In less than a months’ time we are going to have 3 of our great Jumbo supporters visiting us. Ashit Oukabay who sent us $2000 in December towards our barn fund as well as Veronica and Wayne Munro who have sent us $45 a week every single week for over a year now. We are all getting excited to finally meet up in person. One of the huge bonuses of our Jumbo adventure has been all the wonderful friends that we have made from  all over the world and whilst we really feel that we know a lot of you really well we have not been fortunate enough to meet many of you yet.

 Ronnie (Veronica) has been a little nervous of the various, bugs, frogs and snakes that inhabit our garden but we have assured her that she is very unlikely to come across a snake as they tend to keep out of the way and even if she does see one if she just stands still the snake will move on as it is far more afraid of her than she is of it.

 We do have a resident frog in the shower, when Cheryl is home I take it out of the shower every night so that Cheryl can shower alone and first thing in the morning it is back in the shower – have offered the same service for Ronnie.

 Having a large pond in the garden does mean that we do have a large frog population with an incredible number of different species and they do tend to migrate into the house quite often.  One of the little guys that hopped in had obviously had an accident at some point and had a broken leg which Louise insisted we had to repair and so we made a splint with a toothpick wrapped in cotton wool and a thin gauze bandage which we strapped to the leg with some plaster and kept the frog in a quiet place near the window sill where he would find plenty of bugs without having to make too much effort and a shallow water dish so that he could get in and out of the water easily. We removed the splint 10 days later. His leg had healed nicely and within a few minutes he was able to use it and hop around good as new.  He is now back in the pond with his family and hopefully will be a bit more cautious in the future.

We are very lucky to live where we do live as it is so easy to rehabilitate small creatures and release them back into the garden from which they can move back into the wild of the farm next door and it is so rewarding to see various creatures coming back to visit from time to time like the owls who still come and sit on the roof and call if they have not had a good nights hunting and are asking for a bit of meat or the goshawk with her beautiful mournful whistle who comes back occasionally to visit and get a free meal.  We have a great bird life with water from the pond and a lot of trees in the garden and even little Catherine enjoys watching the busy weaver birds. Small antelope such as duiker, hedgehogs, rabbits and a mongoose family have all realised that they are safe in the horses paddocks and we often see them coming in at night, it is great to see and we are really happy that they can at least have the odd night of safety whilst remaining free and wild.

My “gum pole adventure” continues I had finally got permission to go to the Estate to choose which poles I wanted when my car broke down and it is spent the week “in hospital” and so this trip has had to be postponed. Luckily I do have my son Craig’s car to use to get to work and back as he is travelling around Mozambique and Tanzania on business for a few weeks but there is no way that his low slung sedan would be able to manage the roads that I need to travel to get to the Estate. They say that everything happens for a reason but for the life of me I cannot work out why these poles are proving to be such a problem.


The Jumbo girls are participating in a “fun rally” which the cricket club is holding this weekend as a fund raiser for their club. It is a great annual event which takes place along the dirt roads close to Lilongwe and I will let you know how we got on next week.