The day after a special Christmas...Photos from two social events at Kathy and Don's...Scorcher today, 43C, 109.4F with high humidity...


Me, Tom and Kathy during the cocktail hour before dinner.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
A hippo on the banks of the Crocodile River as seen from Kathy and Don's third-floor veranda last night.
To say today is hot is an understatement.  With humidity ranging from 50% to 60% and temps as high as 43C (109.4F), it's relatively unbearable.  Every so often, we come inside to recover in the bedroom's aircon for a few minutes and then head back outdoors to sweat some more.
As always, Kathy and Don's spread of good food was delicious and easy finger food for Saturday night's cocktail party.
Last night, at Kathy and Don's delightful Christmas night dinner, we made the best of the heat and had a superb evening.  The food, the decorative ambiance and the lively conversation among the six of us (including Rita and Gerhard) continued well into the evening.
The views from their third-floor veranda are spectacular.
Finally, we excused ourselves to head back to our bush house in order to call our kids, grandkids and other family members to wish them all a Merry Christmas.
Kathy and Don do a tremendous amount of hosting guests and always do so aplomb and ease.
When we entered the car after 2200 hours (10 pm) it was still 35C (97F).  Our clothes were soaked in sweat but the chatter amongst friends kept us delightfully distracted and we hardly noticed that fact throughout the evening.
Last night's Christmas Day dinner was at Kathy and Don's home once again.  There were six of us, including Rita and Gerhard.  
As always, it was wonderful talking to our family members.  With the time differences and everyone's busy schedule, we don't always talk as often as we'd like but with Facebook's easy back and forth, we never feel as if we're that far away.
The "pie day from hell" resulted in this pinwheel-looking pie when it was impossible to handle the piecrust dough in the heat and humidity.  Don said he loved it although it wasn't pretty.
By the time, we both finished with the Skype calls, it was nearly midnight and much to our surprise we both had a good night's sleep.  Thank goodness the power was still on.  Five years ago we had no power in Marloth Park on Christmas Day.
Gerhard, Don, and Rita were busy mashing the ingredients in their drink, called kawa, a Kenyan tradition that requires mashing the ingredients together.  
Luckily, the power shedding hasn't been excessive in December (thus far) and we'll see how it goes for the remainder of the month and into January and February when we depart on Valentine's Day to head to Nelspruit for our last night in South Africa, to be spent in a hotel for our early morning flight to Nairobi, Kenya.
A Merry Christmas hippo on the river's edge.
With the outrageous heat, we don't have big plans for today.  We have homemade pizza left for Tom and I'll have hake (fish), cauliflower and salad.  This morning I already prepped the vegetables and salad and put together the leftover ingredients to make one last pizza.  
They had a few visitors while we were there, a few zebras and a wildebeest.
As we reflect on our wonderful Christmas season we're still reeling over how grateful we've been for all of our friends who made this time of year (and all year-long) so special for us.
Kathy gave them pellets and they stayed around until the last one was eaten.
This week will be quieter than last. On Saturday, we're dining at Jabula Lodge and Restaurant with Rita and Gerhard, and possibly with Kathy and Don and others before they take off to return to Pretoria.  We hope to see them again before we leave.

We'll be attending a New Year's Eve party in the bush when attendees bring starters and snacks and beverages of choice.  We already know many of the party-goers and much to our pleasure Rita and Gerhard are also included.  No doubt, this will be one more good time in the bush.
Don had placed various flags around their property including this US flag.
Tomorrow, we'll head to Komatipoort for a few grocery and pharmacy items.  We won't need to purchase pellets since we've had so few visitors over these past few days and currently we still have five 40 kg (88 pounds) bags.  Hopefully, in a week or so, our usual visitors will return when the holidaymakers begin leaving the park.

Have a pleasant day after Christmas!
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Photo from one year ago today, December 26, 2017:
The Feria de Plaza Serrano outdoor market is open weekends and holidays from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.  For more photos, please click here.

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