Reasonable cost of living in South Africa…Could we have forgotten our upcoming wedding anniversary?…

This female bushbuck flipped into the air after something bit her!

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

A grey heron in Kruger National Park.

We arrived at Jabula for dinner last night at 6:00 pm. We’d hoped to mingle with other customers who may be sitting at the inviting bar in the restaurant.

With only one other patron in the restaurant, we found ourselves engaged in pleasant conversation with Lyn, a friend of owners Dawn and Leon, who recently started working in the popular local establishment.

This time, little Ms. Bushbuck had Helmeted Guinea Fowl join her for a visit. They also like the pellets but have to break them up to fit in their beaks.

It’s the low season now in Marloth Park, but soon, when Spring Break begins, many tourists will arrive for one or two week holidays. Few stay as long as we do. At that point, the few restaurants in MP will be busier. But, last night’s quiet experience at Jabula on a Saturday night was an isolated case.  

There was only one other couple dining while we dined at around 7:30. We moved from the bar to sit outside on the veranda, enjoying another delicious meal. Tom ordered the mixed grill with chips (fries) while I had my usual peri-peri chicken livers and a Greek salad.

Tossing pellets to three females kudus who stopped by.

Our total bill was ZAR 478 (US $40.09), which included tax and tips. Instead of ordering a glass of wine, I accidentally ordered an entire bottle of Pinot Grigio while Tom had a few bottles of Castle beer. 

Knowing I’d never drink an entire bottle of wine, I ended up taking half of it “home,” which I’ll finish tonight when our friends Lynne and Mick come for dinner. Where in the world can one go out to dinner, order an entire bottle of wine and several bottles of beer, order meals and, tender a tip for this amount?  

Female kudu eating pellets out of my hand.  They’re very gentle, but any sudden movements send them on their way.

We decided to return to Africa for a few reasons: primarily to fulfill my dream of returning to Marloth Park, my favorite place in the world, and two, to “lick our wounds” after the expensive Antarctica cruise. Our mission is fully being realized. 

The cost of living here is more reasonable than anywhere we’ve lived in the world. By the time we leave Africa next March, we’ll have recovered the entire cost of the Antarctica cruise by spending so much less on our monthly expenses.

She stopped eating from my hand and decided to go after the container!

There will be the added expenses of the tours we’re planning in the next few months when we’ll visit a few other countries on the continent, after which we’ll return to Marloth on each occasion.

Last night, as we chatted in the bar, we remembered that our wedding anniversary is coming up on March 7th. We’ve been having such fun. Lately, we could easily have forgotten the anniversary! Ironically, this anniversary is less critical than the October 31st anniversary we celebrate with enthusiasm each year. 

We adore this large full-grown male who stops by every few days.  He likes eating the pellets off the edge of the veranda, which prevents him from having to bend down with his heavy “rack.”

It was on that date in 2012 that we began our journey…a day of liberation from “stuff” and “work” and a day to celebrate our “stepping outside the box” to live our retirement years to the fullest. But, this coming Wednesday, March 7th, we will celebrate our wedding anniversary with plans we made this morning and will share on Thursday with photos.

Having placed less emphasis on our wedding anniversary doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not essential to us. All of our readers know we are a very happy couple and love every moment we spend together. But, the full realization of the depth, magnitude, and meaning of our relationship didn’t fully come to fruition until we began to travel the world.

When he finishes the pellets, we put them down, and he stares at us for more.  It’s impossible to resist his request.  He’s so handsome.

It’s been through this process during the past 5 1/3  years that we’ve come to fully appreciate how compatible and loving we are as a couple. It was easy to put aside our needs as a couple in the hustle and bustle of our past lives, loaded with responsibility and stress. 

In this magical life, sharing every morsel of our day-to-day lives, our level of admiration and appreciation for one another has catapulted to a level we never dreamed possible. So, yes, we will celebrate on March 7th, as we hope and pray for many more such years to come.

Tom, coming back up the steps after he lay down a raw egg for the mongooses.

Be well.  Be happy. 

Photo from one year ago today, March 4, 2017:

We had a great time with new friends, Christina and Harold, with whom we enjoyed dinner in their Penthouse Suite the previous night. For more details, please click here.