Early morning visitors come by to celebrate our anniversary…Not the humankind…

This enormous male kudu visited last night.  Check out this 
video to appreciate his size.
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
This morning’s first-time visitor to the yard, a wildebeest. Never once did he look at us or pick up his head for a face photo. But, we were happy to see him anyway!
No more than minutes after we awoke this morning, we had visitors galore on this day of our 23rd wedding anniversary. First, we had a herd of kudu consisting of two males and six females.  Then, shortly afterward, we had another herd stop by consisting of one male and six females.

A short time later, the solitary wildebeest  appeared as shown above in the “Sighting of the Day in the Bush.” Unfortunately, he never looked up at us, keeping his head down during his entire visit of about 10 minutes. He ate a few pellets and was on his way.

Yesterday, we had no less than a total of five species of visitors in the yard, one batch after another. Every time we sat down at the table, someone was there, and we jumped up again with camera and pellets in hand. 
There are two types of kudus, the “Lesser” with 4 to 12 white stripes running down its the torso and the “Greater” with 10 stripes running down its torso. This massive kudu appears to be a “Greater.” Otherwise, it’s difficult to tell the difference.
The various species included mongoose, vervet monkey, kudu, warthogs, bushbuck. It was quite a busy day. Midday, we headed to Komatipoort for a few items, including purchasing another massive bag of pellets, 40kg (88 pounds), at a farm store. The cost of the huge bag is ZAR 188 (US $15.90), which will last about two to three weeks.

We try not to be gone long when we shop in town, fearful we’ll miss something back at the house. But, it’s good to be out and about in the town steeping in culture and diversity. As much as we’d like to take photos of the people, we hesitate to avoid making anyone feel uncomfortable.

Here we are, white people in a primarily black town, shopping in many markets and shops they frequent. How intrusive it would be for us to be taking photos of its citizens. 
Got milk?  The intense look from a kudu appears to come from interest and curiosity and less from fear or intimidation.
Instead, we comfortably blend in, as we have all over the world instead, focusing on our tasks at hand. Yesterday’s outing included a trip to the Spar Supermarket for a few items, the pharmacy for repellent and saline, the liquor store for Castle beer, a can “huggie” for Tom, along with a few bottles of wine for me.
Then, we headed to the Butchery for chicken breasts and Boerwars; sausages described as follows from this site:
“Boerewors ([ˈbuːrəvors]), a type of sausage which originated in South Africa, is an important part of South African cuisine and is popular across Southern Africa. The name is derived from the Afrikaans words boer (“farmer”) and wors (“sausage”).
Boerewors must contain at least 90 percent meat and always include beef and lamb, pork, or a mixture of lamb and pork. Not more than 30% of the meat content may be fat. The other 10% is made up of spices and other ingredients. Boerewors may not contain any “mechanically recovered” meat (meat derived through a process where meat and bone are mechanically separated).”
He meandered through the yard, interested in the pellets but seemed more interested in strutting his big “rack” and stature.

As for the beer and wine, some evenings around 5:00 pm, we have “happy hour.” I usually have a maximum of two small glasses of dry white or red wine, and Tom will have a few beers.

By the time we have dinner around 6:30, we no longer imbibe, instead of loading our insulated mugs with iced tea for the remainder of the evening. This ritual is new for us since I hadn’t consumed any alcohol for over 20 years.

As mentioned before, I’ve found that I can consume a small amount of wine with no ill effects. Lately, we’re thoroughly enjoying hanging out on the veranda, without our laptops or phones nearby, chatting and watching nature unfold before our eyes.

To avoid mosquito bites and the fact that we aren’t taking malaria pills this time, we’ve dined indoors in the past weeks. But now, after dining outdoors (a tradition most locals prefer), when company came for dinner, we’ve found the local repellent good enough to keep from getting bit, and we’ve had our dinner outdoors even after dark, loving every moment.

As he walked to the side yard, where he stayed for some time, he seemed relaxed and at ease.

We’ve found we’re more easily adapting this time around than four years ago.  Today, the temperature is expected to be around 100F (38C), and still, we’ll be outdoors all day.  There’s no point in running AC when we prefer to be outside anyway.

Also, we’ve both become even more tolerant of insects and give little thought to them, other than avoiding bees and wasps, which we’re both allergic to. Last night, during night, I awoke to a bug in the bed. Yep, I turned on the light, waking Tom so I can shoo it away. 

There’s no degree of adaptation that would make a person comfortable with a bug in the bed. But, I suppose it’s how one reacts to the inconvenience which determines their degree of adaptability.

Four years ago, we’d seen a larger kudu than this, but so far this time, he’s the biggest we’ve spotted.

Tonight, on our 23rd wedding anniversary (we’ve been together almost 27 years), we plan to dine at Ngwenya, a restaurant located about 10 minutes from here situated on the Crocodile River with opportunities to see stunning wildlife sunsets.

After sunset, we’ll dine, surely reveling in how fortunate we’ve been to not only experience the joys of being together all of these years but also these past almost five and a half years of living this dream lifestyle.
We’ll be back with photos from tonight’s visit to Ngwenya, hopefully with many more photos.
Have a blissful day!  
Photo from one year ago today, March 7, 2017:
During the “silent disco” aboard the ship, we both had messy hair from taking the headsets on and off throughout the night. Tom was incredibly confused from sweating. His shirt was soaked by the end of the evening.  We had a blast.  For more photos, please click here.