Leap year then and now...Travel day tomorrow...We'll post during layover...More tiger photos coming!...


A gaur crossing the road. "The gaur (/ɡaʊər/, Bos gaurus), also called the Indian bison, is the largest extant bovine. It is native to South and Southeast Asia and has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986. The global population has been estimated at maximum 21,000 mature individuals by 2016. It declined by more than 70% during the last three generations, and is extinct in Sri Lanka and probably also in Bangladesh. In well-protected areas, it is stable and rebuilding."
It's leap year day. I don't have a "year ago photo" since there was no post on February 29th last year. But we've added a photo from the last leap year four years ago, on February 29, 2016.

I recalled last year at the end of February like it was yesterday. I'd been home from the hospital for only three days and my legs had yet to become infected but were very sore from the incisions from my ankle bones to about eight inches above my knees.
A pair of gaur, a rare sighting in the national parks were a thrill to see.
I'd been walking around the house every hour or so hoping to speed my recovery, but sensing I was making little progress.

The pain was unconscionable, my breathing sketchy and inconsistent, my wounds so raw I didn't dare shower, doing sponge baths instead fearing infecting myself with the less than clean water in Marloth Park, South Africa. It happened anyway.
A black eagle.
Even the smallest of tasks required hours of recovery. Tom did it all along with the help of our amazing household staff, Zef and Vusi who handled all the housework. I languished in my awful state of being wondering if it would ever end.

And now, one year later I am in India, getting up and dressed for the day to head out on safari twice a day beginning at 5:30 am.
A sambar deer. "Sambar deer is found in almost every corner of India, But it is mainly found in the central India. They can easily be spotted at Kanha, Corbett, Ranthambore, Bandhavgarh, (we've been to three of the fore mentioned national parks in India) Gir, Dudhwa, Manas, Kaziranga and Sariska. Habitat: Sambar deer prefers marshy and wooded areas to live."
It's 10 hours a day of bouncing so hard in a safari Jeep that my FitBit measures 10's of thousands of steps and hundreds of flights of stairs from the violent jostling about on rough roads.
I love it all. I am alive. And I am grateful every morning when I awaken to face yet another day, braced for adventure, braced for excitement, expecting the most but accepting when it's less.
Young wild boar. "The wild boar (Sus scrofa), also known as the wild swine, Common wild pig, or simply wild pig) is a suid native to much of the Palearctic, as well as introduced numbers in the Americas and Southeast Asia. Human intervention has spread its distribution further, making the species one of the widest-ranging mammals in the world, as well as the most widely spread suiform. Its wide range, high numbers, and adaptability mean that it is classed as least concern by the IUCN and it has become an invasive species in part of its introduced range. The animal probably originated in Southeast Asia during the Early Pleistocene, and out-competed other suid species as it spread throughout the Old World."
What's next? Another month and a few days more of India, the vibrant rush of colors and its equal passion for life.

I feel at home here in this culturally and diametrically diverse notion of life from that which we knew in the past, embracing that which I know now, from that which I've learned from adversity.
Kanha Nation Park is truly beautiful with a wide range of types of scenery, all exquisite.
Everything happens for a reason. But I ask what I needed to learn? I already was in awe and grateful. Had I yet a new level of appreciation yet to discover, yet to conquer?

I am still trying to figure this out. Surely during whatever time I have left in this world, it will come to me. I wait patiently. I know it will come and for some odd reason, I know I have enough time to bring it to fruition.
A sambar deer on the side of the road.
At the moment I am sitting outdoors in the resort in Kanha National Park, in India with the sounds of nature, surrounding me, her magical arms holding me close to her heart.

It's not perfect. Like life, it is flawed. But I open my arms and welcome her in knowing full well that therein lies the answers to the mystery of life we all so long to know. I am at peace.
Just like in Africa, the antelopes and pigs hang out together.
Tomorrow morning at 4:30 am we'll embark on yet another six-hour drive to a distant airport to head to an all-day flight with layovers to Udaipur. I will complete tomorrow's post during our 3 1/2 hour layover. We'll prepare tomorrow's post during the layover.

See you then, my friends. We'll see you then.
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Photo from the last leap year, four years ago on February 29, 2016:
View of Mount Taranaki from a walk in the neighborhood while we lived on the alpaca farm in New Plymouth, New Zealand. For more photos, please click here.

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