Busy day...one more trip to Komatipoort, after all..Six days and counting...A little whining is in order...

Baby warthog, standing by the braai. "What's on the menu?" he inquires. "Pellets, I hope!"
One week from today, at 5:45 am, after a full night of flying, we'll be getting off the plane in Cairo, Egypt for a three and a half hour layover until we board another plane to Casablanca, Morocco for another six hour flight with almost a two hour layover.  Then another flight to Marrakesh, arriving at 3:35 pm."

I can only hope we'll have managed to get enough sleep during the eight hour red eye to avoid feeling awful.  Oh, we can't stay up all night as well as we were able when younger.

Tom is fussing as the time to depart nears, today only six days away; the 29 hours from leaving this house to arriving in Marrakesh; waiting times at the various airports; handling our luggage at every layover at least three times; the actual time on the flights, the longest eight hours, next six hours, and two for shorter periods.

Mom and four babies eating the pellets we left for the zebra, whom we hopes will soon reappear.  We'd left a few carrots for him also, but this group had no interest in the carrots.
Whether I'm Clive, the Ostrich, with my head in the sand, I prefer not to worry, my only concern being a safe arrival. Between us, we have all the possible worries covered.  Good grief.  We don't like this part.

As a matter of fact this upcoming week is the hardest part of our travels.  This time, we have the added the element of going to the little house to pack everything still there to bring here to African Reunion House to begin the painful process of packing it all together.

With our upcoming "goodbye party" on Monday at 5:00 pm, we've postponed the dreadful job of clearing our stuff from the little house until Tuesday morning.  If we picked it all up now, we'd have our stuff strewn all over the main floor, not a pretty sight for a dinner party.  Tuesday, it will be. 

Good thing I no longer drink alcohol (due to the high sugar content) or I may have been agonizing with a hangover, a common occurrence in my old days even after only a few glasses of red wine. Tom, on the other hand, never suffers after a party if he imbibes in a few too many, a rare occurrence in itself.

I told Tom that if warthogs had been our only visitors in the three months in Marloth Park, I'd have been happy.  As a young child, I had an imaginary character with me at all times, "Piggy."  At five years old, as we drove across the US from California to Boston, Massachusetts to visit my beloved grandmother, my mother made my father stop on the highway in Sweetwater, Texas, to let "Piggy" out of the car. It was time for me to grow up. I cried all the way to Boston. This memory, emblazoned in mind 60 years later, left me fascinated with pigs. 
In a perfect world, we'd take all of this in our stride.  But, let's face it.  We've taken quite a lot in our stride and this isn't it.  If Tom wasn't feeling angst ridden, I'd be fine. No matter what I say or do, I can't seem to help lessen his frustration that there was no such thing as a direct flight from Johannesburg to Marrakesh.

So there it is.  Our temporary, albeit, frustrating state of being over the next week, a price we pay for choosing this otherwise glorious life.  There's no "free lunch."  We can only find comfort in the reality that a week from tonight, we'll be situated (most likely not totally unpacked) in our new home, called Dar Aicha, with Madame Zahra making and serving us our first meal.

I find comfort in recalling our painstaking over 24 hour travel time to Kenya from Italy, arriving in Mombasa at 6:00 am then boarding a rickety van to cross the river on a ferry and drive over an hour to Diani Beach to our awaiting home.  We rested for a few hours, later heading out to grocery shop. 

I remember how tired but excited we were, defraying the feelings of exhaustion.  Hopefully, these 29 hours won't be much different and, after a good night's sleep, the next day we'll head to a grocery store for snacks.  It should be easier that we don't have to shop and cook when we arrive.

Late yesterday afternoon we discover this insect which is over 4 inches, 10.6 cm long.
Now, getting back to the moment, my goal over the next several days is to stay calm while savoring our last days in Marloth Park.  With pelting rain over the last few days, the only visitors we've had is the skinny warthog mom with four fast maturing babies.  The larger animals stay under cover during the heavy rains. 

Last night, before dinner, we were driven indoors when it was too wet on the veranda to stay outside.  We hunkered down in the cooled-down bedroom, watched a weird, yet well acted movie, "Her," with the last third left to finish tonight. 

Overall, we're good, with the enthusiastic anticipation of our upcoming dinner party on Monday night and a quiet weekend at home in African Reunion House, a blessing until we leave.  Perhaps, more visitors will come by now that the rain has stopped. 

In the meanwhile, we wait for Mr. Tree Frog to return for a fifth time to his favorite perch on the rafters of the veranda. I hear some croaking in our immediate area on the veranda as I write this, wondering if it's him.
I realize that all the photos of Mr. Tree Frog look alike.  But this was taken at 6:00 pm yesterday after his fourth return after leaving for 12 to 24 hours over the past week.  His continued return visits has been a source of curiosity to us.
Soon, Okee Dokee will arrive to take me to Komatipoort for groceries for the upcoming party.  Had we not arranged the party, we'd have had plenty of food to get us through the next several days while dining out a few times.  But, an opportunity to say "thank you" to more of our local friends supersedes our desire for "easy."

Its the simple things that have made life in Marloth Park amazing and memorable and we hope to continue to embrace every moment of our remaining time in its midst.


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