Day #2, no water…After all, this is Africa..

A Go-Away bird was sitting at the birdbath for a drink.

Whether it’s no water, no power, or no WiFi, this is the “nature of the beast” (no pun intended).  The infrastructure is delicate. Theft of cables, copper, and various parts for running the water system in Marloth Park is the culprit. Yesterday, we were informed of a theft at the water station.

This morning I signed up for a WhatsApp group for updates, and here’s the most recent, as of a few minutes ago:

“Eskom (the electric company) has reported another theft at the Fig Tree substation near Masibekela. Copper blades were stolen last night around 2300 hrs (11:00 pm). The power supply has been restored. However, low voltage is still being experienced. Water supply is affected due to the low voltage. Eskom is attending the matter urgently.”

Another Go-Away bird is ready to drink from the bottom portion of the birdbath.

Another post from WhatsApp::

“This will happen when power is off. Ideal for perpetrators.”

The question in my mind is, “How are these perpetrators being allowed into Marloth Park to commit such crimes? A lot of controversies exist in regards to the security at the entrance gate.” But, to avoid an unpleasant back and forth with locals, I won’t get into this.

After all, we are just visitors here and not property owners. We have no say in what transpires in the park. Many people are actively involved and work hard in an attempt to avoid such situations. But, again, “This is Africa,” and not everything goes as one would like. Preventing crime is a complex process in this area and other parts of South Africa.

Lots of mongooses wondering what is on the menu today: Paloney? Eggs? Leftover meat?

But, it’s not exclusive to South Africa or Africa itself when we hear about crime throughout the world, including our own USA. The bottom line is, “You can run, but you can’t hide.”  Nowhere in the world is exempt from awful people who commit crimes upon fellow humans, animals, and property.

Today, we have no water pressure at all. Early yesterday morning, while we still had some water, I had put a load of laundry in the washer. When the water stopped running, we now have a load of dark clothes, soaking wet in the washing machine with no way to rinse or spin them. The washer doesn’t have separate settings for these features alone. If the water isn’t restored today, we’ll have to remove all the clothes and wring them out by hand, hang them to dry, and rewash them at a later date.

As for showering, no such luck, this morning, I did a  “sponge bath” using bottled water warmed in the teapot. That worked out well. Tom’s hair is another issue. Without a shower, he looks like the “nutty professor.”

Siegfried and Roy cuddled on a cool morning.

After last night’s dinner, we have dirty dishes sitting in the dishwasher. This morning, Zef used pool water to wash the floors, a daily must-do with all the dust from the animals in the garden. We’re still using pool water to flush the toilets. That also works out well.

Thank goodness we have electricity. No water and no power is quite the nightmare. We are very grateful to have power and WiFi. We can cook, but we can’t clean up after ourselves. We’ve heard stories of water outages in Marloth Park that lasted for weeks. Hopefully, this time won’t be such a case. Two or three days are tolerable. Longer becomes exceedingly annoying.

At 5:00 pm, 1700 hrs, we’re heading to Louise and Danie’s to drop off the money we owe for pellets and stay for a little social time. That will be a nice break!

Have a spectacular day!

Photo from one year ago today, August 19, 2020:

There were no photos posted one year ago today while our new site was going live, and the “to be expected” temporary issues prevented us from doing so.

No water, day 3…

Three go-away birds at the birdbath. The grey go-away-bird (Crinifer concolor), also known as grey lourie, grey loerie, or kwêvoël, is a bold and common bird of the southern Afrotropics. They are present in arid to moist, open woodlands and thorn savanna, especially near-surface water.

Who’s in the garden this morning?

  • 14 warthogs – inc. Fred, and Ethyl, Little (he stayed for hours), Benny, Henny, Lenny, and Penny
  • 11 bushbucks – inc. Chewy and Thick Neck and others
  • 1 wildebeest – Broken Horn
  • 7 kudus – inc. Little Daddy, Bossy, and Notches
  • Frank and The Misses

Now, it’s getting a little tricky without water. We’ve got the toilet flushing covered using pool water to flush. For sponge baths, we use a small bowl of bottled water and a bar of soap. To wash our hands and wash dishes, we use a bowl of hot water with dishwashing soap. But, it’s interesting to see how many times a day we usually use tap water, although we don’t drink it or use it in cooking.

A warthog drinking from the birdbath. Some are having difficulty drinking if their tusks are too large. But, Tiny, with huge tasks, managed to take a drink, slurping all the while.

I suppose the most challenging part is not showering. Louise offered Khaya Umdani house for us to go shower. It has a tank with its own water supply.  But hauling clean clothes and bathing supplies doesn’t appeal to me while still recovering from my recent virus (not Covid). So we’ll keep doing the sponge baths for now.

I’ve changed today’s late afternoon sundowner location with Rita and Gerhard from the river to our veranda. It’s cool, cloudy and by later afternoon, the weather may not be conducive for sitting by the river where it’s cooler. But, they didn’t mind at all. It will be the first time we’ve seen them in 10 days. It will be wonderful to socialize after so long.

Mongoose and warthog mom with babies in the garden. Mongoose doesn’t eat pellets, so no sharing is required.

We have felt like hermits these past two weeks, staying in, not going out to dinner, and avoiding our friends, not feeling up to it, but also not wanting to infect anyone. I am surprised Tom didn’t catch it from me with our constant proximity. But he’s always had a better immune system than me.

Today is a lazy day. We can’t do laundry without water, and cooking is challenging without water. So today, I am making slow-cooked baby back ribs in the oven, seasoned but sauce-free, for tonight’s dinner. Most likely, our sundowner time will end by dark or shortly after that. Then, we’ll have a quiet evening to dine and watch a few shows.

A female kudu in front of a Big Daddy and, of course, a warthog standing by.

Under normal circumstances, it would have been likely we’d have invited Rita and Gerhard for dinner. But, the fact I am still not feeling 100%, and we don’t have water for doing dishes, we’ll plan that for another day. We’d heard stories in the past about residents in Marloth Park being without water for five days.

When we heard that, we were aghast at the prospect of such a dilemma. But, here we are well into the third day, and the possibility of it going five days is not as unlikely as we perceived in the past. Yesterday, for a short period, we were also without power and WiFi.

As tough and resilient as we may have been in our world travels, with many harrowing situations, I don’t think we’d quickly adapt to no services; no power, no electricity, and no water. That’s not our thing. That would be called “camping,” and we don’t do much of that.

These four wildebeest like to hang out in the driveway, near the car. Go figure.

When the power and WiFi returned, it made us appreciate only being without water, after all. A short time ago, Louise sent me a message to inform us that tonight, from 11:00 pm to 1:30 am; there will be load shedding. Fortunately, that’s a time of less importance to us since we usually are just about ready to drift off to sleep.

The fact load shedding is resuming will mean that we’ll be without power and subsequently without WiFi in other more critical hours of the day. They go hand-in-hand. It’s the nature of the beast. This is Africa. The infrastructure is unstable. We knew this “going in” back in 2013, and it really hasn’t improved much in the past eight years.

For us, it’s all about trade-offs. Africa is in our blood. We can leave…but it always draws us back in. We choose this life, and we decide to accept the challenges we encounter along the way, in the best ways we can.

Have a fantastic day.

Photo from one year ago today, June 1, 2020:

Beautiful flowers grow freely everywhere in Madeira, Portugal. For more, please click here.