We were both antsy without WiFi all day Thursday and most of the day on Friday. A train details about 100 miles, 160 km from here, and the internet lines were toppled. Then, a massive storm prevented repairs when It rained in buckets for over 24 hours.
We’d have gone to Kruger National Park, but with the rain and potential flooding on the dirt roads and fewer possible sightings in the storm, it made no sense to go to the park. Instead, we’d stayed home, except for a quick trip to Louise and Danie’s Info Centre to pick up a puzzle that I thought could entertain me with nothing else to do.
The Info Centre has dozens of books and puzzles guests can borrow at no charge, none of which could entertain us during this period. Who was I kidding that I could do a puzzle? With my short attention span, I lasted about five minutes and then packed up all the pieces and placed them back in the box near the door to return to Louise the next time we went out.
Now, I write this post at 10:30 am, and once again, the signal is lost, most likely due to the high winds occurring all morning…more downed lines may keep us without WiFi for days to come. Then again, TIA, ‘This is Africa,” and stuff happens. The infrastructure is delicate, and the slightest situation upsets an entire service for hours, days, or weeks. It doesn’t pay to complain. No one is listening. When it gets fixed, it gets fixed.
You may ask, “How do I post a notice that we have no WiFi?” I use Google Fi on my phone, which is way too expensive to use as a hotspot to work on posts. We only use it for a few moments here and there to get load-shedding, water, or internet outage updates. But when the WiFi returns, I will keep typing and save this post onto a document to upload later. Sure, it’s frustrating, but what can we do?
I’ll keep watching to see if it returns for a few moments and upload this post as quickly as possible.
In the interim, we wanted to share a most precious update on Lollie’s piglets. Last night, while at the bar at Jabula, I spoke to Honorary Ranger David. He, too, had seen Lollie and explained what was wrong with her. When she had her piglets a few months ago, there may have been a fourth piglet that was never delivered. It may have been the sac or afterbirth hanging from her rear end, not her intestines.
What happens next is what would happen to a mammal if the afterbirth isn’t delivered….it will become gangrenous and eventually turn black and infect the animal to the point that death is unavoidable. It is sad to think that poor little Lollie has been wandering around the bush suffering for the past few months, to the point where she finally had to release her three piglets to be on their own.
For a few days, they came here without her. We fed them. We called Deidre from Wild and Free Rehabilitation to ask how to care for them without a mom when they were still suckling. Deidre assured me that the carrot and apple bits, along with pellets, would help them to survive, and I found myself cutting them up several times a day to feed them when they often arrived, just like Lollie, who’d been our resident warthog for many months.
On the third day, shortly after the piglets left together, and to wander the bush, Lollie, whom we’d assumed had died, showed up in the garden standing at her usual spot by the edge of the veranda. We fed her pellets, apples, and carrots, but she didn’t eat much. The dark, gangrenous afterbirth was still hanging out of her. It broke our hearts.
After a while, she walked a short distance into a grassy area and peed, then slowly walked away. She looked thin and frail. We figured this would be the last time we’d see her. She was going off to die. I must admit tears welled up in my eyes. There was nothing we could do.
About ten minutes later, the three piglets arrived once again. They all sniffed where she’d stood at the veranda’s edge and then found where she’d peed. One of the little piglets started running around in circles, squeaking louder than we’d ever heard. The other two followed suit. They must have assumed they’d found their mom. They followed her scent but never found her.
The next day, a miracle happened. A mom we’ve seen several times a day with four piglets arrived with Lollie’s three piglets in tow. She had adopted them! After spending hours watching them for days, I quickly recognized the three little pigs, each with their distinguishing marks.
It was amazing to watch and see how her piglets had accepted them, and they all played together as if they were all related. We fed them plenty of pellets, apples, and carrots. After a while, they left but returned several times a day throughout the days to follow.
Pigs are smart. But, another oddity occurred. We’d seen one little piglet alone in our garden for a few days, perhaps lost from her mom. On the second day, after the mom who’d adopted Lolle’s three piglets appeared again, she had the lost, lonely piglet with her. Now, a mom of seven was a mom of eight, and I named her Octomom. In no time at all, she’ll know her name.
As for naming the piglets, well, that will take time once they develop their little characteristics and personalities. So far today, Octomom and the eight piglets have been here at least four times and surely will return as the day progresses.
So there’s our piglet story which helps soften the blow of losing Lollie, the resident warthog we’ve loved since we rented this house in May, eight months ago.
That’s it for today, folks.
Photo from one year ago, January 7, 2022: