Thanks to our readers who wrote with thoughtful wishes…No”haters,” thank you!…

Rock formations in the Galapagos Islands.

Over the past many weeks, we’ve received countless messages. After yesterday’s post here, in which we addressed our health issues, we received many more. If I didn’t respond to you directly after receiving your message, please know I am doing my best to respond to every one of you. However, with so many messages, I may miss a few, and we extend our heartfelt appreciation for reaching out.

Gosh, we appreciate the fact that we don’t have ‘haters.” Even with the best of health and circumstances, it’s disheartening to receive hateful messages and impossible not to read them. Over the years, we’ve had a few hateful messages; in 90% of the cases, we chose to ignore and delete them. Not many hateful messages deserve a response.

Who are these people who write to bloggers and who post comments on social media? I don’t get it. Certainly, we’re all entitled to voice an opinion, but doing so with grace and dignity should be the order of the day. Unfortunately, it is not. Sure, we’ve had some strong opinions sent to us via the comments section on this site or by email.

We have often responded to those trying to avoid being defensive. But, when one expresses a strong opinion to which the recipient may disagree, it’s not always easy not to defend one’s case for the opinions shared.

Beautiful scenery from either side.

While we were in lockdown in India in a hotel room for ten months, we wrote a post, found here, entitled,

“Please “unfriend me” if…Social media during lockdown.”

This post was directed at Facebook friends who may be posting negative, hateful messages, not necessarily directed at us but directed to others, which may be construed as attacking, racially profiling, gender bashing, or offensive to some people, including groups, celebrities, and politicians.

My goal was to exclude those “Facebook friends” who wrote negative comments that appeared on my feed for any of my chosen friends to see, passing on the negativity down the line.

We prefer to use Facebook to see what our friends and family are doing, places they’ve been, people they’ve seen, and a wide array of life experiences. I don’t add everyone who “friends” me, especially if I don’t know them. As a result, I don’t have a huge number of Facebook friends. Otherwise, it takes too long to go through each day’s feeds and updates to see information and photos from those people we do know.

I don’t spend more than 15 minutes each day looking at Facebook. As I’ve mentioned, once I am done posting, I don’t use my laptop other than for travel research, financial matters (using Express VPN for security), recordkeeping, and streaming shows at night since my laptop has an HDMI outlet to hook it up to the TV so that we can watch on the big screen. Tom’s Chromebook doesn’t have such an outlet, although we could purchase an adapter if needed. But we’re OK with the current set-up as is.

Many have asked if we use Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and other forms of social media. We choose not to. The reason is very easy for us…we don’t want our entire lives to be about social media. The pressure of constantly taking photos and coming up with clever quips and opinions is not in our wheelhouse.

This was wide enough that a small boat could pass through.

As our readers so well know, we do not use our posts to espouse opinions about everything in life. Instead, we prefer to keep our site free of negative opinions that may offend, annoy, or upset any of our readers. Sure, we freely share opinions on inanimate situations and travel venues, trying to stay focused on our day-to-day lives and how travel impacts our daily lives.

Again, thank you, dear readers, for reaching out. We always appreciate hearing from you and your positive perspectives.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, November 18, 2013:

We watched the movie “Out of Africa,” in the bush last night, surrounded by curious animals. Meryl Streep and Robert Redford both played award-winning roles in the movie, which won the Academy Award that year for Best Picture, with Meryl winning the Best Actress award. Redford won as best actor in other awards granted to foreign films. For more, please click here.

An extraordinary evening…Out of Africa, the movie, while living in Africa…

Watching this movie last night had a special meaning for us.

While living in Tuscany, Italy we watched the movie, “Under the Tuscan Sun,” becoming delighted scene after scene of the mention of familiar language, towns foods and customs.  Several years ago, having watched the movie On Demand, Tom read the newspaper in the background, while I drooled over its content.  He referred to it as a “chick flick.” 

Once we were living in Tuscany, we watched it together with a new meaning for both of us.  No longer was Tom grumbling about the “chick flick” factor.  Instead, he was pleasantly surprised by how much we related to its contents.

The replication of the house that Karen Blixen, a writer depicted in her true story, the basis
of the movie.

Isn’t that typical? Having an experience of our own we often find that we become entrenched in a similar experience presented by others; in a story told, a book or a movie.

Last night, this is exactly what transpired for us as we watched yet another timely movie, “Out of Africa,” while sitting in the dark in our outdoor living room munching on nuts, wearing our BugsAway clothing.

The household staff played substantial roles in the movie, as they do here in Kenya in our lives.

I won’t bore you with the romantic storyline of the movie.  Perhaps you too had seen the movie years ago after being released in 1985.  After considerable research this morning, we discovered that none of the film was actually filmed in Africa, although much of the scenery depicted included various parts of the bush, Ngong Hills, the Masai Mara and the Maasi people, all of which according to our experiences, were well represented.  Where the movie was filmed was of little concern to us.

What prompted us to watch the movie, more than anything, was when Anderson, our fabulous guide while on safari in the Masai Mara, pointed out an area that was filmed on site that actually appears in the movie.  And yes, last night, we recognized that very spot, reveling in its familiarity.

Although, when watching a movie we don’t dwell on, “Gee…where was this filmed?”  Instead, we focus of the realistic depiction of a place we may have visited at some point in our lives.  After all, it is a movie: A step outside of our own reality to engage in a compelling story that satisfies our minds and emotions, sufficiently taking us outside of our own lives for a short period of time.  Mission accomplished.

This is the veranda to the house that was built for filming the movie in England. It was only yesterday that Tom and I commented that we’ll have to stop calling “porches, decks and patios” a “veranda” after we’ll arrive in Hawaii, where of course, they’re referred to as the “lanai.”  It was only recently that Tom finally stopped saying “grazie” for thank you, when in fact, “asante” is most appropriate while in Kenya!

But, last night, as while in Tuscany, we found ourselves slapping each other’s knees time and again, in a sheer state of enjoyment as we watched the movie’s details unfold, so much of which has become familiar to us over these past three months living in Kenya, where the movie’s story line occurred.

Particularly, we embraced the representation of the wildlife, the Maasai people, the familiar words in the Swahili language, the traditions and the scenery bringing us back to the glorious safari in the Masai Mara, Kenya, an experience embedded into our hearts and minds forever.

Review of “Out of Africa” by now deceased reviewer Roger Ebert

Music from “Out Of Africa”

Meryl Streep and Robert Redford both played award winning roles in the movie which won the Academy Award that year for the best picture with Meryl winning best actress award.  Redford won as best actor in other awards granted to foreign films.

This link to the Youtube full video of Out of Africa can’t be played here in Africa in order for us to test it, as is the case when we try to connect to certain other websites as the servers detect that we’re in Africa or out of the US.  Please try this link if you’re interested in watching the movie. 

In the event this link doesn’t work for you, it can readily be watched on Netflix, Hulu and others and may also be offered for free from your cable company from Movies on Demand.  There are also numerous websites that offer the full movie at no cost, by using a search engine (such as Google), entering:  Out of Africa video.

As the movie was ending, the battery on my laptop indicated it was running out of juice. Quickly, we moved to the glass table, close to the only electric plugin (using our converter and adapter) in our outdoor living room, as we watched the ending. (No spoiler alert here).

This blurry photo (almost 30 years old) has significance after watching the movie.

Need I say, we loved every moment of this movie as it reminded us over and over as to why we came to Kenya.  As depicted by Meryl Streep in the film, “I had a farm in Africa,”  I was reminded of my own words notched into my memory for as long as I can remember, of “I had a dream of Africa” that now, has finally been realized. 

Never in our wildest dream did we ever believe we’d actually come to Africa.  We pinch ourselves almost daily, hardly believing this is our lives.

Three months from now, we’ll begin packing to head to Morocco.  There’s a movie we’ll be watching after we’ve been in Morocco for awhile, “Casablanca,” a movie we’ll surely watch again, with new eyes, new hearts and new minds.