Two New Year’s surprises!…Can’t stop smiling!…Fun New Year’s Day with friends…

We haven’t seen Noah since we returned from the US, most likely because Norman and Nina’s baby was born about six weeks ago. They sent him off to a new territory. Soon, Deidre, from Wild and Free Rehabilitation, will release a young female as a mate for him.

The first surprise was reader/friend Lisa contacting us yesterday, inviting us to join the four of them for dinner at Jabula tomorrow evening, January 3. She’d written to us quite a while ago that she’d contact us when they arrived in Marloth Park, prompted by our site and endless raves about the bush,

And there was Lisa, writing a comment on our site and contacting me by email to see if we could join them for dinner. We are thrilled to do so. Here again, is more of our readers coming to Marloth Park inspired by our enthusiastic posts about how blissful it is in Marloth Park. We are always delighted to meet more readers/friends.

Well, hang onto your chair for the second surprise we got yesterday while Dawn and Leon were here. I heard my WhatsApp phone ringing and jumped up to answer it. All of my contacts in WhatsApp are people we know, so I assumed it was a friend called to say Happy New Year.

Another dung beetle with his ball of dung in the garden.

An unrecognizable voice was at the end of the line. She explained she was from baggage handlers service, and I held my breath as she spoke. She was in Nelspruit and was on her way to bring us ONE of the lost bags, not both. We hope we’ll be lucky and receive the second bag.

Ninety minutes later, the delivery person texted me that she was at Louise’s office. Tom jumped in the car and headed there, picking up the bag she’d left with Louise. We have all deliveries sent to Louise’s office since our address is impossible to find with the inconsistent numbering of properties on the dirt road.

I was hoping the found bag was Tom’s, not mine. I had found most of the receipts from my stuff, but Tom’s was nearly impossible, making completing the insurance claim difficult and cumbersome. But, hoping that his bag arrives soon, we won’t have to file the claim. This makes life so much easier for me, especially with other tasks hanging over our heads.

This morning, I emptied my bag, and it appeared nothing was missing, which was surprising. I had a lot of nice clothes and toiletries in that bag. It was funny yesterday; I was about to place an order from the same online retailer that ships to South Africa, where I’d purchased about ten items about four months ago. Something stopped me, and I decided to wait a few more weeks before re-ordering the same items I’d bought. Hmm…safari luck.

Now I have plenty of tops to wear around the house and when going to dinner—what a relief. Before the return of my bag, I only had a few tee shirts to wear, along with a couple of very casual tops I’d purchased from Amazon when we were in Minnesota last month when we also had to buy winter clothes to wear while we were there.

We see Aggie, a resident agama, in our garden every few days. We’d like to interact with him, but he is very shy.

Anyway, New Year’s Day turned out better than expected. We had a fantastic day with Dawn and Leon. We ate early in the day, and by 5:00 pm, Leon was tired, and they needed to head home. It was wonderful to spend that time with them, as it always is, away from the hustle and bustle of the restaurant and frequent interruptions when the four of us are attempting to chat.

Tom and I stayed on the veranda for a few more hours, and when the mozzies began to attack, we headed indoors to stream a few more episodes of Peaky Blinders and eventually doze off to sleep. I didn’t sleep well and was awake for no less than three hours during the night. Perhaps, a nap will be on today’s agenda.

Everything is prepped for tonight’s easy dinner of ham and cheese sliders, one more time, salad, and rice. I’m wrapping up a few laundry loads and have emptied my “found” luggage. Now, I am scrambling to find photos to post for today. We don’t have a single image to post with a few animals visiting over the past few weeks. Right now, Tom is watching for photo ops.

No headache. No facial pain. I am very grateful. We’ll be back with more soon.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, January 2, 2022:

Thirsty after eating pellets, piglets needed a drink from mom. For more photos, please click here.

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