Another busy day in the bush…Final Kruger photos…

A hornbill sitting atop a bush.

We are relieved the immigration application has been submitted. Now we wait to hear what transpires in the next 60 days. If we aren’t approved, we’ll have to leave in seven days. We’re optimistic that we’ll be approved. We continue to read about Celebrity Cruises canceling. So far, our April 8 cruise is staying in place.

Today is a busy day. Our eye doctor appointment is at noon, followed by vaccine boosters at the Spar Market. I don’t know how I feel about getting a booster outside a supermarket. But, it was the only nearby option for the J & J booster. We need to get this done.

A yellow-billed stork on a branch.

After both of those events, we’ll grocery shop at Spar with a comprehensive list for Friday evening’s dinner at our place. Rita, Gerhard, Petra, and Fritz are coming for dinner. Louise and Danie may join us if Danie’s feeling better by then since he’s currently under the weather. We have a good menu planned and will share details later.

Vusi and Zef are here now, cleaning the house. The mechanism for the master bath toilet has been acting up for a few days. This morning, Louise went to Komati to get the parts for the boys to replace the inner workings today. It’s been making a squealing noise with the water running constantly. We did the usual “jiggle the handle” thing and even looked inside to see if an adjustment would help.

Vultures, on the lookout, for possible prey.

Toilet parts are different here than in the US, so neither of us knew how to fix it. Plus, there was no shut-off valve under the toilet. Tom, hard of hearing, couldn’t hear the squeal all night long. It was one of those sounds out of his range of hearing. Luckily, last night I was tired enough that I was able to sleep through the noise with the aircon and the fan on.

It’s a beautiful day. The humidity is lower than usual, with the temperature now at 84F, 29C, perfect with the light breeze. It’s a welcomed relief after weeks of high heat and excessive humidity, causing us to swear constantly. Doing my fast walking the past few weeks has been a challenge in the heat. Today will be easier.

The walking is going well. I am up to 6000 steps a day, 4.8 km, 3 miles, adding more each week. After being relatively inactive compared to how I was in India, walking 8 km, 5 miles a day feels good. Within a week, I’ll be at 7500 steps which are 6 km, and I will be happy with that. The 10,000 steps a day theory is just that:

A dazzle of zebras in the bush.

I-Min Lee, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an expert on step counts and health, the 10,000-steps target became popular in Japan in the 1960s.”

More on this from this article, stating:

“A 2019 study by Dr. Lee and her colleagues found that women in their 70s who managed as few as 4,400 steps a day reduced their risk of premature death by about 40 percent, compared to women completing 2,700 or fewer steps a day. The risks for early death continued to drop among the women walking more than 5,000 steps a day, but benefits plateaued at about 7,500 daily steps. In other words, older women who completed fewer than half of the mythic 10,000 daily steps tended to live substantially longer than those who covered even less ground.”

If this is true, I am on track with the number of steps required to do me some good. I had read this article  (from a different source) while in India, which inspired me to strive for 8 km per day.

A lone wildebeest.

But, here, 7500 steps is more practical since it’s not easy walking so many steps while indoors. Ideally, I could walk outside, but with the lions nearby and the uneven dirt roads, it makes more sense to do it indoors to avoid tripping and potential injury.

I set my timer for 20 minutes, and I do 500 steps each time it goes off. So I must pay attention to doing this for at least five or six hours a day. Sure, I could do it all at once but breaking it up seems better for me. I like to be done by 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs. In between the walking, I do the post, visit with the animals stopping by, take photos, prepare food for dinner, and do laundry. It’s a pleasant routine.

It’s around that time for us to head to Komati. We’ll be back tomorrow with more.

May your day be pleasant and fulfilling.

Photo from one year ago today, January 19, 2021:

As I stepped out outside onto the veranda, I encountered this. Tom was sitting very close to this snake, eating a frog, and had no idea the snake was there. For more photos, please click here.

Booster or not to booster?…

Big Daddies often hang around together and easily share pellets, as shown here.

There’s no way we can avoid bringing up Covid-19, but we have chosen, based on our reader’s preferences, not to get into politically charged issues. We’ll let all of you pursue those aspects of the pandemic on your own if you so choose. For us, we’ve had enough news about it.

But, now we’re faced with the prospect of getting a booster, and we prefer to base our preference to get a booster based on our health issues and potential risks. With my medical history, mainly cardiovascular-related, I’ve decided to have a booster. Tom has decided not to, which is entirely up to him. I impose no pressure on him whatsoever. It’s his choice.

This could easily be a dad and son.

On Friday, we’re heading to Malalane for Tom’s dental appointment to implant the two teeth he had pulled months ago. After the dentist, surely, he’ll require a few prescriptions, so we’ll head to Click’s Pharmacy to have them filled. While there, I will be able to get the vaccine booster.

After considerable research, I’ve decided on the “mix and match” concept. From the CDC website:

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen

You are eligible for a booster if you are:
18 years or older

When to get a booster:
At least two months after your shot

Which booster should you get?
Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States

Check out the gorgeous face of this male kudu.

Based on the lower efficacy of the J & J vaccine, I decided a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday would round out my protection. Of course, I ran this by Dr. Theo last time I saw him, several weeks ago, and suggest that you do the same with your doctor, should you or any family members decide on getting a booster.

I considered waiting until we get to the US, but the vaccines used here are the same as those used in the US. There’s no point in waiting. Besides, according to Worldometer, Florida is #3 on the list of states with the most cases, including 2000 new cases as of yesterday. It makes sense to be better protected before we go.

They are always on the lookout for the next morsel of food. Times are tough right now with a severe lack of vegetation.

Even in our former state, Minnesota, there were 6879 new cases yesterday.  There were only 950 new cases yesterday in Nevada, our state of residency. Why cases continue to rise in some states is not clearly defined by the CDC. There is still limited information available as to why there is an increase in cases in many areas worldwide.

No, the vaccine does not provide 100% safety or efficacy, but it seems to reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths. Deaths are down, but cases continue to rise in many countries throughout the world. That in itself is motive enough for me to get the booster.

Often, other animals clear out when a Big Daddy arrives.

Only each of us can decide what is best for us, our state of health, along with recommendations by our medical professionals. Medicine is not a finite science. It is changing daily. But it’s easy to get caught up in old dictates and directives from the powers that be. Staying on top of the latest developments is our only way of being our own best advocates.

It is up to each of us to do our research, from reliable sources, not from Facebook and other social media, to help us make sensible decisions with the support of our doctors, especially in cases where there are comorbidities that may impact receiving a vaccine and a booster.

That’s our comments for today, folks. Have a safe and healthy day!

Photo from one year ago today, November 3, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #225. Tom, chipper, as usual, during breakfast while we were on a 33-night cruise circumnavigating the Australian continent. For more, please click here.