Who’s in the garden this morning?
- 10 warthogs – inc. Little, Tiny, Lonely Girl, Fred, and Ethel, and more
- 9 bushbucks – inc. Chewy, Thick Neck, Torn EarSpikey, Stringy, Young Ms. Bushbuck, and others
- 6 kudu – inc. Big Daddy, Bossy, and kids
- 1 wildebeest – inc. Broken Horn
- 29 helmeted guinea-fowl
- 2 hornbills –
- 2 Frank and The Misses
- 21 mongoose
Yesterday afternoon, after hours of searching online for possible J & J vaccine appointments in Minnesota, hopefully within one day of our arrival, frustration set in. There were plenty of two-dose vaccine appointments available, but nothing definitive for the J & J, one dose.
We’ll be in the US long enough to get the two-dose vaccine, if necessary. But, doing so will prevent us from visiting Tom’s sister, who’s in a nursing home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The facility won’t allow any visitors until 14 days have passed since their second dose. This wouldn’t work for us.
When the frustration set in after a few hours of research, I tried different keywords and, by a fluke, stumbled across the J & J vaccine being offered to travelers with a boarding pass, arriving or departing from MSP (Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport). I couldn’t book our appointments quickly enough. At 5:45 pm, 1745 hrs, on July 1st, we are scheduled to get our vaccines at the airport before taking off in our rental car to our hotel. What a relief!
Thanks to many of our readers who wrote to us with suggestions, some knew about the airport vaccination program. Your assistance is much appreciated!
For the third time, since we’ve been coming to Marloth Park in 2013, last night’s Movie Night in the Bush was another delightful experience. Lisa, who hosted the event with proceeds going to wildlife rescue, had a fantastic spread of food for the participants.
There were approximately 45 guests who each paid a paltry ZAR 120, US $8.48 for a dinner of pulled pork and pulled chicken with buns, coleslaw, and sliced pickles. Lisa, whom we know well, was so thoughtful of me when she put aside a huge bowl of roasted pork for me without the sugary barbecue sauce. How thoughtful was that! The meat was delicious.
Tom, Rita, and Gerhard enjoyed the full meal as we all dined in our portable chairs a short distance from the movie screen, as shown in the photo below. We didn’t know many people in attendance but were happy to see those we’d met in the past.
The movie, The Ghost in the Darkness was a historical piece that elicited several good and bad reviews. Instead of sitting there critiquing the movie, the four of us decided to have fun and enjoy it regardless of its reputation. After all, it was an Africa movie filmed here in South Africa, and it was fun to be watching it in the bush, with wild animals surrounding us and content movie-goers in the audience.
It was a cool night, and fortunately, we’d all brought along ample clothing to keep us warm. At one point, I was shivering a little even while bundled up in my airline blanket. It was warm during the day, and as typical in Africa, it cools down quite a bit in the evenings.
When we arrived, before darkness fell, the four of us got a kick out of the ostriches that surrounded us, appearing to want to get in on the action. They had to be shooed off to get out of our faces. Perhaps, they viewed all of us as potential sources of good “people food,” which, like other wild animals, is not good for them.
By 8:00 pm, 2000 hours, the movie ended, and we said our goodbyes, including to Rita and Gerhard, who are embarking on a trip to the outskirts of Johannesburg for a course on off-roading with their new vehicle. We won’t see them again until we hopefully can return, as planned, at the end of July.
Tonight, at 8:00 pm, President Cyril Ramphosa will be speaking during what is referred to as a “Family Meeting” to address the nation regarding further lockdowns due to the massive increase in cases of Covid-19, especially in the Gauteng Province where Johannesburg is located. We are located in Mpumalanga Province. But, we will be in Joburg, staying overnight on June 30th.
Our primary concern is, “Will we be able to return to South Africa at the end of July?” For our friends, Louise and Danie, managing so many properties, and Dawn and Leon, as owners of Jabula Lodge and Restaurant, this speech could negatively impact their businesses if the new lockdown measures prevent travel to Marloth Park. They have already struggled so much in the past 18 months.
Now, as we wind down our time in Marloth Park, we are preoccupied with the necessary paperwork required due to Covid-19 for traveling. We have a health questionnaire to complete, and we’ll be good to go.
That’s it for today, folks. We will continue to post during our travel period, providing adequate WiFi services are available along the way.
Take care, everyone!
Photo from one year ago today, June 27, 2020:
|It was business as usual, with Tom wearing a sarong as the required dress to enter the temple. He had a hard time managing the steps. He didn’t have the same experience as women who’ve worn long dresses, knowing when to hold up the hem for ease in walking. For more photos, please click here.|