Sad tales

Derrick, one of the young staff here at the lodge, has just had his new baby daughter die.  He was very worried all the time she was ill, and in hospital, but they sent her home on the weekend so everyone thought she was getting better.  She went back to hospital on Monday and died yesterday. She was only a couple months old.

And on my own gripe list, Sony cannot (will not) help me with the drivers.  So no video postings, which is a shame since there is some interesting though not very professional-looking footage there.  Lion, elephants and the flight of a Goliath Heron I saw yesterday in Kozi Bay.

The guests wanted to go on a boat ride on the lake system there so I got up at 5 a.m. to go with them to see the bay.  I couldn’t go on the boat as it was full, but Oscar and I walked around, and as he had lived there for 6 months, he showed me all the paths, with birds, monkeys, flowers and trees. I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Kozi is a very beautiful place as long as you watch out for the hippos and crocs.  I had taken my swim suit, so spent about 15 minutes getting the sun on the back of my body.  Didn’t want to overdo it since I haven’t sunbathed in a decade.

The boaters saw hippos and flamingoes and were ‘well chuffed’ as they say here.  They stopped at the Manguzi library on the way back, since two couples of the guests were Danish librarians, and apparently the Danes have done a lot of library funding here in SA.

That’s all for tonight – it’s been a long day.



  1. Lise said

    Hi Marilyn:
    So sad about the baby… what did she die of?

    ** HI Lise: Don’t know – see MT’s comment **

    Speaking of crocodiles, that reminds me of the sacred crocodile pools I visited in Gambia . The kids were swimming and laughing away and reassured me that the crocs were asleep in the water on the other side.. yikes…

    ** Goes to prove you can get used to anything, I guess. Yikes indeed, and not for me, thaqnks **

    Another friend commented on wondering how you find time to keep up the blog… I know how connected it can make you feel, so I understand that you enjoy making the time….

    ** I think it sort of replaces travelling with someone that you can talk over your day with. It’s so nice to be able to tell your family and friends what you have experienced during the day instead of having to try and remember it all when you get home. **

    Take care and thanks again for sharing with us! I’m busy making plans for my trip to Gambia in December and getting very excited.. I hope to blog too, you’ve inspired me!

    ** Off again? Great! Any news from Immi?? **


  2. MT said

    Hey, grannym!

    Glad to hear you got some ‘down time’ and had the trip to Kosi Bay. Goliath heron – impressive! Think it is the largest heron of all in Africa. Have you seen that pesky hadeda yet? That is the true sound of Africa to me – like an alarm clock about 4:30 each morning when a squadron of them do their first squawking fly-past.

    ** Hey, MT: I’ve so far only seen the hadeda flying, but certainly do hear him every day. **

    Yes, very sad about the baby, but infant mortality there is high, even more so these days with AIDS. Often the locals listen to the advice of the sangomas for herbal healing suggestions (have you seen the ‘muti’ sellers on the streets of town?), and by the time they take the sick child to hospital, it’s too late. Then they think that going to hospital causes death, so they stop taking people to see a ‘western’ doctor. It’s a vicious cycle.

    ** Yes, there is talk about this being the sangoma’s fault. I only have heard rumours though, don’t know what the whole story. Haven’t seen the ‘muthi’ here, but have in Chinatown at home – much the same, I’d guess. I didn’t go to the sangoma when the volunteers here all went as I had school. But it cracked me up to find out that the doctors at the hospital in town here call their prescriptions ‘muthi’ too. When in Rome . . . **

    Funny – just assumed you were a retired high-school teacher. Your real job back home probably is just as stressful, if not more so. Your KZN schoolkids will probably be loosening up with you by now, but understand that talking to a person like you – firstly an educated woman, a woman from far away who talks funny, a woman of power and wealth, a woman who is not Zulu – is something they have been taught to avoid for generations. The shyness and lack of eye-contact will be a sign of respect – and a little fear – but once they get to joke with you and realise they are not ‘wrong’ when attempting to speak English, you’ll have won them over. Have you tried role-playing? Maybe set up a ‘store’ in the classroom and have them practise their English by pretending to shop.
    “I like Simba crisps!”
    She said that she liked Simba crisps.
    “Hau! These sardines in tomato sauce are tasty!”
    He said that those sardines in tomato sauce were tasty.

    ** A store is a great idea. We could do the money and change thing too with that. **

    So you knew Windsor long ago! It’s changed a lot since then. We have a lovely riverfront now with great walking trails. I bet you went to Patterson Collegiate – long torn down. Had a little trauma here the last night I wrote. Closed down the computer just before the storm hit – but lightning struck nearby and and the power surge fried my TV, DVD and phone!!! Oh well, they are just things and are being replaced. As you say, you don’t know how good you have it at home till you are on the other side of the world in a community that has basically nothing.

    ** Patterson it was. Boy, what memories.
    Sorry to hear about your lightning damage. That can be a real pain. Glad you had your computer shut down though. Frying your hard drive can mean losing a lot more than the physical drive, as so many of us have our lives on the darn things and no back-ups. Best of luck with replacements. **

    All for now. Keep on bloggin’!


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