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 Post subject: MM-It takes one candle to light up the darkness-Dec 2010
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:08 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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The day you become a parent of a young licensed driver a new fear creeps into your life.

The midnight telephone call.

When my daughter Sarabi asked if she could use my car to visit a friend, I had a strange moment of misgiving. I gave her permission after I had established that it was fairly close to where we lived.

Sarabi in a happy moment at Addo

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Then came the midnight call. :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: Mom, I've been in an accident. :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: In the background I could hear deep male voices.

I know now what shock can do. After searching aimlessly for my car keys and wandering around the house in numbed disbelief, it finally dawned on me that I no longer had a car. I realised then that it would be wiser to wake my son to get him to drive me to the accident scene.

Other than the street address, I had no details of the accident.

I am still having flashbacks of my first impressions as we turned the corner. The scene was one of police cars, flashing lights, 2 ambulances, a fire engine and tow trucks. A witness who had seen the accident happen had anticipated fatalities and called for a lot of back up.

From the level of professionalism, the quality of service, I have only praise for those who answered the frantic phone call. I can only praise the para-medics, the police and the tow truck drivers. They were all magnificent. The tow truck drivers in particular guided my daughter at a time of intense trauma.

It was a great relief for me to find out that there had been no casualties. The medics had given everyone a thorough examination and were satified that there were no hidden surprises.

I looked at "Trusted Beauty". My poor "Trusted Beauty" was not so lucky :cry: :cry: :cry: . Her passenger side had taken the impact of a fast moving car and she had mounted a pavement and crashed into a trellis fence to escape the full impact of the injury.

Trusted Beauty in a better moment.

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I knew that my Kgalagadi trip was out of the question.

It did not matter. I hugged my child and later both of us wept in gratitude.

Why then am I starting a trip report?
What angels conspired to bring a bright light into a dark moment?

Flying Angel thanks to nationa geographic

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 Post subject: Re: It takes one candle to light up the darkness
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:54 am 
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Hugh, Katja, Cheetah, Norms, Ray, Maccappies, Wendy, Chirinda, Mposthumus, thank you all for your well wishes. They are really appreciated.

Moose, I see that you have started another trip report. No doubt of your usual excellent standard. Once I am back into my usual swing I will be meandering through the pages. :thumbs_up:

The day following the accident was one of number phone calls, dealings with insurance companies, and great relief to hear that I at least had 2 weeks of hired car. I will never, ever again see my monthly installments as a grudge payment. I can only praise the empathy of the people I was dealing with.

I looked at the amount I would have to pay to get my "Trusted Beauty" back and there was no way I could vaguely consider Kgalagadi. New drivers are heavily penalised. Understandably so.

After all the prelimanary admin, I received a beep on my phone alerting me to new mail in my inbox. I saw that it was a note from a relative living overseas.

The letter said:

I am unable to take my week of time share in Hazeyview. It is fully paid. Would your family like the week of 10th-17th December?

WOW, I might tell you that this person had no idea about the accident.

I cannot be there for the full time, due to work constraints, but soon I will be passing this gate on at least 3 day visits.

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My joy will be shared with Explorer

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and Sarabi.

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Unfortunately some members of my family will have to stay at home :(

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 Post subject: Re: It takes one candle to light up the darkness
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:34 am 
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Petra, I certainly hope that we can see each other. I don't have your number anymore due to a cell phone upgrade. Could you please send me your number?

Moggiedog, Sanpfan, Lowveldboy, the midnight call certainly puts everything back into perspective again. I am still a little numbed out. Something a few trips to Kruger will sort out. :wink: Its playtime again.

Playtime on the S25

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Missings, thank you. I have many happy memories of staying in Hazyview. We would make regular trips when the children were yourger. It is filled with good memories. I will be staying at a place where one has to be carefull of "hippos, crocs and flying golf balls". I never say no to a bit of pampering.

Raptor, I am sure its "payback time" for the many years I had a motorbike. :wink: I think that I was the cause of many of my mother's grey hairs.

Delene, I am missing "Trusted Beauty". Its not a good time to have an accident as most panel beaters will be closing. I am however realising that transport is a gift never to be taken for granted.

Lower Sabie early morning activity

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Katja, Anne Catherine, Elsa, Macchappies, Chip, thank you for your good wishes. I am certainly looking forward to "hitting the road". On Tuesday I drove out to Groenkloof to renew my "Wildcard". I saw Some of our e-commerce team there.

One looked at me with big eyes, "but why didn't you just renew over the internet".. I smiled, "how boring". I am sure that I have gypsey genes in me somewhere.

Meandering

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Cheetah, I am counting my blessings everyday. At the end of this, I realise that family, care and compassion is central to being human. Thank you for following my report.

Maternal care on the Lower Sabie Road.

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 Post subject: Re: It takes one candle to light up the darkness
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:52 am 
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I am busy with the last minute preparations. Charging camera batteries, checking book bag, packing food. It is rather strange not to be preparing camping equipment and having the quiet luxury of arriving to a ready made kitchen. It is also strange not to have to factor in "gate closing time".

I have decided to take a more relaxed and scenic route and go via Lydenburg and "The long Tom Pass". I always enjoy the journey. Lydenburg has the best biltong you can imagine. Always a pleasure to stop there. 8)

This time I intend to take all things at a relaxed pace and be close up and personal with all things.

Looking through the lens of gratitude

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 Post subject: Re: It takes one candle to light up the darkness
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:16 am 
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Raptor, Pumbaa, Sharifa and Duke, Traceylee, Moggiedog, Billy, Hugh, Suej, Anne Marie, thank you all for your well wishes. :thumbs_up:

I should have been on my way to Nossob today, but given the background of my trip I can only be filled with gratitude.

Sarabi's accident was actually one of three events that made me realise that life can be such a fine balancing act.

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About three weeks before Sarabi's accident my daughter, Noname, phoned me from her car. She was lost, alone and it was getting dark :big_eyes: .

She was on her way to de Doorns nature reserve to meet up with her SO who is doing post grad Zooology studies. It had been a hard year for her and she had just finished her own final exams and research.

Fortunately I was able to get de Doorns phone number and after contacting them they kindly contacted my daughter to give her directions.

It was such a relief to meet with such kindness.

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A few minutes later, there was another phone call. I heard the numbed and frightened voice of my daughter.

Mom, I have just had an accident, I have just rolled the car :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

Another moment of chilled panic.. it was dusk on a quiet and lonely road.

She was in the Cape and I was in Gauteng. :big_eyes:

There are a lot of stange creatures out there, human and non human..

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 Post subject: Re: It takes one candle to light up the darkness
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Elsa, Oddesy, thank you for your concern.

Fortunately my daughter was helped out of her car by some farmers who heard the crash. She was very shaken, but unhurt. She skidded on the gravel and over corrected. Her car was written off by the insurance company. In less then one month, we lost the use of two cars in the family.

I never really took the warning, "bad luck comes in three's" seriously until a week after Sarabi's accident. It was then that my "lost" Kgalagadi trip really became insignificant and "living in the moment" took a new meaning.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: It takes one candle to light up the darkness
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:29 pm 
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Katja, CC, Tracylee, CB, PNF.. thank you all for your concern.

Those who are busy with trip reports might have noticed that MM has been rather silent. I usually love following the trip reports and enjoying everyone's adventures.

I was feeling rather shell shocked following the 2 car accidents, but decided to put everything behind me while in Hazyview. It was while in Hazyview that I received a phone call from my daughter, Noname, a call that left me shattered.

A young person very close to our family (Noname's SO) has had a very brave fight with a particularly vicious type of cancer over the past few years. It is the reason he could not join us for our Punda trip last Dec/Jan. He is a commited conservationist and dedicated to nature. He is making it his life mission.

His latest scan results showed that he had what seemed to be inoperable lymph nodes close to his aorta. The doctors treating him told him that the area was just too dangerous for surgery and his only hope was chemotherapy. It might halt the cancer, but not cure.

Typical of this young man, he went for another opinion and found a surgeon willing to operate.

The surgeon removed the nodes, plus some of the liver, which was looking rather dodgy.

On the 24th my daughter phoned me overcome with happiness. The nodes and liver showed inflamation due to Bilharzia, not cancer. He was cancer free. :dance: :dance:

It was a tough and trying time for all.

During my last trip, I thought about family, the frailty of life and how we need to take each moment as sacred. Sometimes there is no second chance.

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Explorer and Sarabie on the Skukuza pathway.

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 Post subject: Re: It takes one candle to light up the darkness
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:18 pm 
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Moggiedog, Chip, I am really sorry to hear about the tragedy in your lives :( . Loosing a child is any parents nightmare.

Ollie, Anja, Katja, Geocor, TracyLee, thank you for your well wishes and for following this report.

Delene, SuzieB, great to see you around. :thumbs_up:

Chappie, Anne Marie, as ever, thank you.

Katja, Pumbaa, Steamtrainfan, I will admit that my mojo is not quite back, but I am just so grateful about the good news.

This trip was slightly different in that I wanted to focus more on family and spent a little less time in the Park than usual. Non the less I did visit the Park each day and had some most unusual sightings.

As you can see the Park is looking absolutely beautiful. This was taken on the Phabeni road.

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and filled with creatures that leave you catching your breath with their delicacy.

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my screen is jumping, so I will start another posting before I share one of my most treasured sightings.

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 Post subject: Re: It takes one candle to light up the darkness
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:41 pm 
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Explorer had to work for a few days during our trip. She is currently working on a lands claim report close to Kruger. This meant that our time together was often brief snatches between her report writing and visits to Phalaborwa.

I was very pleased that we could share this special sighting on our first visit to the Park.

I decided to focus on areas that were likely to produce some action, so a "must visit" was Lake Panic.

Love was in the air everywhere and I was delighted to see a lady

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and a suitor

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on each side of the lake.

a second suitor appeared on the scene and our galiant prince flew over the lake to woo the fair lass.

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The next while was filled with heron music of love as the prince tried to win over his beloved. Goliath herons do have the most amazing ability to project their voices when in love.

All the while, there was a silent witness.

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 Post subject: Re: It takes one candle to light up the darkness
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:07 pm 
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Katja, love lust and longing :wink:

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and "I wish I had a bigger lens" :pray:

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 Post subject: Re: It takes one candle to light up the darkness
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:07 am 
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CB, I am pleased that you also saw this wonderful sighting. I do think that it was one of my best Kruger sightings to date. I saw the pair one the 12th December, possibly in the early courting days.

Anne Marie, I found that my visits were filled with the most wonderful bird courting displays. It must be one of the best birding times in Kruger. I also found the Park suprisingly quiet. I will certainly go again this time of the year.

A few more Lake Panic gems.

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