The WiFi saga continues, along with the auto email issues, along with the high humidity…But…

This male kudu’s right eye appears injured and pushed into the socket.

The “but,” as mentioned in the headline, is that I didn’t have a headache all day for the past two days until around 4:00 pm 1600 hrs. I am trying to figure out what causes it to return in the late afternoon, but I need to wait a few more days to discover a pattern.

In the interim, we’ve been working on resolving the problem with our WiFi, and after three techs were here late yesterday and we still couldn’t stream last night, I’ve concluded that the router is too far away from the bedroom. The router is located upstairs on the second floor to facilitate the “smart TV” and its Netflix account, which we never use.

Four Big Daddies were eating the leftover lucerne. We have one more delivery tomorrow. The bush is greening for the animals, and they will have natural vegetation to eat along with pellets we’ll continue to offer for treats, along with vegetables and some fruit.

As mentioned yesterday, I prefer not to use the stairs at night since we’re often in the dark due to load shedding. However, the router is too far from the bedroom to provide a good enough signal for us to stream. Why this has changed in the past month, we’ll never know. But, right now, this is a logical solution.

I ran an online test called Speed Test. Just type “speed test” into your address bar, and it will tell you the quality of your connection. It’s free, and there are no advertisers nor a sign-up required. When I tried to run the test in the bedroom, it didn’t even register due to a poor signal.

Tom put some pellets on the railing for the Big Daddies.

Louise called Tech Connect to have them send out a technician to move the router to our bedroom on the main floor so we can stream at night. Last night, we tried watching a show on Amazon Prime, and it cut out every 30 to 45 seconds. Very annoying. We quit trying after a while. Also, other users in the area are using the nearby tower at night, which slows down the signal. This makes all the sense in the world.

In the next 15 minutes, I will hear back from Tech Connect regarding when they can move the router. It will require a hole in the wall or ceiling. I just received a Whatsapp call from them, and they will be arriving sometime this afternoon. Hopefully, by tonight, we will have a suitable signal and be able to stream our favorite shows.

If they drop one pellet, they look for it.

We’d hoped to go to Kruger this week, especially since my head has felt a little better, but now, for the second day, we have to stay put to wait for the technician to come to the house. We have no problem with this if the issues get resolved today.

We have wanted to go to Kruger, but with the headache, the thought of moving my head back and forth across the road, searching for wildlife, hasn’t been too appealing. We can do it in the next few days.

He was resting after his snack.

Our dear friend Leon is thankfully out of the hospital and on the mend from the blood clot in his leg. We’ve been in touch every day, and it’s been great to hear his voice. We will give him a few days to rest and see him on Friday evening. I am baking a special treat to bring to him.

Currently, Tech Connect’s internet service is down in the entire area, so I can keep typing but will lose everything if I don’t copy and paste what I’ve written so far into a Word document. Ah, the challenges are many, but we’re holding up.

With the WiFi issues we have today, I am signing off now. Hopefully, by tomorrow, things will be better.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, November 8, 2021:

A hippo is quite far from the Marloth Park side of the fence. For more photos,  please click here.

Automatic email isn’t sending…WiFi issues continue…Hot, humid and uncomfortable day…TIA…

Zebras stopped by looking for pellets.

Dearest readers who have chosen to receive automatic emails with our posts each day, we sincerely apologize that this feature has only worked on and off over the past few years since we changed our site while we were in lockdown in India. We realize the inconvenience this has been for our readers. Again, for time #25, I have contracted our hosting company Hostinger to resolve this issue.

I’ve kept each request in an ongoing email message. They know how chronic this issue has been. My only solution is to move to another hosting company, which requires lots of work and the potential loss of money since I paid several years in advance for a discount. They don’t give refunds.

They usually fix it, but it only lasts for a short period. In the interim, please let me suggest an easy alternative to receiving the latest post with no more clicks required than when you received the email. Do this once each day anytime after 24 hours of when you would have received the email:

Go to your address bar. Type in:

That’s all you have to do. Each day our web address brings up the latest post anytime after you would have received the email.  You can do this on your phone as well.  Alternatively, you can create an icon on your desktop or home screen for: and click it once a day, anytime within 24 hours of receiving the previous auto email.

Today, I plan to send the post manually as a group. Tom is included in that group, and I will know if it works if he receives it. I will let you know tomorrow, and if that’s the case, you can ignore the above instructions. I will manually send the email posts in a group each day. Sorry for the inconvenience!

This isn’t Lollie and her three piglets. It’s another mom. One of the piglets hops since she has a bad front leg. We call her “Hoppy.” She seems to be thriving, although the way she runs is both heartbreaking and funny.

Besides that, we still have WiFi issues in the house (this isn’t the cause of posts not going out). Over the past week, we have yet to be able to stream an entire episode of a show on my laptop when we hunker down for the night. It starts and stops every few minutes. As a result, we’ve been stuck playing with our phones before we go to sleep, playing games that don’t require a strong internet signal.

To avoid continually pestering Louise at all hours of the night, I have been communicating directly with our service provider. After installing a more powerful router, we’ve had some improvements but needed more to make streaming seamless. Today, the company’s owner is coming out to see what is wrong and discover how he can fix it.

Of course, this is frustrating. After eating and sitting on the veranda, we want to go inside our bedroom, away from insects, get comfy and watch a few hours of our favorite TV series. We want to be able to stream until 10:00 pm, 2200 hrs., after which we’re happy to “play” with our phones, answer email messages and text, and generally wind down for the night.

Today is an uncomfortable day here in the bush. The temperature is only 80F, 27C, but the humidity is currently at 76%, making the dew point 72, which at 65 is considered tropical. This is sweating weather. The temperature will continue to rise throughout the day, but usually when it does, the humidity may go down along with the dew point. If the sun were out, it would “burn off” some humidity.

Zebras are on a mission to get fed!

We can only imagine how uncomfortable this is for the animals, with many having furry coats. We see the warthogs visiting with mud all over them. They cool off in mudholes they find in the park. But, the zebras, antelopes, wildebeests, and others can only hide in the shade to stay cool and drink water from pools, water holes, and in our case, the birdbath, which we keep filled with fresh water each day.

Gee…I don’t want to sound like we are miserable today. We are not. My biggest disappointment is that we don’t have many visitors this morning. The weekend tourists have left, and hopefully, the animals will stop by soon. I hadn’t seen Norman for two days, a rarity, until yesterday afternoon. I gave him, Nina, and Noah, a big bowl of “Norman’s Lunch,” which they all enjoyed while hanging around for hours. This morning, we’ve only seen duikers Derek and his friend Dion, but not Delilah.

Once they all start coming around, we are both so happy to see them that we forget about annoying issues and revel in the wonders of the bush. For the past two days, my head is feeling a little better. I am hopeful.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, November 7, 2021:

Spikey has been playing in the mud! Too cute for words! For more photos, please click here.

Frustrating nights without WiFi…

Look at the number of kudus visiting us!

Recently, we’ve been having serious WiFi issues. We’ve been able to get through the day with only a few outages. But, after dinner, when the insects are too awful to sit on the veranda, we head to the bedroom to prop ourselves up with pillows on the bed and stream a few hours of various TV series.

We tend to prefer series to movies and are constantly checking for new series that may appeal to us. Tom doesn’t care for science fiction or fantasy-type series, and I don’t care for war documentaries. As a result, we don’t watch either. If something pops up that one of us wants to see in these categories, we can watch it on our own. During the day, Tom often streams parts of recent football games from teams other than the Minnesota Vikings, which he watches entirely, usually in bed on Sunday nights.

Busy lucerne morning.

Over the past ten days or so, we have yet to be able to stream a single show on Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime without the WiFi going out every 30 seconds or so. This has prevented us from watching anything, although we’ve continued to try each night. Louise reported this to Tech Connect, the provider in Komatipoort, which generally has provided good service.

I’ve spent hours texting back and forth with the provider, trying to figure out a solution. From the start, I insisted it was a router problem. Routers go bad, and the same router has been in this house for years. But they insisted it wasn’t the router after trying many other fixes. I persisted, and finally, the company ordered us a high-grade enhanced power router which has yet to arrive, and they’ve reported to us each day. They’ve been very responsive except on this one point.

Another visit by Louise and Danie’s francolin family. Are they scoping a new location for their fast growing chick, maybe here with us? We’d love that!!!

We’re hesitating to go anywhere because we fear the router will come in, and they’ll want to install it immediately. I’m sure they want me to get off their back, although I’ve always been gracious and appreciative of their help, and they, in return, have always been very nice.

Years ago, in our old lives, we had constant problems over a few years with cable TV from Mediacom, the provider in our area at that time. From what I hear, in the US, cable TV isn’t used much anymore with the availability of many streaming services. Upstairs in this house is a flat-screen TV with Netflix, but we prefer not to go upstairs at night since it’s hotter up there, and we’d have to use the aircon. Also, I prefer not to go up and down those steep steps, especially in the dark during load shedding.

Zebras quickly devour the lucerne.

We never watch TV in a holiday home unless we visit the US or if they have Nat Geo, which we may keep on in the background from time to time if there’s a TV in the living room/lounge. But that has not happened since we were in Fiji in 2015, a long time ago. We have never watched TV while in Africa, instead streaming a few favorite shows when we head to bed.

Last night, in desperation, we watched a movie we had on the hard drive Rita and Gerhard gave me for my last birthday, “A Dog’s Purpose.”  I loved the movie, but Tom thought it was “hokey.” I even cried a few times, which I do more in dog movies than others.

A mom and youngster kudu enjoying the lucerne in the garden with Nina and a bushbuck.

We’ve seen most of the movies on the hard drive, or they are science fiction, fantasy types, or action heroes, another theme which Tom doesn’t care to watch. I will watch any movies, but I am not fond of films about the 50s and 60s, the years I was growing up. Go figure.

It’s a miracle that we’ve been able to upload the posts and photos each day, although from time to time, I have been unable to upload photos or save the post as I am working on it.  At that point, I copy and paste everything I’ve typed and move it to a Word document to save on the hard drive for when the WiFi returns, so I don’t have to re-write the entire thing. Nothing is more frustrating than losing everything I’ve done.

That’s it for today, folks. Have a fantastic day!

Photo from one year ago today, November 2, 2021:

Farmers burn sugarcane crops before harvest to remove the leaves and tops of the sugarcane plant leaving only the sugar-bearing stalk to be harvested. For more photos, please click here.

Finally, a photo of us!…Getting ready for special guests on Monday on our 10-year travel anniversary…

Yes, we know Tom needs a haircut. He’ll get one next week. This photo was taken yesterday at the phone store using Tom’s new phone.

We only post a few photos of us. If it weren’t for our readers, who often ask us to post photos of us, we’d post them even less. But, when we look back years later, we’re glad we posted a few here and there.

The only tricky part is looking back and seeing how we’ve aged in the past ten years since we began traveling the world. In our upcoming 10th anniversary post, we’ll include some of those photos from the past ten years. But, a month ago, we’d mentioned posting a new itinerary.

Norman took a rest in the garden, very unusual for him.

But, as it turned out, as much as we tried, we hadn’t booked anything yet beyond the two upcoming cruises next August 2023, less than a year out, after which we’ll spend about a month in the US visiting family, which we missed doing this past May when we both ended up with Omicron and were too sick to see our family while we were in Minnesota and Nevada.

Hopefully, in September 2023, we won’t have Covid-19 again, and we can spend the month enjoying our loved ones in the two states. We have a tentative plan of where we’ll go from there, which we’ll share in the upcoming anniversary post.

Yesterday, I managed to get Tom’s new phone set up. Since the new phone wasn’t another Google Pixel we both prefer, he was okay with purchasing the new phone for US $307, ZAR 5575. As mentioned in a prior post, he’ll use this phone until we return to the US in September and can each purchase two new Google Pixel phones, which don’t come out until October 13, 2023.  We’ll have to play it by ear to see how long we are in the USA.

Norman’s son Noah, also took a rest, along with his dad.

As for our upcoming special guests coming to stay at one of the two little cottages on our property, our dear friends, owners of Jabula, Dawn, and Leon, are coming for a special Asian dinner we’re making with some of Leon’s favorite dishes. Since they are always waiting on us, Monday and Tuesday will be days we’ll be fussing over them.

Leon has been stricken with a horrific terminal illness, details we’ll share later with their permission. We are heartbroken and will do everything we can to be there for them during this sorrowful time. Life is hard. There’s no easy answer as to why these things happen. Lately, our lives have been surrounded by the illnesses and loss of friends we’ve cherished over the years.

Each day, Noah is looking more and more like his dad. Soon he will have the dark brown coat and mane which makes Norman so handsome.

All we can do as friends is provide love and support in any way that works for them. This isn’t about us. This is about the loved ones and dear friends who have been at our sides over the years and how we can support them during sorrowful times. We will share the special menu for Leon and Dawn with food photos.

Load shedding just ended and the washer restarted where it left off. Soon, I will be able to hang the second load that stopped over two hours ago when load shedding started. It appears there won’t be any more outages today but that can change in a minute. Tonight, we’re off to Jabula to be with our friends, at the friendliest and most fun bar on the planet with over-the-top fantastic food.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 28, 2021:

One Tusk is becoming quite popular around here. Perhaps, a replacement for Tiny, who never returned after we visited the US in July 2021. For more photos, please click here.

Finally, a new fitness watch and a bag…7 days and counting…

One year ago, we posted this photo we’d taken in 2013 while on a road trip. Bourke’s Luck Potholes was our favorite photo of the day on our three-day tour of the Panorama Route and Blyde River Canyon. See the original post here.

Yesterday, after completing the post, I headed out shopping. I don’t care to shop for anything other than groceries which I find quite enjoyable. Browsing through any department store makes me cringe. 

I wasn’t this way in my old life, but with my limited wardrobe over the past seven-plus years, knowing I have to toss something from my one suitcase of clothing to maintain the consistent flight approved weight if I purchase something new. This fact makes shopping less than fun.

Over the past three years, I have been using a blue cloth grocery bag as a means of carrying the necessary items with me when we’re going out for an extended period.

On shorter outings, I only bring lipstick to be stuffed into my or Tom’s pockets. (Many women’s pants don’t have pockets). Now that my flip-open RFID phone case has space for ID, cash, and credit cards, I no longer need a wallet.

Over the past three years, I’ve become tired of using the navy blue grocery bag. With the long and arduous upcoming flight to India, I reconsidered if I wanted to carry that blue bag one more time. I do not.

What I wanted to find was a cloth-type bag that can be squished enough to fit under the seat on an airplane and yet large enough to hold what I usually carry with me onto the plane: phone, camera, cosmetic bag, hairbrush, earpieces, and charging cords and a wide array of odds and ends.

(With this upcoming flight, we’ll need to bring along a few toiletries based on traveling for almost 30 hours, including an eight-hour layover. In checking information on British Airways, it appears they provide toothbrushes and toothpaste, our biggest concern).

As it turned out, I found the perfect item at TJ Maxx, a black Steve Madden padded, parachute material bag that zips with several pockets, all secure, leaving the contents relatively theft-proof. Sure, a thief could steal the entire bag off my arm, the reason I haven’t carried a prominent handbag all these years. This new bag is more of a carry-on type bag.

The next item I wanted was a fitness watch. I’d ordered one online in December, and it never arrived. I am now awaiting a refund. If I don’t see it come through in the next few days, I will contact the credit card company to remove the charge, especially since I have an email apologizing for their error in not sending out their product.

After the trip to TJ Maxx in Mesa (a 20-minute drive), I followed the road circled the mall to the Best Buy store. They had several models, but many included music and Amazon’s Alexa. 

Since Alexa doesn’t work in most countries, I saw no need to purchase the more expensive Fitbit Fitness watch. I selected the FitBit Charge 3 that suited my needs at a fixed price of $149. I’d shopped quite a bit online over the past week researching models and settled on this particular watch.

Yesterday, while wrapping up the completion of setting up Tom’s old laptop for my use, I also set up the watch itself and the app for the device on my phone and the computer. 

By dinner time, I had everything set up and was thrilled with the results. I love my new FitBit. Overnight, last night I downloaded all the photos from my old laptop onto our external hard drive, My Passport. 

Now, I can reformat the drive on my old laptop and offer it to Tom’s sisters if they’re interested. If not, we will recycle it at a proper facility, as mentioned.

Tom just left for the Mesa airport to pick up his sister Rita from South Dakota, staying with Margie for a week. It looks like some fun card playing is on the agenda! There will be nine of us, including Mary and Eugene’s son, Kevin, who’ll be leaving in three or four days.

Once Tom brings Rita to Margie’s home, we’ll pack up food for me and beverages for both of us. This morning Tom purchased a roasted chicken for me to bring today since they’ll all be having sandwiches and chips.

That’s all for today, folks. We’ll be back again tomorrow with more. 

Have a fantastic Wednesday!

Photo from one year ago today, January 22, 2019:

Basket, the Bully, was feeling sad after his right ear was nearly torn off in what must have been as a result of a fight he most likely provoked. We comforted him with pellets, apples, and carrots before he took his nap in the hay. For more photos, please click here.

Great time with Staci from Texas…Paperwork and haircut for Tom…8 days and counting…

Staci and I by the entrance to the Red, White & Brew restaurant. The wine and food were excellent, and the companionship was spectacular. Hopefully, we’ll meet up somewhere in the future.

Yesterday, Tom decided to drop me off and pick me up after dinner with friend/reader Staci from Texas. She and I had been communicating back and forth over the years, and it was such a delight to meet her face-to-face.

Tom drove me to the restaurant and picked me up when I called later. The packed restaurant (we arrived at 4:00 pm) had excellent food, wine, and service. As a result, I was able to enjoy some fantastic red wine with Staci. 

The conversation was delightfully varied as we each reveled in the opportunity to talk to one another in person. Also, it was remarkable to share in some “girl talk” often missing from conversations when Tom and I are gabbing with other couples.

We feel so grateful for all the beautiful people we’ve met due to our daily posts. Meeting them in person is a bonus. Now, as we’re about to carry on in our world travels, many readers are writing to us, wishing us well. 

We try to respond to each message, but please bear with us if we fail to do so due to the volume of email messages. Please know that we read every message we receive and, in most cases, respond within 24 hours.

Once we leave Arizona next Wednesday, heading to India, we’ll be traveling for almost two days to reach Mumbai (formerly Bombay). Then, on the train, a few days later, most likely, WiFi will be sketchy. 

By February 8th, after the Maharajas Express (train) ends, our 55-day tour begins, again with unpredictable WiFi. Please bear with us if we’re unable to post or reply to messages as we usually would.

However, we’re hoping to upload posts and photos, which, based on information online, looks like a good possibility. We’ll have to hurry to get it done when our days and nights will be so full. But, as always, we somehow find the time to stay in touch with all of you.

This morning we ventured out in the rain to OfficeMax to print, sign and scan a few documents to send back to the immigration attorney. Once completed, we found the closest Great Clips, where Tom had hoped to get a haircut. 

The place was so packed. The wait would have been at least one hour. Neither of us cared to wait that long. Tom looked online for other facilities only to be told the wait would be one or two hours.

Instead, he decided to show up early tomorrow morning, hoping to be their first appointment. I’ll stay behind and work on other projects, which are many at this point, with departure day looming.

Today will be low-key. I’ll run out for a few last-minute items. Tonight, we’ll dine in. I have completed the transfer of my data to Tom’s old laptop, and all is working well.

In rearranging the items on the start menu and the desktop, I have made Windows 10 work for me which I am using now as I prepare today’s post. I have a lighted keyboard, touchscreen, and one terabyte of storage, and all the features work. It feels good to use a faster machine after dealing with my slow, fast-fading laptop. 

We hope you have a meaningful and productive day and that all is well your way!

Photo from one year ago today, January 21, 2019:

On many occasions, we’ve seen several bushbabies on the stand. For more photos, please click here.

Defining our digital needs going forward…9 days and counting…

An Egyptian Goose on the far shore of the Sunset Dam in Kruger National Park. For more photos, please click here.

Tom purchased a Google Chromebook with an entirely new operating system. He was sick of Windows 10 on the Acer 15.6 laptop he’s been using for over a year. I understood his concerns.

Although I tried to help him figure out “workarounds” for the features he didn’t like, (as opposed to Windows 8.1, which he did like), unless a person is using the system day by day, it’s challenging to determine exactly what changes need to be made. Also, a part of this is about personal preferences.

His laptop was running very slow but otherwise seemed to be in good shape. My Acer 15.6 laptop (5 years old) has been showing signs of a possible crash at any time. (I’ve backed up everything, of course).

Our current plan was to purchase two new smaller (11.6) Chromebooks since neither of us cared for Windows 10, nor are we Apple people, and we appreciated the smaller, lighter size of Chromebooks.

Recently, we purchased one Chromebook with the plan to get it up and running before leaving Arizona. If we both liked it, we’d buy another for me this week. 

After setting up Tom’s compact-sized unit, I noticed several features (or lack thereof) that would make it difficult for me to keep records and to do the daily posts. It simply isn’t the most sophisticated device for my needs but works great for email, Facebook, Ancestry, web browsing, managing financial apps, and syncing with his Google phone.

After considerable discussion and the fact that I thought by “restoring” Tom’s laptop to basically “clean it up,” I could start using his with a clean slate. 

Of course, this was subject to its functioning as a new computer. Otherwise, we’d have no choice but to purchase a new Windows 10 laptop for me, which with all the features I need and want, could run $700 or $800.

After the all-day-long process of restoring his laptop and bringing it back to the original Windows 10 operating system, I started entering my information to determine if the restore brought it back to out-of-the-box condition. It did! I was thrilled.

Over the next several days, I will continue to set up my apps and transfer my files. Then, I will restore my old laptop to wipe everything out to see if one of Tom’s sisters can use it. If not, before we leave, we’ll take it to a computer recycling facility.

It will be a significant relief to have this behind us, adding to our peace of mind in leaving the US in a mere nine days. There’s yet much to do to be ready by a week from Wednesday on January 29th, but as always, we’ll get there.

I am looking forward to today’s 4:00 pm get-together with friend/reader Staci in Mesa.

Have a fantastic week!

Photo from one year ago today, January 20, 2019:

The hippo’s skin is gray to brownish-red with pink areas around their ears and under their chin. They have very few hairs on their body but do have stiff whiskers on their broad lips that feel like a broom and a small amount of fuzziness around the edges of their ears and on their tail. For more photos, please click here.

Setting up new laptop today…More tasks before departure…

Two years ago today, this scene at La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires particularly caught our eye. For more photos, please click here.

Today is another busy day. This morning we started transferring files from Tom’s current laptop to a flash drive which, once I am done here, I’ll begin loading his new Chromebook with his files.

We’re going to do it a little differently this time. He’s placed most of his essential files into online Dropbox. He’s had some issues with some of his files, creating problems when they’re transferred over. This time, we’ll go for simplicity and only transfer the bare minimum.

If we both like the new Samsung 12″ Chromebook, much smaller than our 15.6″ Acer’s with Windows, we’ll head back to Best Buy to purchase another identical or similar model for me. The weight differential is substantial enough that this transition to smaller, lighter laptops is a big plus for us.

Today we’ll spend the bulk of the day at Colleen and Gene’s house playing the card game Buck Euchre. This morning, Tom got out a deck of cards and re-introduced to me how to play the game. In only a few minutes, it all came back to me.

Years ago, he and I played this fun card game with my sister Susan while she lived with me when Tom and I were dating. It will be fun to play once again.

We’ll rotate playing the four-person game. In between my playing, I’ll work on Tom’s new laptop, getting everything set up and transferred to his liking. He’ll play the game while I’m working on the laptop. Then, I’ll step in and play for a while. 

Over the next several days, we’ll continue to work on other projects we have in the works as we prepare to leave the US in 13 days. We’d hoped to be able to spend time while we’re still in the US, booking properties to rent while in the UK and Europe this upcoming summer. 

But, as it turns out, we’ve decided to see if we’ll have some downtime while in India during our two months in the country. If not, we’ll book everything while we’re on the 29-night cruise before we arrive in the UK and Europe. 

We aren’t worried at all about getting this task completed on time. We have flexibility on dates, and in the worst case, we can always find a bed and breakfast or several hotels within the budget.

Tom just left to walk down to Colleen’s while I wrap this up. I need to stop at the rental office to print a return label for a belt we purchased at Amazon that didn’t fit Tom. Tomorrow, I’ll run it to the post office to return. This morning I ordered the replacement in his size. So many little things to do.

When we’re outside the US, we can’t do any returns, and generally, we’re meticulous in ordering the correct sizes and items that won’t require a return. We erred in this case and have to handle a return.

Off I go, folks. I’ll pack up the laptop and cord, my bottle of Crystal Light lemonade, and a few more items to take with me for card-playing day. 

Gee…I’m looking forward to sharing “BIGGER,” “BETTER,” and “MORE INTERESTING” events in our daily lives.

Stay tuned. We’re only a few weeks away from that transpiring!

May your day be pleasantly eventful and exciting!

Photo from one year ago today, January 16, 2019:

One year ago today, Little was lounging in the water in the cement pond. For more photos, please click here.

Late posting today…Busy time in Komatipoort and Lombobo…

“Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, if you like than you should have put a ring on it!”

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Mongoose are very clever little animals.  They stare at us to bring out some eggs which we often do.

OMG!  In a “notification” post I accidentally hit “Last posting today” when I meant to write “Late posting today!”  Good grief, that must have made those of you who read the short notification post wonder, ‘What the heck is going on?!!!”

No, this is not the last posting.  It’s a late posting.  It’s simply one more step the continuing documentation of our daily lives of world travel; some fascinating; some mundane; some educational; some adventurous and exciting and some, let’s face it, at times, totally uneventful.

We never tire of visits from Big Daddy kudus.

Today, was definitely not uneventful for us.  We’re back at the house at almost 2:00 pm and here I am just getting starting on today’s post.  Of course, I’m concerned about all of our readers throughout the world clicking on our link to still find yesterday’s post. 

Sorry for the inconvenience.  I’m typing as fast as my relatively uncoordinated fingers can fly across the keyboard in an attempt to explain why we’re changing the content of today’s story from that which we’d entered earlier today, discussing the issue of Bovine Tuberculosis in Marloth Park.

They are majestic animals, gentle and yet well aware of how powerful their big rack can be.

I must add that after this morning’s interactions with several wonderful people we received valuable information that changes our plan to post the Bovine TB story until we conduct further research which will be accomplished over the next week at the latest. 

This is a topic near and dear to our hearts based on our love and appreciation for the health and well-being of the wildlife in Marloth Park.  We’ll keep you updated on the progress of this upcoming story.

This male has been chasing after this female for weeks.

So here’s how the morning rolled out:  Tom’s laptop has been having monitor issues over the past few weeks after we’d returned from Zambia on the 18th.  Every so often, for no apparent reason at all, his monitor turns into a rainbow of colors and he’s unable to bring up his home screen.

Me, as somewhat of a geek, got to work trying to figure out a solution by utilizing online information some of which indicated it could be a loose ribbon cable.  Tom unscrewed all 18 tiny screws after we’d tried a number of suggestions, including a Windows 10 “system restore,” all to no avail.

These two young ladies stop by making intense eye contact, surely looking for pellets.

Opening the back of the laptop seemed a logical next step to see if we could tighten the loose cable.  No luck.  A total waste of time.  After several hours, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we needed to head to a tech store for help.  Ugh!  Usually, we’re able to resolve our own technological issues.  Not this time.

With Tom’s dentist appointment scheduled at 11:00 am with Dr. Luzaan Du Preez, one of the best dentists in the land, located in the little strip mall near Wimpy’s in the Spar Centre, we needed to stay mindful of the time. 

He needed two fillings replaced.  We’d decided to leave early to go to the market in Lebombo (10 minutes from Komatipoort) to purchase carrots and apples for the wildlife.  Before we walked out the door, we had an unexpected visitor, Kerstin, a new friend I’d spent a few hours with yesterday here in Marloth Park at her bush home.  

A banana farm the road on the way back from Komatipoort.

Kerstin had contacted me to get together to discuss our mutual world travel experiences when she’d seen a post on Facebook on the Marloth Park Honorary Rangers’ page a week ago when we’d done the story on alien invasive plants. (See this link for details). 

This morning Kristin delighted us with an unexpected visit but unfortunately, we were heading out the door when she arrived.  Surely, we’ll get together another time soon to continue our intriguing conversation.  She has quite an illustrious story of world travel.

In no time at all, we were on our way, first to the computer store, then to Lebombo, then to the dentist, then to the supermarket, then to the meat market and then, returning to Marloth Park, most likely a two-hour turnaround at most.

It’s always a pleasure to see one of our striped friends on the road.

At the computer shop, we were warmly greeted by staff member Samantha who immediately introduced us to Nico who looked at Tom’s laptop to inform us it wasn’t sensible to fix or replace the monitor.  Instead, he showed us yet another workaround which so far, since we returned to the house, seems to be working.  Tom merely has to press the screen with his fingers in a specific location and the screen returns in full.   

Nice people, thoughtful people, honest people.  What more could we ask for?  Where does one find service such as this?  If you need a computer repair anywhere near Marloth Park, Komatipoort and a number of surrounding towns, this is the place to go:

the TechSHOP
Office: 013 013 0310 / Fax: 0866 529 491
Shop 19, Komati Spar Centre
Rissik Street, Komatipoort

Arno Joubert


Nico Joubert


Yet, our visit to the Tech Shop wasn’t over.  As we packed up the laptop to head out the door, Arno stopped us saying he remembered us from “movie night” in the bush some months ago. A conversation ensued and somehow got around to the topic of Bovine Tuberculosis on which we’re hell-bent on getting our information “right” before we post the story.  He directed to Deidre who is the director of “Wild and Free” rescue, rehabilitate and rescue centre. 

Impalas are very shy around humans seldom visiting us in the yard.

He explained she’s currently involved with considerable research and study on Bovine TB and this was who we should see.  Once this post is uploaded, we’ll call Deidre and set up a time to meet with her at her facility and learn more about this important topic.

Once we were out the door of the Tech Shop, we were reeling from the kindness and consideration of people we’ve met along the way.  Off we went to Lebombo market where we purchased eggs for the mongoose, free-range eggs for us and carrots and apples, all at excellent prices.  Time was running short.  We headed to the dentist’s office.

Tom was taken in promptly for his appointment.  I joined him for a few minutes and then took off to grocery shop.  We’d parked the car close to the supermarket so once done shopping, I could put everything in the car and then walk the short distance to the dentist’s office which is coincidentally located next door to the Tech Shop.

Two males checking available treats.

While I’m grocery shopping, our dear friend Don (of Kathy and Don) approached me with a hearty hug and welcoming kiss.  They’d just returned a few days earlier from Pretoria and were excited to accept our invitation for homemade pizza at our house this upcoming Saturday night. 

Joining us will be Linda and Ken, our mutual dear friends from the UK who are returning to Marloth Park in the next few days.  I was thrilled to hear they all could make it but I was especially thrilled to discover this while at the supermarket in order to buy the items I’d need for the dinner party for six.

Well, wouldn’t you figure, Kathy had a dentist appointment, the same dentist, right after Tom’s appointment was completed at noon?  Another coincidence.  Moments later we spotted Kathy also shopping and the three of us engaged in delightful chatter.  When does one have such fun at the market.

Obviously, warthogs aren’t quite so shy near humans other than an occasional few.

By the time I’d gathered all the items to round out the upcoming meal, I loaded the groceries onto the check out counter, paid for the groceries and began walking toward to car to find Tom entering the market, done with his appointment and ready to load the car for me.  He was thrilled with the ease of his dentist appointment and was very relieved and cheerful.

After loading the car, Don found Tom in the parking lot and the two of them chatted enthusiastically.  Afterward, we drove the car across the lot to the meat market and made purchases to last for about 10 days.  After adding the bags of meats to the car, we ran into Kathy and Don again.  Her appointment was done and she too was thrilled with her first appointment with the good dentist.

They invited out for a drink at the bar at the golf course but with all the perishables in the car, we needed to be on our way.  We’re looking forward to seeing them all again on Saturday.

Male impala drinking from the cement pond in the yard.

Finally, we were on our way back to Marloth, anxious to put everything away while still reeling from the day’s interactions with the wonderful people we encountered along the way. 

Whether it was the sweet cashier at the market, the friendly meat market owner who helped with our order, the staff at the computer store or our friends adding a special touch to the day’s activities, it was a spectacular day. 

After years on the move often without nearby friends or at times, overly friendly shopkeepers, we appreciate every moment of kindness and generosity of spirit we stumble upon in our day-to-day lives.

Every evening the bushbabies entertain us.

No more than a minute after we returned, we had more visitors, this time of the wildlife kind.  We put down the grocery bags and immediately got pellets ready for our animal friends.

Tonight, we’ll cook a nice dinner and prepare the veranda for another blissful evening in the bush.  Is it any wonder we love it here in Marloth Park, here in South Africa…here on the African continent and here, on this planet?

May you love it wherever you may be!


Photo from one year ago today, May 30, 2017:

Our two new pieces of luggage in easy-to-spot colors.  Tom chose the purple while I chose this peachy color.  Each bag is expandable and lightweight with four double-wheel rollers. (As it turned out these bags are holding up well after one year’s use).  For more details, please click here.

Observance for fallen soldiers on Memorial Day in the US…Filling in the blanks…While the world spins around us…

We moved the bird feeder further from the veranda, which has attracted birds at last without our looming presence. Our prize of the day was this hornbill who stopped by for some seeds.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Nothing like a croc to pique one’s interest when wildlife spotting on the aptly named Crocodile River.

Today is Memorial Day in the US, a special day for observance for fallen soldiers in any wars as described here from this site:

Memorial Day
Graves at Arlington on Memorial Day.JPG
The gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery are decorated by U.S. flags on Memorial Day weekend in 2008.
Official name Memorial Day
Observed by United States
Type National
Observances Remembrance of American soldiers who have died in military service
Date Last Monday in May
2017 date May 29
2018 date May 28
2019 date May 27
2020 date May 25
Frequency Annual
“Memorial Day or Decoration Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.[1] The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, will be held on May 28, 2018. The holiday was born on May 30 from 1868 to 1970. It marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day – Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving. In contrast, Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. It is also not to be confused with Armed Forces Day; a minor U.S. remembrance celebrated earlier in May, which specifically honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.”

We offer love and prayer for those who lost loved ones during wars, not only in the US but also worldwide. 

Although we are far from our home country, we still hold this special day in high regard for those who served our country.

Most on photo safaris long to see the “cats.” But sightings aren’t all that common. While in Kruger last week, we spotted this cheetah at quite a distance, too far for a good photo.

In the US, this is a national holiday where all public businesses and buildings are closed, yet many stores remain open for big spring sales of clothing and merchandise.  Most often, citizens celebrate by holding barbecues, picnics, and traveling to other locations to visit family members and friends.

Sometimes we scramble the eggs and place them in a bowl.  Tom sets a half dozen or so on the ground at other times, letting them figure out how they’re distributed. It’s funny to watch them pick up the egg and bang it on the ground or on a tree root to crack it.

Camping, boating, and fishing are common in many states during the three-day weekend, especially in our original home state of Minnesota. This is also when traffic accidents (and other incidences) are prevalent with the high volume of vehicles on the road.

May everyone observing this special day have a safe and stress-free experience while many take advantage of this time off work or school. One can never be too careful during these high-risk times.

This is a Hadada ibis. It’s a boisterous bird we hear overhead each night at dusk.

Here in South Africa, it’s another Monday. Last night’s massive rainstorm, miraculously without any power outages in Marloth Park, was a much-needed blessing for wildlife. Water holes, ponds, and rivers are replenished with much-needed sources for the wildlife and locals.

Even our small cement pond in the yard is replenished today from the heavy stream of rainwater last night.  This morning the sun is shining, although a bit overcast, and the birds are singing their unique tunes.

Between the helmeted guinea fowl, the dozens of mongoose, and much more, we can hardly keep up! 

We’ve had many visitors all morning, including kudus, guinea fowl, mongoose, and bushbucks, keeping us busy until a while ago when I needed to sit down to get to work on today’s post.

“Wildebeest live in large herds, composed of animals of both sex and their offspring. Life in the herd protects predators. The main predators of wildebeest are lions, hyenas, cheetahs, and African wild dogs. During mating season, breeding groups composed of around 150 animals will be created.”

This morning, we had a human visitor, our friend Kathy, who dropped off some grocery items we hadn’t been able to find at the Spar or other supermarkets in Komatipoort. 

She and her husband Don, both great friends of ours, just returned from their home in Pretoria. Thanks, Kathy, for shopping for us! She shopped for me in the much more well-equipped markets in this bigger city with a population of over 2 million.

“The heaviest land mammal has a weight up to 6 short tons (5.4 t), the African elephant. This enormous mammal measures approximately 24 feet (7.3 m), and eats 500 pounds (230 kg) of vegetation like grasses and leaves a day.”

We reimbursed Kathy for the expenditures, chatted for a bit, and she was on her way. Soon, we’ll be planning some social time together while they spend a few weeks back here in Marloth Park.

We were watching elephants from the Marloth Park side of the Crocodile River.

In an hour, we’ll be off to Komatipoort for my final doctor appointment for vaccinations. We’ll stop to purchase more pellets, visit the pharmacy for a few items and return to Marloth Park to spend the remainder of the afternoon on our usual drive searching for more wonders of this spectacular area.

To our friends, family, and readers in the US, have a safe Memorial Day and stay well and happy.

Photo from one year ago today, May 28, 2017:

It was raining in sheets in Minnesota during the drive back to our hotel around 8:00 pm, typical for this time of year. For more details, please click here.