It took a lot of research and conversations, but we finally decided where we’ll go when we need a new visa stamp by October 23, 2021. We’d considered many options, but most countries in Africa have poor Covid control, inaccurate tracking, millions of unvaccinated people, many requiring quarantine, and are still, in one form or another, in lockdown.
When we’d planned a trip to Kenya months ago last minute, we had to cancel our plans when a new lockdown was instituted, making it impossible for us to go. We lost quite a bit of money when certain aspects of that trip were non-refundable. Over the past 18 months, after canceling the balance of our tour of India, overall, we have lost several thousand dollars due to Covid-19.
We do not want to risk losing more money, with more possible cancelations, lockdowns, quarantines, and being subject to added exposure to the virus. After all, we got the J & J vaccine which apparently provides less efficacy than the other two-shot vaccines. Neither of us wants to take the risk of becoming ill in a country with poor medical care and infrastructure.
Perhaps we are overly cautious. But, when we keep hearing about people dying, even here in Marloth Park, many of whom were vaccinated, we came to the hard realization that we must return to the US for now. Yes, the cases in the US are increasing daily. But, if we did become ill, we feel we’d have the best chance while in the US instead of seeking medical care in such countries as Zambia, Kenya, or another African country.
As of yesterday, we booked our return flight to the US for October 21st, the best day for travel at the best possible pricing. This does not mean we are stopping our world travels. It simply means we will spend a total of four months in the US in Arizona and then Florida (for our friends Karen and Rich’s wedding). We’re surprised at ourselves for making this highly logical decision, not motivated at all by our usual desire for wanderlust.
Our first stop will be Phoenix, Arizona, where we will spend more time with some of Tom’s siblings. His sister Colleen, who won’t be coming to AZ this season due to her husband Gene’s health, has offered her place to us in Apache Junction. Yep, it’s back to a park model and RV park, but this time, it’s much larger than the one we rented two years ago. Photos will follow once we arrive.
But, staying in this location allows us to spend time with some of Tom’s sisters when they arrive in Apache Junction in November for the winter season. Tom is the youngest of the now remaining eight siblings after others have passed away. Originally, there were 11.
At this point, we have five cruises pending, the first setting sail in February 2022. If this and the other cruises don’t set sail, we will make a new plan to continue our world journey. At no point are we considering stopping our lives of world travel or stopping our daily posts. We need to take a breather during these terrible times of Covid-19.
If a booster for the J & J vaccine is instituted, potentially increasing our immunity while we are in the US for added protection and the purpose of future travels, we will most likely opt to participate. These are crazy times.
Our flight back to the US is booked, our stay at the wedding venue in Florida is booked, and we will use this time to enjoy ourselves and make the very best of the situation. Thanks to Tom’s sister Colleen for offering her place in Apache Junction, AZ, and also to friends Karen and Rich for inviting us to stay with them before and after their wedding. Good times are on the horizon, for sure.
Many of our friends in Marloth Park will be gone in November and won’t return until later in 2022. It will prove to be a good time for us to depart, returning once we know more about the future, the same position many of us are in at this time. We won’t travel to Minnesota in the winter months but will see everyone again when we return to the US again in May if that particular cruise sets sail.
Now, for the harsh reality of today…it is day #3 without water. No showers, no clean dishes, no laundry being done, no easy toilet flushing. We wash our hands and bodies with bottled water, taking “sponge baths” each day. Thank goodness we have plenty of hand sanitizer, which we’re often using. We’re wearing the same clothes three days in a row to save on laundry accumulating, as we did while in lockdown in India, only changing into clean underwear daily.
At the slow pace of the repairs, we expect to be without water through the weekend or longer. They just found the parts for the repairs, and they are on their way, but it could be days until the repairs are completed.
Last night, it was easy when we spent the evening with Louise and Danie. Tonight, at 5:00 pm, 1700 hrs, we’ll head to Jabula for our usual Friday night dinner. Rita and Gerhard are still gone on their road trip to the Drakensberg Mountains, while Kathy, Don, Linda, and Ken are on safari at Sabi Sands in Kruger. We always enjoy time at Jabula, whether it’s just the two of us or with our friends.
May your day be filled with wise decisions. Be well.
Photo from one year ago today, August 20, 2020:
There was no post on this date one year ago when our new site was in the process of going “live,” and as typical during such transitions, we were unable to post.