We didn’t come all this way to leave and not get back in..

Check out Torn Ear’s horns covered in mud. He may have been showing off his digging skills for the females during the rutting season.

Flight schedules are changing rapidly. We watch for information daily, noting any changes. A friend in the US, planning on coming to South Africa in a few weeks, found his flight was canceled. Will he be able to rebook another flight? It’s hard to say if these types of scenarios will impact us going forward.

But, we stay well informed of the issues. We’re also aware that wherever we may go, we may not be able to get back into South Africa if we have to leave on June 30th for a visa stamp. We experienced this when we were in India. It may not be any different in the next almost two months, when on June 30th, we have to hightail out of South Africa for a visa stamp.

We still have a booked flight to the US on June 30th, but most likely, we’ll change it unless we have no choice but to return due to Covid-19 conditions worldwide.

Handsome male impala.

As we’ve reiterated, we do not want to travel the outrageous distance to the US, with flights and layovers lasting over 24 hours. At this point, with Covid-19 still raging throughout the world, we don’t want to take the risk. It’s possible but unlikely. We’ll have been able to get the vaccine here in South Africa by June 30th.

But, even so, with the vaccine, it appears there are still risks associated with Covid-19. The question becomes, do we want to take those risks on such a long travel day and then risk not getting back into South Africa?

Two male wildebeests stopped by for pellets.

When we think of and discuss what we went through to get out of India unscathed, for which we are very grateful, based on what’s happening in India now with almost 400,000 new cases a day, we don’t want to be in a similar position once again, filled with a sense of uncertainty coupled with a degree of apprehension and fear.

In general, the uncertainty of travel leaves us in a precarious position. We don’t want to “throw in the towel” and give up this life we’ve become so accustomed to, which has brought us great joy and contentment. Even now that the ten-month lockdown in India ended almost four months ago, we don’t feel traumatized by that experience. We learned a lot about ourselves, one another, and us as a couple, a knowledge we will carry with us into the future.

Another male impala was watching the action in the garden.

As we consider that we spent those ten months in that hotel room in Mumbai, it isn’t easy to comprehend that those ten months constituted 9.9% of the entire time we’ve been traveling the world. However, like all of our experiences, good and bad, we have incorporated them into the realm of our whole experience, and to date, we have no regrets.

When we embarked on this journey on October 31, 2012, we didn’t consider it easy. But anyone can look back at their prior nine years, and surely there have been “ups and downs.” That’s the nature of life itself. Some of the hardships and heartbreaks we’ve experienced during this time would have presented themselves, regardless of where we lived at any given moment.

He stayed around for quite a while looking for pellets.

Covid-19 hasn’t made it easier for any of us. It’s been no more complicated or easier for us than for anyone: sorrow, illness, loss of loved ones, and substantial unexpected expenses. And yet, we as a race, as humans, strive to make our way through these difficult times with grace, with dignity, and with compassion.

And, we can’t forget gratefulness. For those of us who, by chance or not, have escaped becoming deathly ill from the virus, gratitude must remain our state of being to get us through this next phase, whatever that may be. None of us knows what the future holds. We can only speculate based on historical data, speculation, and our personal beliefs.

Tiny and Mrs. Tiny, nose to nose, kissing while Lonely Boy is looking on.

Ultimately, we carry on, with love and hope in our hearts, that our family members, friends, and readers stay safe, free from illness, free from harm, and free from the many dangers facing us in these precarious times. At times, none of this seems natural. Upon reflection, sometimes it feels as if we are living in a dystopian movie. l. On occasion, we shake our heads in dire wonder if this is our world today. Sadly, dear readers, it is.

We’d hoped to go to Kruger National Park today but, it was so busy in the garden with dozens of visitors, we decided to wait until another day.

May we all stay strong, healthy, and in touch with our surroundings.

Photo from one year ago today, May 4, 2020:

Giraffes in the bush in the neighborhood. For more, please click here.

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