Kruger National Park posted our video on their YouTube!!!…The reality of “haters” in social media…

Male kudu attempting to reach the seeds in the bird feeder.  He wasn’t successful.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Greater blue-eared starling.

Last week, after returning from Kruger we posted the following video from our YouTube site of two cape buffalos who’s horns became entangled during an altercation which may be found at this link.  Fine and good. 

We didn’t think much more about it until after we’d searched YouTube and hadn’t found much in the way of a similar situation.  We giggled at the prospect of getting lots of hits on the video and how fun it would be to track.

As mentioned in an earlier post, we don’t make any money on the video since we hadn’t “monetized it.”  As we’ve often mentioned we share what we find worldwide with whoever would like to see or read it.  That way, we prevent feeling like doing “this” is a job which would create stress and a sense of urgency we’d prefer to avoid in this amazing life we lead.

There are two hornbills in this photo.  The one was waiting her turn while the other was busy eating the seeds in the feeder.  They may have been a mating pair but refused to share.

When Kruger National Park, SANParks (South Africa National Parks), contacted us asking if we’d allow them to post the unique video on their website, we agreed, hoping by doing so we’d acquire more readers with whom we can share our world travels.  However, we didn’t have a lot of expectations as to any particular outcome.

Before we continue, I must add that we’ve been blessed over this past over six years since we began posting (start date, March 14, 2012) with very few negative comments or “haters,” those who look for opportunities to criticize literally anything they see online. 

Why don’t we get haters for our site?  The only reason we can imagine is that we “tell it as we see it” and we’re vulnerable, revealing our own flaws and foibles.  It’s hard to critique someone who’s critiquing themselves.  Avoiding haters was never our intent in being “open” but somehow, we believe this may have been instrumental.

Female kudus waste no time in letting us know what they want.

In our early days, a hateful commenter wrote, “How dare you spend OUR money traveling the world.”  Duh, YOUR money?  It was Tom’s 42.5 years of working on the railroad making contributions, along with the company, for his years of dedicated hard work.  It was never “taken” from anyone else. 

After that isolated hater, we haven’t felt any comments or questions posed our way have been from “haters.”  We’ve loved and continue to love the interaction with our worldwide readers which we receive every single day. 

Once we agreed with Kruger National Park to allow the video to be posted on their YouTube site, (click here to see) we never gave it much more of a thought.  Yesterday, we received an email that the video had been posted and is ready for viewing.

Last night, as darkness fell these three zebras stopped by for carrots, apples, and pellets.  Of course, there was a warthog in the background waiting for the leftovers.

We always reply to comments within 24 hours, except on travel days which may delay a response by a day or two.  Thank you to all of you out there who write to us and also to those of you who lurk at their leisure without comments.

This morning we decided to check and see how many hits the video had.  Less than 24 hours after posting it, it’s received over 2000 hits.  It’s not millions and most likely won’t be but its been fun for us.

Yep, the haters have arrived.  A select few are knocking our video and for the first time in over six years (except for the above-isolated case) we’re feeling the brunt of how impactful negative online comments can be. 

Kudus seem to be intimated by zebras due to their powerful kicks and thus, won’t join in on the snacks.

Generally, we have thick skins.  We have to in order to live this unusual life on the move, especially after so much time has passed.  But, like so many others who are subject to haters on a variety of social media platforms, it stings a bit to read negative comments and see “thumbs down” on something we’ve done without an ulterior motive and for the love and passion for wildlife.

Of course, we won’t let this impact the joy in our lives, nor will it stop us from taking videos of situations we find interesting and unique.  If you’ve never seen our YouTube page, please click here

We have dozens of fun, funny and unique videos with almost no negative comments or reactions.  I can’t tell you how often people write to us when they see a video they find interesting and always, we’re pleased and flattered by the positive response.

The zebras are aggressive with one another while snacking, often kicking and head-butting one another.

This is not unlike all the negative press worldwide about South Africa.  Haters are impacting tourism in this beautiful and wonderful country.  Sure, there is a lot of crime in some of the big cities but there was horrific crime only 30 minutes from where we lived in Minnesota which continues yet today. 

In evaluating crime in big cities throughout the world, one can evaluate the crime rates in big cities in their own country  As Tom always says, “Where there are tall buildings and lots of people, there is criminal activity.”  This is so true.

South Africa has so much to offer and the negative comments one can read at many news outlets if often an exaggeration of a few unique situations.  Let’s face it, we can’t believe the news anymore when the newsmonger goals are centered on sensationalism to make more and more money.

Little Wart Face was exhausted after chasing a female around the yard for about an hour, unfortunately for him, without any luck.

Well, anyway, I always promise not to get involved here in controversial topics and today, as usual, I’ll back off on this topic.  South Africa is a fabulous country to visit with most areas safe for tourists, especially if they stay away from the more crime-ridden areas.  But this is true in London, Paris, Auckland, Lisbon and New York.  The list could go on and on. 

We all must do our own research to discover what is best for our safety as we travel.  Some of the best resources are other travelers who’ve visited these countries and have enjoyed exciting and worthwhile visits to lands they never imagined they’d get to see.

If you go to Kruger’s link to our site here, you may or may not agree with the negative comments about our video.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  But behind every wildlife video is a human being who chose to share something they found worthy of sharing in one way or another, whether motivated by money, notoriety or for the pure joy of it (as in our case).

We’ve loved to hear your comments on this topic, if you so chose to post a comment at the end of today’s post or write to us via email.  Thank you for “stopping by” and sharing yet another little piece of our lives.  We appreciate every one of YOU!

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Photo from one year ago today, May 31, 2017:

This was my favorite photo from Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.  For more photos, please click here.

Lava is on the move again, faster this time…Closer this time…Check out the year ago photo below! One of our favorites!

Yesterday morning we took this video of the waves in our “backyard” in Pahoa, on the Big Island.


This morning’s news announced that the lava flow from Mount Kilauea has escalated in speed advancing toward the strip mall where we shopped on Monday afternoon.

Here’s the link to today’s news on the lava flow.

Kilauea June 27 Lava Flow map updated 7 a.m., December 2, 2014. Courtesy of Hawaii County Civil Defense
Here’s the updated map of the lava flow as of December 2.  We’re located next to the dark grey area on the coastline at Hawaiian Beaches and Hawaiian Shores.  Its easy to see why we’re keeping a close watch.

Apparently, the gas station owner at that strip mall will be selling off the gas at discount prices so that he can drain his storage tanks to fill them with water to avoid explosions when the lava arrives. 

Oh, my. We’ve yet to see the lava since it’s illegal to go into the area where its flowing.  A viewing area is being set up at the Pahoa Transfer Station that will soon be open to the public for viewing.  As soon as that is available we’ll all be heading that way to take photos to share here.  This is a phenomenon one most likely would never have the opportunity to see in a lifetime. 

The backside of the first house, where we’re now living, on the coast in Pahoa.

Now that we’re in the first house, we’re surprisingly less anxious about the lava flow than we were from afar.  If we have to leave when our family arrives, we’ll figure it all out.  All that matters is the safety and well being for our family and the citizens of the area.

At this point, the lava is several miles away.  At its current rate of flow at 1200 feet per day considering how many miles we are from the current flow, it could conceivably reach the ocean where we are located in about 30 days. 

In 30 days, most of our family members will be on their way back to the mainland, leaving only two remaining, our daughter-in-law and one granddaughter staying until January 9th.  If there is a risk, we’ll certainly send them home earlier than planned and find other accommodations for Tom and I.

Of course, the rate of the flow could change at any time and all of our calculations would be a moot point.  We’ll continue to watch the local news for daily updates.

The waves are amazing whether the tide is high or low, although high tide certainly adds to the excitement.

However, we can’t speculate any further then that which we know at this point.  We choose not to worry or fuss over this.  More so, we’re fascinated with this amazing fact of nature over which no one has control.

As for the house, we’re content.  With screens on the windows we have everything wide open for the amazing ocean breezes.  Last night, we slept with the window open for the first time in so long I can’t recall.  It was so cool that we left the fan off and cuddled up under the comforter.  There’s no AC in the house.

Yesterday, at high tide at 11:48 am, we spent considerable time outside in the rear yard of the house watching and taking videos of the huge waves.  Neither of us had ever seen anything like it.  With the windows open, we can feel the ocean spray while inside the house when standing near the windows.

The wear and tear on houses this close to the sea and surf is unreal.  The house is well maintained but obvious signs of the destructive nature of the salty sea air is everywhere especially on the exterior of the house especially where there is any metal or wood surfaces.

On the inside of the house, the curtain rods, shower rods, faucets and some window handles show signs of corrosion due to the salty air and spray.  We’re sure this s a major concern for owners of properties in such close proximity to the ocean all over the world.

After the steps collapsed under our feet on our anniversary in Belize on March 7, 2013, during which we were injured, we hesitated to step out onto the lanai in the upper level master bedroom.  Click here for that story and photos we posted on March 9, 2013.

This morning I slept until 7:45 after awakening several times during night while getting used to the sounds of the sea.  This was what I saw the moment I stepped out of bed.

The lanai upstairs seems very sturdy but then again, so did the steps in Belize.  We’ll proceed with caution and also advise our family members to do the same.

In the interim, we’re mesmerized by the roaring sea out the door.  The roaring sound of the surf is almost earsplitting and we’re loving every moment.  The house is relatively shaded by coconut and palm trees but there’s a perfect spot in the yard where we were able to languish in our usual hour in the warming sun.

As we lounged yesterday, we had a clear view of the house next door to which Tom and I will move on December 20th in a mere 17 days and then moving back to this house again on January 3rd when the contract on the second house ends as most of the family departs.  Thus, we have to pack three more times (including the day we leave this island). 

Tomorrow, at last we’ll post interior photos of the house.  We’v ae been bit sidetracked with Mother Nature’s antics.  She’s quite a gal, isn’t she?
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Photo from one year ago today, December 3, 2013:

Okee Dokee, our lovely driver and friend with whom we’re  still in touch regularly, took this photo of us with a giraffe behind us on the road near our new home, of the day we arrived in Marloth Park.  The wonder of it all continues to amaze us to this day.  I can’t wait to return!  For details, please click here.

Video of a motorbike ride in our neighborhood…

As we research the web for added information about Tuscany, on occasion we encounter an entry that brings a smile to our faces. Such is the case when Tom found this video while he was conducting research for yesterday’s post.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8qEI5ehTzg

It was taken five years ago by a kindly gentlemen, Tage, a motorcycle enthusiast, whom we “met” online, when asking him if we could use his video for today’s post. 

He was great, enthusiastic to share!  His father was born in Boveglio and when he and his wife visited on their motorcycle in 2008, they took this video of the lengthy, hilly walk in the neighborhood in Boveglio, starting from the “square” near Bar Ferrari, ending near the parking lot where we park our rental car.

Had we made a video of this walk, it surely would have been too lengthy on foot. Using his, taken while riding his motorcycle, was perfect. 

When any of us post videos on YouTube.com we provide permission for others to re post our videos. It doesn’t require permission from the originator. However, we’ve found that “asking permission” to re post photos and videos is an excellent opportunity to make a new online friend and to provide them the satisfaction of knowing that others are enjoying their project.

So was the case with Tage. He couldn’t have been more delighted, as were we. Living in Italy, he extended an offer for he and his wife to meet us somewhere for coffee, should we be near each other at any time in our travels. Perhaps we will. 

The power of the web to connect people with similar interests is astounding. How did we ever manage travel without it?  How did we ever search for services, hotels, entertainment and transportation? Over the phone, most likely. Using travel agents when possible. Do travel agencies even exist anymore?

This morning, as we planned a road trip for next Tuesday, how would we have booked a hotel without the Internet? And, before the advent of phones and travel agents, would we have had to send a telegram or a letter, many months in advance?

I often remind myself how grateful I am that we’ve lived in this period of time as opposed to hundreds or thousands of years ago. How easy life is comparatively. Undoubtedly, we’d never have wanted this life as nomads, traveling the world with the difficulty of “making arrangements.”

Now, as we share our travels via the Internet, we find that the world is very small in many ways.  How ironic to find a video, five years old, of where we’re spending the summer in this tiny community with few tourists?   

As we continue on, we’re convinced that we’ll have access to the travels of others to incorporate into our own experiences, meeting fine people along the way, online and in person with the commonality of interest in expanding our knowledge of the amazing world around us.

Of course, when we leave next Tuesday, July 23, we’ll be bringing our digital equipment to ensure that wherever we may go, you’ll have the option of “traveling with us” as we share our experiences and photos.