Waiting for the power to go out soon…Spending money of what?…A heartbreaking event in Marloth Park…

While our driver, Okee Dokee was away for part of December, 2013, we rented this pink car.  Parked in the driveway of our vacation home in Marloth Park it didn’t deter the “visitors” from stopping by each day.  Warthogs were my favorite visitors especially when two moms (the second mom and one other baby is not shown here in this photo) and seven baby warthogs came to call every day.  For more details, please click here.

With “Fiji time” the power could go out sooner or later.  One never knows.  The scheduled shut down is expected at 8 am, ending at 6 pm.  We’re as prepared as we can be. 

We have plenty of ice to soon place into plastic bags which will go inside two insulated bags and extra ice to place in the refrigerator hoping to keep those items cool after the fridge portion was out of commission for 24 hours a few days ago.

I slept fitfully.  After “refreshing” my Windows 8.1 laptop a few days ago, there were over 300 updates that came through from Microsoft which took hours to upload.  When I saw the message come up as I began to shut down last night, I decided I’d better let them run rather than wait until today when they’d use up power once the electricity is out. 

Wanting to ensure they uploaded correctly, I wasn’t able to fall asleep until it was done and I could shut it off.  My “shut down” is still having issues which requires two restarts. 

I’ve tried everything to correct it but it won’t resolve, even with software fixes I downloaded in the past few days specifically for this problem.  I guess I’ll live with it when everything else is running smoothly now after the refresh.  Before we know it, as always, we’ll end up purchasing new laptops when traveling as we do seems to have an impact on their survival.

As the prices have reduced considerably for touchscreen technology which we both like to use, we don’t flinch at the prospect of purchasing new equipment every few years, especially as the features and technology continues to change. 

Photo from our yard in December, 2013.  Hundreds of these beautiful impalas are being culled in Marloth Patk at this time.

We don’t flinch at the cost for replacement supplies including cameras, laptops, Internet devices, and other digital equipment when we don’t spend money on gardening, household maintenance, clothes shopping, dining out and other “living in one place” related expenses.

At the present we have items accumulating at our mailing service with supplies we need to replenish to arrive in our next shipment in New Zealand sometime in January. 

These items include any digital equipment we’d like to replace (still deciding), underwear, a few favorite toiletry items we can’t find outside the US; tee shirts; liquid sweetener for my coffee, hot tea and muffins; Crystal Light ice tea packets (enough to last for a year) and a few other items that surely will come to mind over the next month as we accumulate the upcoming shipment.

Another item that kept my mind spinning overnight was an article I stumbled upon last night about the culling of 487 wildlife in Marloth Park due to a lack of adequate vegetation in the “veld” (the bush) to sustain the animals.  We can only imagine the heartbreak of our friends and other residents in Marloth Park as they await this sorrowful process to be end.

Here’s an article from a local newspaper in Mpumalanga, South Africa:

“Culling in Marloth Park, Mpumalanga, resumed on Monday night after recent attempts to have the game captured and relocated failed.

The majority of residents say they are happy possible inconveniences to residents and disruption to animals are being kept to a minimum. The operations are carried out after 6pm to restrict exposure to both residents and holiday goers, Lowvelder reported.

“The poor state of Marloth Park’s veld is sufficient reason for property owners to realise that there is no other option than to cull the animals. However, most of these concerns have been put to rest since the culling is taking place at night,” a property owner remarked.

The planned total of animals to be culled is 487 for impala, eight for wildebeest and 10 for warthog.

Time is an issue, as the permit to conduct this is only valid for 30 days. In addition, only 35 animals can be culled at a time, this being the quota the abattoir can handle a day.

The office of the provincial State Veterinary Services confirmed that carcasses had been transported to the Morrisdale Abattoir, which is located out of the red-line area on the Jeppe’s Reef road.

The former contract holder of culling in Marloth Park, Jasper Aitcheson, said: “Since Marloth Park is situated within the red-line area, the threat of TB is high and strict protocols need to be followed.”

An animal is shot in the head and bled out before attempting to transport the carcass to the abattoir. The feet and head are checked at the abattoir, and depending on ailments, a strict protocol will be followed, as per health regulations. After this, the meat is cut off the bone. The feet, head, intestines as well as the bones are to be sent back to Marloth Park, where it is taken to the so-called Vultures Restaurant in Lionspruit for scavengers to consume it.”

Photo take from our second floor veranda in Marloth Park.  The thought of giraffes being culled in heartbreaking.  Note the full cheeks from munching on the trees.  Now with vegetation at a minimum culling was the chosen option.

My heart especially hurts for the 10 warthogs who especially became our friends and frequent visitors while we spent three months living in the amazing wildlife reserve.  Upon reading further I discovered that even giraffes would be included in this sad event. 

I realize culling is a part of life required to leave food sources for those that remain.  But, it’s sad nonetheless.  Today, I’ll write to several of our friends in the park. Many of the animals have become an integral part of living in Marloth Park and the loss will be dearly felt.

All of God’s creatures, both human and animal, are treasured gifts to our planet and as world events unfold the loss of human life remains heartbreaking. For those of us deeply connected to the animal kingdom we only add the sorrow of loss of wildlife as well, to our already aching hearts.

The inconvenience we experience without power for one day is nothing.  The loss of food in our refrigerator is nothing.  A remedied toothache or aching neck is nothing. 

We strive to continually remain grateful and fulfilled for the gift of each day we’ve been given, for each experience we gather along the way, both past and present, as we continue on in this journey.

Two weeks from today, we’ll fly in the little plane once again to make our way to 28 more days on the main island of Fiji, viti Luvu.  Beyond that, a new adventure begins as we make our way to New Zealand, Singapore, Bali, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and many more over the next 12 months.

All of our love to our friends in Marloth Park and throughout the world!



Photo from one year ago today, November 22, 2014:

One year ago while living in Maalea Beach, Maui, we took a few videos of professional coconut tree trimmers climbing up coconut palms to remove excess leaves and coconuts to prevent injury to the residents below.  For photos and details, please click here.

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