Tom's latest haircut...A new look and...A new smartphone purchase in South Africa...


Tom's excellent new haircut.  She cut his hair this time as opposed to using the electric clippers.  Cost with a tip?  ZAR 130, US $9.35 (includes tip).  Wow!  I love the beard!
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"

A band of mongoose stopped by for raw scrambled eggs. Note green dish in the right center of the photo.
When Tom grew a beard in Bali, he quickly became frustrated with it when he said it was "scratchy" on the pillowcase when he was trying to sleep. As light sleepers, any type of distraction can prevent a good night's sleep.

Recently, when he hadn't shaved for a day or two I raved about the stubble, he decided to give it another try.  So far, so good.  We all enjoy seeing our beloved significant other with a new look from time to time, don't we?

I can't say I shake it up much, living this lifestyle but as I continue to work on my weight loss, albeit slowly but successfully, that's all the new look he's getting out of me. 

Tom's wild hair before the haircut.
Later, I'll disclose how much I've lost and how I've done it.  It may be another two months until I reach my goal.  I'm only losing about .5 kg (one pound) a week at this point although I never "cheat."

Yesterday, we decided to head to Komatipoort a little early and left before I'd finished the day's post as mentioned in yesterday's post.  On the way to Spar Center, we stopped at the Pep Cell Phone Store first to no avail.  There wasn't a single phone in that store that appealed to me.

Realizing I probably wouldn't keep a new phone for more than a year or so, the price was a major consideration.  As it turned out, I left the Vodacom store a few doors from the market with one of the most expensive phones in the inventory price at ZAR $2500, US $179.86.

Within an hour another band of mongoose came by for eggs or...was it the same group that was here earlier?  These animals and others are very tricky in making us think they are a new batch of visitors!
Of course, there's no required contract when buying "unlocked" phones to which one can add two separate SIM cards, one for voice, another for data.  Once I selected the phone I wanted as shown in the photo, the salesperson put my existing voice SIM card in the new phone and I was ready to pay.

Not unexpectedly, their credit card machine didn't work (this happened years ago at this same location when we tried to buy data) so Tom headed to the neighboring bank's ATM for the cash. 

In the interim, the store's tech guy showed up and got the handheld credit card processing device to finally process my credit card purchase.  We can always use the extra Tom got from the ATM, so it was no big deal.

My new smartphone purchased yesterday at the Vodacom store in Komatipoort.
Actually, this happens a lot here.  After all, this is Africa, not the USA and services don't always work as expected, seamlessly and without complications.  Networks are often down, electricity is often down and packages don't arrive as anticipated.

Our package containing hundreds of dollars of supplies, shipped from the US on May 28th has yet to arrive.  Dear Louise has taken over the daunting task of getting the package sent to Marloth Park. 

The postal service has acknowledged it has arrived in Pretoria after successfully going through customs.  We've called no less than 10 times seeking an answer.  But the language barrier has been an obstacle that seems to have impeded the conversations when we did manage to get someone on the line.  We'll see how it rolls out, posting the results here.

Last night, our next door neighbors, staying in the house for two, stopped by for happy hour.  We had a great time with Lydia and her son Jody from Amsterdam.
When we returned to the house, we put away the groceries after which I finished and uploaded the day's post.  I was anxious to get my new phone up and running with all my favorite apps.

The process went as smoothly as I hoped and within a few hours, the new phone was loaded with all my information and apps.  Although I rarely make a phone call on the smartphone, I usually use it for the same types of mindless drivel most people do. It was a relief to have this handled.

Last night, tourists from Amsterdam who are renting the house next door, joined us for sundowners on our veranda.  With the outdoor heater on low, we were able to stay comfortable at the big table.  We had a great time with Lydia and Jordy and have already connected in Facebook.

There's a tinge of green developing in the bush after on and off drizzling over the past few days.  This little bit of rain can be so beneficial for the grazing wildlife.
Tonight, we're invited to dinner at friend's Uschi and Evan's home.  We have no doubt this will be another enjoyable evening in the bush.  Still, the wildlife visitor count is low and we're looking forward to Monday when the tourist traffic thins out and our animals friends return to our garden.

Have a fabulous summer weekend for some and winter weekend for those of us in this side of the world!
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Photo from one year ago today, August 10, 2017:
One year ago today we booked the Protea Hotel in Buenos Aires where we stayed while awaiting the cruise to Antarctica.  The nightly rate included this breakfast.  We ate the eggs, cheese and meats only, no cereals, milk, pastries or fruit.  For more details, please click here.

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