Two years of hell?…

At first, we thought this was one centipede tangled around itself. But, when Tom moved it to safety in the grass, it proved to be two. Were they fighting, or were they mating? Centipede poop beside them. Did she squeeze the you-know-what out of him?

Without much of a social life these days after most of our friends have left the bush, our days and nights seem to roll into one another, and we easily lose track of time. Many Marlothians are concerned about Omicron and staying close to home rather than going out and about to socialize.

We haven’t heard of any new virus cases here in the park, But it’s entirely possible they aren’t being recorded. Today, I contacted the Marloth Park medical clinic to see if they’ll have the J & J boosters, and they will not. I am awaiting a response on if I can get a different booster which I’ve read is fine to “mix and match.”

This is One Tusk and who may have been his mate, Momm, and three piglets. The two warthogs in the background are hers from her last litter, Barbara and Lori. She chases them off now that she has the new piglets. Family dynamics. Funny.

At this point, I don’t think South Africa has authorized boosters for the general population, but finding accurate information online is tricky. Answers are vague and confusing. All we can do at this point is to continue watching the news for updates. Also, we continue checking the news to see if the President will do his “family meeting” to see if he will extend visas again for foreign nationals.

This was hilarious. One Tusk happily lounges on the ground while the three piglets are “giving him a bath.” He didn’t mind a bit. Surely, these must be his kids! Note: Barbara and Lori are looking on.

If he does not extend visas, we’ll have no choice but to return to Zambia again for the new visa stamps. Flights are still available to Livingstone, from Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger. This time, we’ll bring a copy of our flight cancellation and a newly purchased ticket to the US. South Africa immigration doesn’t approve of “border jumping” for visa purposes, although it is legal. In this case, we won’t have a choice.

If our cruise cancels, will we attempt to stay here longer, or will we book a new location? Fortunately, United Airlines now has a free cancellation policy that makes bookings easier. If we find out that our cruise is canceled after we’ve booked it, we’ll be able to change or cancel the flight after deciding what we’d like to do.

It’s fun to see the three generations getting along.

At this point, a new location is more appealing, providing the various countries we investigate will accept passengers from South Africa, which is a real dilemma, especially since the onset of Omicron. But, at this early date, we have no idea. Everything could change between now and March or April.

If we go to Zambia on January 24, 2022, and get another 90 days, and if the cruise cancels, most likely, we’ll stay here until the end of the 90 days. We’d be able to stay in South Africa until April 24, 2022. Our next cruise, sailing from Istanbul, isn’t until June 29, 2022. Hopefully, we could find somewhere interesting to stay for a few months in that part of the world while we wait for the cruise.

The piglets are hilarious. We never tire of watching their antics. One Tusk is a very gentle guy, even with the one vicious-looking task.

So much is up in the air. But after spending ten months in lockdown in India in 2020, we are much more adept and patient in dealing with the unknown. As complex and challenging as those ten months were, we did learn a few things about ourselves and our ability to adapt and accept such a trying situation.

If anyone had told us that we’d experience such a difficult challenge for ten months during our first nine years of world travel, along with dealing with my open-heart surgery, all transpiring in a two-year period, we’d have wondered if we could handle this degree of strife. But, amid those difficulties, we had countless fantastic experiences. The two years weren’t, by any means, a total loss for us.

Eventually, Mom and the babies were left on their own, when of course, we tossed more pellets their way.

As those times have passed, we look back with gratitude for the personal growth and strength we gleaned, individually and as a couple, during those tough times.  It has only made us more resilient than we ever imagined. Waiting out this current scenario is a piece of cake,

We’re safe. We’re content. We have each other and the love from friends and family worldwide. What more could we ask for?

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, December 9, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #261. After arriving in Nevada to visit family in 2019, we were on our way to the Vegas Golden Knights game, guest of son Richard, a super fan. For more, please click here.

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