Hyenna at 6am Dec 21

December 19- Monkeys and lions and cheetahs (!) oh my! Oh, and warthogs(my favorite!) hippos, crocodile, giraffe, zebra,  rhinos, and elephants. Cool, eh? No “Out of Africa” massive collection at a waterhole on a dry savannah…and incredible nonetheless, especially for a drizzly, overcast day.  Allegra proclaimed this as “the best day of my life…so far!”

Flashback to Dec.14- We flew overnight from Accra to Joberg, arriving Tuesday morning.  After getting turned around for about a hour, we made our way 4 hours out of the city, about two-thirds of the way to Kruger Park, stopping a Mendocino-esque (though mountain) retreat of Graskop. (Be sure to get into your throat and hawk a big loogie when you pronounce Graskop.); a very lovely town with an amazing Portuguese restaurant (we ate there as often as we could) and best of all, FRESH, CLEAN air. Ahhhhh. In Graskop we all zipped across a 100m (yep, meter) gorge, which then Jeff and Sarah tandem jumped and swung off of. The next day we hiked to a beautiful waterfalls. The next day the girls went on a “walk and ride” elephant experience where they learned about the elephants and received sloppy kisses from them, then walked with them by trunk and hand, then got to ride them. They were delighted and stinky afterwards!

Elephant along the River Dec 20

Flash forward- We arrived at our hotel right outside the Kruger Gate in time for a swim and some hang out time with a huge family of monkeys that wreak havoc on the facility. (Folks we met at dinner got invaded by one little fellow who crawled in through the bathroom window and found the son’s candy stash). Dinner is amazing! Self-serve “Fresh Choice” style except with hot entrees like Lamb curry, chicken kabobs, stir-fry to order, and…grilled Crocodile and Impala!  The beginning of the story is from this morning. Jeff and Allegra are out there again this afternoon, as I type and Sarah sleeps off another round of…malaria. Oy. That makes for her: x-rays for what-was not a broken arm, out-patient surgery scheduled for Dec. 31 for a very painful in-grown toe nail, and two bouts of malaria. Anyone want to interpret the message being sent to us here? We love you all and will bring you further tales of the Zimmer-Diamonds (I just realized why it works this way, because there is only one Zimmer and several Diamonds…) on the loose in South Africa.

Update Dec. 20- Jeff here. I just spent the day taking Sarah to the hospital in a medium size town called Nelspruit. Her fever spiked this morning at 104.8!! That is high and as cool as we are in dealing with third world issues this was enough for me to call the hospital and have her admitted. As we speak Sarah is spending the night in this hospital, I have driven 1 ½ hours back to the hotel. Tomorrow Allegra, Amy, and I will do a 3 hour Safari followed by a phone call to the doctor to make sure that Sarah’s malaria parasite count has reduced enough for me to pick her up. Once again there are good times and there are good stories….

Elephant walks right past our car, holy shit, holy shit!!!

PS- We hope to have regular Internet by Tuesday.

Update- December 23- We are safely ensconced in our two bedroom apartmewnt at the Oceana in Camps Bay, Cape Town. Sarah is feeling much better. We are looking forward to a nice relaxing day of walking to the beach, going SHOPPING at the MALL, etc. No worries- everyone is fine.