Things are continuing to operate at a million miles per hour and I am absolutely loving every moment of it. I have officially moved into my new house and it feels so good to have a home again!

I have very limited furniture and not much of my personal things here yet, but as soon as borders open I’ll be able to get my decorations and furnishings and really be able to personalise my new home. Though, it is sounding more and more like borders will not be opening until February next year. Eish. I am going to have to make a plan. Lisa, Gareth and Kathryn were absolutely incredible and went to my house in Joburg to pack it all up and move everything into storage so I do not have spend money on rent for a place I cannot get it. Packing and moving is not fun at all and I am so grateful that I have them there to be willing to do something like that for me. They really are family and I do miss them oh so much! Apparently, Lisa and Gareth’s son, Jayden – my ‘nephew’ was asking about me the other day saying that I am his best friend. That just makes my heart melt. ❤

I am really starting to make some amazing friendships here though. Initially I felt very isolated and was nervous about being too lonely here, but over the past two months or so I have really grown to feel more at home here and I love the people here. Two weeks ago, Rhalda, Ellery and fam invited me along to the beach with them for a little holiday near Xai-Xai. It was incredible!! There is just something about that sea air (which is ionised air as Ellery would say). We stayed in a big house right on the beach that was isolated from other properties giving an exclusive and very private feel. The first two days were really cold and rainy, but after that it cleared and warmed up giving us such perfect weather for the rest of the trip. The Indian Ocean is so much warmer than the Atlantic too, even in the middle of winter you could still go swimming! And that is a HUGE statement coming from me, I am such a weenie when it comes to cold and especially cold water. In the mornings during low tide, the sea receded back exposing incredible rock pools and reefs. We saw lion fish, bluebottle jelly fish, starfish, nudibranch and all sorts of incredible little critters – I felt like such a kid again playing in the shallows checking things out.

Definitely cannot complain about this amazing view and room!
Even Hedwig enjoyed the sea breeze
Building sand castles with the kids
I am a sand shark 😂

In the evenings Rhalda, Ellery and I would play cards, listen to music and stay up all night laughing and having such a great time. It was really such a wonderful escape and a nice refresh!

Last week I was excited to be asked to photograph a rhino dehorning operation for Saving the Survivors on another protected reserve in Mozambique. It is such a strange concept to be the “professional photographer” for the event – imagine, me, a professional photographer. I don’t know, it is just a strange thing to wrap my head around as it had always one of my dreams and now it is a reality. It makes me happy. Anyways… The operation went very smoothly, and it was a beautiful, huge white rhino bull.

Dehorning is such a sad thing to have to do, but this bull had a really nice horn and was the only rhino on that property with such a horn as all the rest had already been dehorned. Being the only one with a horn put a huge target on him. All in all, it was in the best interest of the rhino and for his safety to remove the horn. Also, for those reading this that do not know what dehorning is – it is exactly what it sounds like, trimming and removing both of the rhino’s horns to make them less of a target for poaching. Rhino horns are made up of keratin and calcium, just like our fingernails so dehorning them is completely painless just like trimming your fingernails. I also really enjoyed seeing a bit more of Mozambique – I really enjoy this country.

Hedwig is doing great! She has discovered her wings and now hops/flies from spot to spot and often back to the same spot again and then she pounces on some invisible prey before flying to another spot all in rapid succession. I enjoy watching her grow so much! She also now has to really attack and “kill” her meat at every feeding. Then she tries to hold to meat with one foot as she tears into it. The thing is though she often drops the piece of meat and keeps attacking at her foot confused as to why the meat that was there a moment ago has disappeared.

She is about 60 days old now!
Trying to “kill” the squirrel

She is getting more and more cuddly as well. I had the day off on Saturday and she hoped into bed with me early in the morning for some cuddles and has spent most of the morning today in my office sitting in my lap. She is rapidly defluffing as well – ALL over the place. But she is looking more and more like an owl and less like a fat, fluffy butterball.

Ryno sounds happy and seems like he is doing great with Kathryn and family in SA! They adopted a new puppy and it sounds like he is getting on so well with the new puppy, I am sure he loves having the friend to play with too. I am very lucky he has such a wonderful family to love on him and take care of him until we can be reunited once more.

One Comment on “Ocean breezes and owl fluff

  1. Hi Jo,
    Looks like you are living the dream. So nice that you seem content and are so adaptable to new people and circumstances..
    Things are still pretty much the same here and Covid-19 still an issue and probably will remain so for the balance of the year,
    Take care and be safe,
    Best regards,
    Frank

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