In the long run...


When we spotted this female kudu lying in the garden today, we wondered if she was in labor.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Adorable Ms. Bushbuck (one of many Ms. Bushbucks) standing by the cement pond.
Please, dear readers, don't be concerned our site will become a medium through which I moan about my medical woes.  I'm as anxious as all of you to get back to the matters at hand...world travel.

It's exciting and highly motivating to know that in 62 days we'll be on our way to Ireland.  Off course, it's perfectly normal for me to have looked up possible cardiologists in the area of Connemara, Ireland.  The closest I found was in Galway, about a one hour drive.

Most likely, I'll have to have a check-up by a cardiologist during the three months in Ireland as I would have done if we stayed in South Africa or any other country.  Apparently, such an exam is crucial at the six-month mark, post-surgery, which will be in August.  
We watched her, noticing her swollen udder and wondered what was going on.  As we watched, we realized she wasn't in labor but was relaxing in the shade on a hot, humid day.
We leave Ireland on August 9th, spend two days in Amsterdam and then we're off to a Baltic cruise for 12 nights. After the Baltic cruise, we have a 62-day gap we've yet to fill, hoping to stay somewhere near Cornwall in England.  

We realize we need to get on the ball and figure out this gap but at this point in time, we'd feel better waiting a month to book something.  If we have to move around a bit, we will, since booking in this popular area will be challenging last minute.  But, we have no doubt we'll figure it out, one way or another.

We won't be heading to the US until November during which we'll visit family in Minnesota, Nevada, and Arizona.  It will be wonderful to see everyone at that time.  Had this heart surgery not occurred, we'd have been in Minnesota on April 8th, less than a month from now.
Another photo of the nyala who visited us for the first time on Friday along with kudus and Ms. Buchbuck...three types of antelope in the garden simultaneously.
We couldn't bear another financial loss of canceling the holiday home in Ireland so we'll pick back up there and continue with our itinerary.  Based on our recent scenario, we've decided not to book two years out in the future.  

As we age (or at any age for that matter), we can't predict what may transpire preventing us from meeting our commitments for holiday homes, flights, hotels, cruises, and tours.  This is a harsh reality of non-stop world travel without a home base.

Do we regret not having a home base when the necessity of this surgery rolled out?  No. South Africa and our close proximity to Mediclinic Nelspruit proved to be one of the best places in the world this could have occurred for a few reasons (see below photo):
The two young male bushbucks arrived together.
1.  We had an available holiday house that happened to be available where we'd been living over the past year.  We didn't have to move...a huge bonus.
2.  The cost of the surgery, although high at ZAR 700000, US $48,477 was nothing compared to the cost of this surgery in the US which easily could have been seven or eight times higher.
3.  Our international insurance policy doesn't cover us while in the US plus the minimal Medicare coverage we have in the US could easily have resulted in ZAR 1443981, US $100,000 in co-payments we'd have to pay.
4.  There was no better place on earth to recover than here in Marloth Park, surrounded by an endless stream of wildlife and many wonderful friends.

In essence, Tom considers the fact we were in South Africa, under the above conditions was "safari luck" in its truest form. I happen to agree, especially now as I continue to improve with our wildlife friends at our doorstep.

No, it's not easy nor will I imply that having this type of surgery anywhere in the world is easy.  In some ways, it may be a little harder here with the high heat and humidity during Africa's summer months and the power outages which aren't too bad right now.
A young male bushbuck with horns just beginning to appear.
Like most patients after a big procedure or surgery, they want to be "home" not in some strange big city in a hotel as some family members and friends had suggested with the best of intentions.  For now and the next 62 days and, for this past year, the "Orange...More than just a colour"... house has been our home.  

We're very grateful for many reasons...
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Photo from one year ago today, March 10, 2017:
This warthog appears to have been rolling in mud as she hangs out with male impala. For more photos, please click here.

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