Where in the world would such thoughts enter my mind?…

Mongoose eating shrimp shells. They loved them, perhaps reminding them of eating crunchy scorpions.

Last night, as I stepped out of the car when arriving back at our house, from a delightful dinner at Jabula with Kathy and Don, I stepped in an anthill, or better yet, a termite hill, several of which surround the area of the carport and the garden. Over these past nine months, since we arrived in Marloth Park, Vusi and Zef have knocked them down, only to have them “grow” back within days.

Removing termite mounds is a pointless task, nor does it cause any issues in the house when there is no wood on the premises, only cement. We don’t get termites in the house. But, last night, when I accidentally stepped on the home of thousands of termites, I found myself feeling disappointed in myself for destroying a part of their home that now they must rebuild.

Where in the world would such thoughts enter my mind?

This morning, when I sat with Tom at the table on the veranda, sipping my coffee, one of our usual bands of mongooses arrived, chirping their funny little sounds, wondering what’s for breakfast. I ran into the house and grabbed two bags from last night’s dinner, one with bones from Tom’s rib dinner and the other with prawn shells left from Kathy and Don’s meals.

Kathy didn’t keep the shells, but now I will encourage her to do so since she and Don always have the prawns at Jabula and get several mongoose bands in their back garden None of us knew mongoose would love shrimp shells and the attached stringy legs. It was fun to watch them squeal and squeak over them when we placed them on the ground, grabbing one at a time and running off into the bush to eat in privacy. It’s funny.

Where in the world would such thoughts enter my mind?

This morning I went through the house, looking for any items sitting out over the winter months that may attract insects. It could be a flavored tube of lipstick, a moist rag left on the counter to dry, or a tiny bit of spilled sugar left when I made Tom’s blueberry muffins yesterday morning. It could be a morsel of food that missed the garbage can when I’ve been busy preparing food.

Where in the world would such thoughts enter my mind?

I’ve begun to think about packing and going through the clothing I may decide to toss before we leave here in 39 days. We’ll leave several items behind with Louise to store for our return, 14 months later. But the question becomes, which clothes require washing again when they’ll sit for several months unattended in a large plastic tote? Will they be a breeding ground for spiders, snakes, or other creepy crawlers while we’re away?

Broken Horn stops by at least two times a day, checking out what’s on the menu.

Where in the world would such thoughts enter my mind?

We never leave a dirty dish in the sink overnight. If we did, we’d awaken to find some nasty-looking critters in the sink or on the countertops. Any spills on the floor must be cleaned up immediately, or within an hour, the crumbs or fragments of food may be covered in ants. Where do they get inside? It’s hard to say.

Where in the world would such thoughts enter my mind?

I just heard a fly buzzing around my head while I was inside the house. How did it get inside? They most likely enter from the veranda door that doesn’t close properly unless we lock it, which is annoying considering how much we go in and out all day and evening. My task for today will be to find that fly and escort it outside by quickly opening a window. We try to avoid using insect spray any more than necessary.

We keep most windows closed, day and night, in winter and summer, to avoid insects entering the house. It’s not that we’re afraid of them. They can keep us awake at night, buzzing about our heads and the bedroom. Who needs insect bites? I’ve had my share.

Where in the world would such thoughts enter my mind?

Such thoughts as these only enter my mind while we’re in Africa. When we arrive in the US once again, none of the above will be a consideration. There will be no termite mounds to navigate, no mongoose to feed, no insects to keep at bay, and no repellent to apply to all exposed skin three times a day, including bedtime.  We’ll be able to throw open the windows and screen doors without giving it a thought.

“It’s not easy taking a nap with my tusks in the way!” says The Imposter.

This is Africa. Those who choose to come to the continent are fully aware of the risks, the challenges, and the unusual occurrences perhaps not found in their home country. Amid all of these minor inconveniences, we’re returning in December 2022, during the busy Christmas season, in the heat of summer, when temperatures may rise to 45C, 113F, when snakes are prolific, and insects and creepy crawlers are a normal part of each day. Are we nuts? No, we love the bush.

Yes, we love the bush.

Be well, everyone!

Photo from one year ago today, September 12, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #173. Hesborn, our houseman in Kenya in 2013, stopped by Wednesday morning after a full night of rain, showed us this carnivorous, stinging, dangerous creature with less than 100 legs yet is still referred to as a centipede. He warned us not to walk in the grass after rain. These not only walk but also are known to climb up bedposts. A sting from this ugly creature will require a trip to an emergency room. For more photos, please click here.

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