didn’t have enough of some of the meds to complete my order and assured me they’d have everything by Tuesday. They did, and I was grateful for their efforts in getting it ready as much as they did. It’s a very busy place.
By the time I returned 20 minutes later, the order was ready to go in several large plastic bags I had to take to the check-out counter to have the staff member check off every single item, one by one, to ensure nothing was missing. I waited another 20 minutes until she was done, but I could tell she was working diligently to complete it as accurately and quickly as possible. I didn’t complain.
When I checked out, I cringed a little over the total of ZAR 12599.21, US $700.11, which also included a few toiletry items totaling about ZAR 225, $12.30. Let’s ignore those items for illustrative purposes today and go with the total for this post.
When we returned to the house, I looked online to see the pricing in the US for only one of the medications to use as an example. I visited Drugs.com at this link and was shocked by what I discovered. Only one of the multiple drugs shown in the bulk photo below included today is Premarin 0.3, a hormone I’ve been taking for years. I take one tablet each day. Here’s was I found:
“The cost for Premarin oral tablet 0.3 mg is around $715 for a supply of 100 tablets, depending on the pharmacy you visit. Quoted prices are for cash-paying customers and are not valid with insurance plans. This price guide is based on using the Drugs.com discount card, which is accepted at most U.S. pharmacies.”
Ironically, the 100-tablet cost for this medication is comparable to the entire bill I paid yesterday for multiple prescriptions for one year, not only 100 tablets of one drug. If I did the math for 365 tablets a year with the cost of 100 tablets, the total cost for the one drug would be as follows:
3.65 X US $715 = $2609.75 (ZAR 4753.66)
I could buy all the drugs for the 100-day supply and subsequent cost in the US for one drug. Wow.
No, I am not factoring in what a co-pay might be with insurance in the US. But since we have no health insurance in the US other than basic Medicare, which doesn’t include drugs, these figures are relevant to us. At that point, I didn’t start looking up prices for the other medications since my curiosity was satisfied by this one example in the lot. Surely, if I wanted to take the time and effort to research pricing for each drug, I’d find a similar scenario.
Now, it confirms the logic for us to purchase my meds in South Africa whenever we visit and perhaps even warrant future trips in years to come, let alone the enjoyment we glean from spending time in the bush with friends and wildlife.
The task now is to minimize the packaging as much as possible since, due to humidity in South Africa, most meds are individually plastic wrapped. It can take forever for me to pop out each tablet and put them in a container which I am doing with a few of them, which is why three large empty containers are shown on the right side of the photo.
Of course, I am bringing along the prescription Doc Theo wrote with all of these meds if questions are asked as we enter any country along the way. Also, I am including the more detailed receipts from the pharmacy to substantiate the excessive amount of tablets further. Hopefully, we won’t encounter any issues along the way, especially since the majority of these items will be in my carry-on baggage.
We’ve never had problems bringing large amounts of medication into a country, but one never knows, as we learned from losing our bags most recently when it hadn’t happened in the first eight years of our world travels. One can never take anything for granted.
Today, I am busy organizing the meds and also baking two cakes for tomorrow’s farewell party, one keto chocolate cake, and one regular cake, Tom’s mother’s delicious oatmeal cake with broiled coconut and almond frosting, which is exceptional. It’s baking in the oven now. When it’s done, I will make the chocolate cake but might leave the frosting to make tomorrow.
That’s it for today, dear readers. Thanks for joining us in our less adventurous posts as we wind down the time until we leave South Africa in 11 days.
Photo from ten years ago today, April 19, 2013:
Our teeth cleaning appointments begin at 11:00 am this morning. We’ve already had breakfast and taken our walk. The walk continues to be painful for me, but it improves a little each day. Walking on rocks is hard on my legs, and every five minutes or so, I have to stop for a minute or less and stand still to recover. This issue is due to the surgery I had twice on both legs after heart surgery and my unstable spine.
Following is the bill for today’s two teeth cleaning appointments in Komatipoort:
Each day when we return to the house, I am glad we did it, and I got through yet another walk on the rocky dirt roads in Marloth Park with many potholes. Over the many years we’ve lived here, I always hesitated to walk on these roads for fear of falling. Once we get to Florida and we can walk on smooth paths and paved roads, I will have built up endurance after walking on these hazardous roads. I am looking forward to that.
Last night, I spoke to my dear friend Karen (and Rich) in Florida, and we planned a time to get together in early May. They will stop for lunch or dinner on their way to see Karen’s mom Donna who lives a few hours from The Villages. It will be wonderful to see them again after an entire year since we last stayed at their home in Apollo Beach, Florida.
Now, as we head to Komatipoort, we’ll not only get our teeth cleaned but also head to the pharmacy to pick up my year’s worth of prescriptions and then to Spar for a few more essential grocery items we need to make the cakes for our upcoming farewell party on Thursday. Dawn is doing all the side dishes, and guests bring their meat to braai, a popular tradition in South Africa.
With lots of wine left from my birthday party, we plan to bring a box of wine to set up for the guests to enjoy at the party, which starts at 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs., and will continue well into the evening, knowing this lively group of friends. We expect about 20 guests, including Dawn, Leon, and us. They only have so much room poolside, so we kept the number of guests small for this event.
We just returned from our trip to Komatipoort. Tom filled the little car with petrol while I headed to the pharmacy to pick up the 12 months of prescriptions which included some drugs “just in case” that we may not use during those 14 months we’re away. A few items had to be specially ordered, but fortunately, everything arrived in time for today’s pickup. It took quite a while for the pharmacists to put the entire large order together.
It will take me several hours to go through all of it and remove much of the unnecessary packaging. Some tablets will have to stay in bulky plastic packages since humidity can deteriorate certain drugs. In Florida and South America, plenty of humidity will inspire me to keep them in bulky packaging.
When arriving in certain countries, it can get tricky at some security check-in areas. I got a copy of the prescription Doc Theo had written in the event I am questioned about carrying so many drugs, none of which are narcotic or mood-altering. When arriving in certain countries, based on the fact that our checked baggage had been lost several times in the past few years, I will be carrying all of these prescription medications in my carry-on bags.
In tomorrow’s post, I will share the unbelievably low prices of the medications we picked up today. You won’t believe the prices compared to prices in the US and perhaps many other countries. It was mind-boggling. It’s unreal! For us, it will be worth it to return to South Africa for the enjoyment of the wildlife and the people and the low prices of all these medications.
We stopped at Spar for a few last-minute items we needed for our remaining 11 days in Marloth Park. We won’t need to shop again. I’ve started doing a few organizing tasks toward getting the packing done, including handling the prescriptions and toiletries we’ll be bringing with us as opposed to items we may leave behind.
We’re allowed to check two bags each at 23 kg, 50.6 pounds. We’ll be weighing everything as we go along in the packing process.
That’s it for today, folks. We’ll be back with more tomorrow.
Photo from ten years ago today, April 18, 2013:
For those who may not have read yesterday’s post here, we have changed a feature on our site regarding the “Photo from one year ago today…” at the bottom of the page. We’ve now changed it to “Photo from ten years ago today…” Further explanation of this change is documented in yesterday’s post, as shown in the above link. Otherwise, all other aspects of our site will remain the same.
It’s hard to believe it was three years ago, while we were in lockdown in the hotel room in Mumbai, India, that we hired our current web developer to make major changes to the format of our site. It was a time-consuming and frustrating process.
There couldn’t have been a better time to update the site with so few distractions other than posting daily, finding sources for photos, washing all of our clothes by hand, walking in the corridors, and living a very peculiar life for ten months in a hotel room, unable to interact with the outside world.
We think of this often, wondering how in the world we got through it with the grace we did. We never fought with one another, nor were there ever angry or frustrated tones in our voices to each other. We had a strong and loving relationship going into this odd situation and a strong relationship coming out.
We’re often asked if it made us stronger as a couple or as individuals. Ideally, we’d say yes. But the reality is that we used the adaptation skills and strengths we acquired throughout our world travels, at that time, over seven years into it. Nothing changed other than our personal affirmation of our resiliency, which both of us have developed over these years of world travel.
We’ve had our ups and downs, although none of them were in regard to the strength of our relationship, which somehow remains interesting, exciting, playful, and fun. We spend almost every day and night together, seldom apart, and we never tire of one another.
Part of that may be because we each do our own thing during daylight hours. Sure, we talk and laugh while reveling in our surroundings. But, once we’ve been in a location for a while and the sightseeing tapers off, those quiet days are easy for us. We never feel frustrated over what one of us is doing or not doing. There’s no judgment or criticism.
Ultimately, we make happiness a goal for ourselves and each other. With that in mind, we rarely have disagreements except when stressed over travel plans or circumstances. Even that is a rarity. We’re lucky, and we know it. Then again, is it luck? Probably not. It revolves around a sense of self-confidence and emotional security that we’ve chosen for ourselves.
Neither of us operated this way in past relationships, although we each extrapolated lessons we’ve learned from failed past relationships, choosing happiness over “always being right.” Being right doesn’t matter. Making smart decisions does.
No, we’re not experts and have little advice for others. We’ve only allowed ourselves the privilege of making the most of every single day and night. Speaking of nights, this is when we come together after our daytime forays into activities that appeal to us individually. We listen to music, talk, laugh, tease, and often compliment one another, genuinely and from the heart. This is the glue that binds the quality of who we are together as a couple and as individuals.
As we spend days watching the behavior of wild animals, we often giggle over how much alike we are to them. They share pellets and loving nudges but then, at times, go off on their own, only to return later for more of the same. That’s us. Plain and simple.
Photo from ten years ago today, April 17, 2013: