Leap year then and now…Travel day tomorrow…We’ll post during layover…More tiger photos coming!…

A gaur crossing the road. “The gaur (/ɡaʊər/, Bos gaurus), also called the Indian bison, is the largest extant bovine. It is native to South and Southeast Asia and has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986. The global population has been estimated at maximum 21,000 mature individuals by 2016. It declined by more than 70% during the last three generations, and is extinct in Sri Lanka and probably also in Bangladesh. In well-protected areas, it is stable and rebuilding.”

It’s leap year day. I don’t have a “year ago photo” since there was no post on February 29th last year. But we’ve added a photo from the last leap year four years ago, on February 29, 2016.

I recalled last year at the end of February like it was yesterday. I’d been home from the hospital for only three days and my legs had yet to become infected but were very sore from the incisions from my ankle bones to about eight inches above my knees.

A pair of gaur, a rare sighting in the national parks were a thrill to see.

I’d been walking around the house every hour or so hoping to speed my recovery, but sensing I was making little progress.

The pain was unconscionable, my breathing sketchy and inconsistent, my wounds so raw I didn’t dare shower, doing sponge baths instead fearing infecting myself with the less than clean water in Marloth Park, South Africa. It happened anyway.

A black eagle.

Even the smallest of tasks required hours of recovery. Tom did it all along with the help of our amazing household staff, Zef and Vusi who handled all the housework. I languished in my awful state of being wondering if it would ever end.


And now, one year later I am in India, getting up and dressed for the day to head out on safari twice a day beginning at 5:30 am.

A sambar deer. “Sambar deer is found in almost every corner of India, But it is mainly found in the central India. They can easily be spotted at Kanha, Corbett, Ranthambore, Bandhavgarh, (we’ve been to three of the fore mentioned national parks in India) Gir, Dudhwa, Manas, Kaziranga and Sariska. Habitat: Sambar deer prefers marshy and wooded areas to live.”

It’s 10 hours a day of bouncing so hard in a safari Jeep that my FitBit measures 10’s of thousands of steps and hundreds of flights of stairs from the violent jostling about on rough roads.

I love it all. I am alive. And I am grateful every morning when I awaken to face yet another day, braced for adventure, braced for excitement, expecting the most but accepting when it’s less.

Young wild boar. “The wild boar (Sus scrofa), also known as the wild swine, Common wild pig, or simply wild pig) is a suid native to much of the Palearctic, as well as introduced numbers in the Americas and Southeast Asia. Human intervention has spread its distribution further, making the species one of the widest-ranging mammals in the world, as well as the most widely spread suiform. Its wide range, high numbers, and adaptability mean that it is classed as least concern by the IUCN and it has become an invasive species in part of its introduced range. The animal probably originated in Southeast Asia during the Early Pleistocene, and out-competed other suid species as it spread throughout the Old World.”

What’s next? Another month and a few days more of India, the vibrant rush of colors and its equal passion for life.


I feel at home here in this culturally and diametrically diverse notion of life from that which we knew in the past, embracing that which I know now, from that which I’ve learned from adversity.

Kanha Nation Park is truly beautiful with a wide range of types of scenery, all exquisite.

Everything happens for a reason. But I ask what I needed to learn? I already was in awe and grateful. Had I yet a new level of appreciation yet to discover, yet to conquer?


I am still trying to figure this out. Surely during whatever time I have left in this world, it will come to me. I wait patiently. I know it will come and for some odd reason, I know I have enough time to bring it to fruition.

A sambar deer on the side of the road.

At the moment I am sitting outdoors in the resort in Kanha National Park, in India with the sounds of nature, surrounding me, her magical arms holding me close to her heart.

It’s not perfect. Like life, it is flawed. But I open my arms and welcome her in knowing full well that therein lies the answers to the mystery of life we all so long to know. I am at peace.

Just like in Africa, the antelopes and pigs hang out together.
Tomorrow morning at 4:30 am we’ll embark on yet another six-hour drive to a distant airport to head to an all-day flight with layovers to Udaipur. I will complete tomorrow’s post during our 3 1/2 hour layover. We’ll prepare tomorrow’s post during the layover.

See you then, my friends. We’ll see you then.

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Photo from the last leap year, four years ago on February 29, 2016:

View of Mount Taranaki from a walk in the neighborhood while we lived on the alpaca farm in New Plymouth, New Zealand. For more photos, please click here.

Wednesday was a travel day…Now amid more safaris at Kanha National Park…

Note: All of today’s photos were taken from the car on yesterday’s road trip. No captions needed.


Yesterday as I wrote this post we were in a crisp clean white SUV with aircon comparable to other vehicles that have been transporting us from one location to another.


It was travel day, once again with an expected 5½ hours drive until we’d reach our destination and yet another safari camp, Tuli Tiger Resort, this time to Kanha National Park where we’d be spending another four nights with two game drives each day.

The drive is interrupted every three or four kilometers by small towns line with shops vendors selling fruits vegetables clothing and a variety of tourist goods and household goods for the locals.


Cows, dogs, and goats wander through the streets aimlessly in search of the next meal and women walk with baskets of food and other items atop their heads, while men congregate in small groups discussing the events of the day.


The woman wear colorful Hindu costumes impeccably draped and pleated regardless of their income level of poverty. The beautiful garb us unike any other we’ve seen in the world. Although each town may have its own personality the premise of the Hindu philosophy is evident in every aspect of creating a certain familiarity from town to town.

Once back out on the highway the landscape is brown and somewhat desolate, scattered with trees and vegetation of one sort or another. 
It’s winter time here and until the monsoon season arrives everything the grasses remain brown and less hearty for the cows and other animals in search of good grazing fields.

With nary a patch of green for meandering cows and sheep, they often seek out public areas in hopes of food donations from the locals who appear at times to be very generous with their sacred cows. Hindus have a love of all creatures, both human and animals.


People often smile and wave as we pass through. School children in freshly pressed school uniforms play together in the streets without a toy or a ball and yet seem happy and content in their lives .

Their simple life is accepted with a powerful faith not so much as a religion but as a way of life leaving them grateful and accepting of whatever lifestyle they’ve been provided.


We are humbled and in awe of their dedication and their strength as they work their way through any obstacles life presents them. Many have no access to medical care, modern conveniences, clean water and in many cases such taken for granted commodities such as electricity.

These individuals and families work together however they can to create the best life possible without complaint, without disharmony and without a longing for what could have been.

I often think of all the times I’d grumbled when making a call for customer service to end up with a heavily-accented Indian person on the line, often working in a hot uncomfortable boiler room taking calls for various digital and computer equipment companies all the way from India to provide customer service for companies in the US. Now,I have an entirely different perspective.

In a land of 1.3 billion people there’s is little to no government subsidies such as welfare, food stamps or government assistance. Overall, Indian people are on their own.


We’ve seen less homeless people here in India in the almost month we have been here than we saw in an equal time in the US. That speaks for itself and the powerful work ethic and life values imposed by their Hindu strength and principles.               


This morning at 5:30 am we began our first morning safari from the resort. We didn’t see any tigers yet but we have five more safaris scheduled at this location, including another today at 2:30 pm. 

By the time we return for the afternoon game drive at 6:30 pm, we’ll freshen up for dinner, dine at 8:00 pm and head to bed shortly thereafter. Its a busy and exhausting day but typical in the lives of wildlife enthusiasts like ourselves.


Have a fantastic day and night!

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Photo from one year ago today, February 27, 2019:

The kudus give us “the look,” which means “more pellets please.” For more photos, please click here.