Ms. Daisy’s missives continued:
You must not be anxious for me. Everyone is so friendly and supportive. When I arrived here in Capetown today I decided to take a walk around The Spier’s Estate where we are staying. Well, when I did not show for this meeting (a travel enticement thing) I do believe an alarm occurred because Mary Anne declared that it was not like me to miss anything. Well, I thought, only when it suits my primary interest, which was to enjoy my surroundings before Brian has us running nonstop as he will likely do tomorrow. Our director is a jewel, but he intends for us to see everything.
We spent the last three nights in Kruger National Park where we went on game drives daily. In fact we left one day at 7:30 and did not return until evening. A few dropped out halfway through the day but the rest of us soldiered on. The next day we had a morning drive. Actually, I enjoyed the safaris.
I love the countries I have visited. The people are very friendly and the women have such beautiful smooth skin. There is spectacular beauty despite the evidence of poverty everywhere. I do not think these people allow their condition to define them.
Tomorrow is wine tasting at another venue. Although I had a little red wine tonight, I shall not do the justice that you other Hazels might.
Enough, I am tired but happy.
I was thrilled to receive one last email from Mama three nights before she left South Africa.
I am in Cape Town now. Today I ascended Table Mountain to a spectacular view of the area. Although heights make me nervous I did not wimp out. Already I was regretting that I did not ride the elephant when I had a chance.
Tonight I bought a book from a man who was both his [Nelson Mandela’s] guard and friend during his stay at Robben Island. Tomorrow we will go to See the prison. As I understand it, we ferry over. Speaking of conveyances, I have been on planes here on at least two occasions since I came to Africa. We were two and a half hours from Kruger to Cape Town. Oh yes, in Stellenbosch, a university town, we went wine tasting. Of course my participation was minimal but not absent. After spending only one night at Spied Hotel, we transferred to Cullinan Hotel, where we shall be for the rest of our stay in Africa.
You have heard little about food issues because I have had so few. In fact it might turn out that I have gained weight what with eating at seven and eight at night. The buffets are unbelievable. What can I say?
When Ms. Daisy returned, I asked her about all those bags of nuts and raisins she had squirreled away in her suitcase. I asked her if she still had that special toothbrush; the little folding stool to make her legs comfortable during flights; a time zone alarm clock she hadn’t figured out how to operate before she left; the dial-your-vision reading glasses; three types of bug spray and sunscreens; special earplugs; huge sunhat with built-in sunscreen; and a personal clean air supply gadget worn around the neck— among others. Oh yeah, I can’t forget the mosquito netting canopy she planned to put over her bed at night. Ms. Daisy packed for survival!
Where are all the gadgets now? Ms. Daisy confessed that most of them are still in South Africa: lost, given away, or bartered for crafts at the market.
When Ms. Daisy / Mama — the technophobe — left for Africa, she said she wouldn’t bother with her camera. She ended up taking almost 700 photos. Mama more than survived the trip with Vantage, she loved it and said it was a trip of a lifetime. She even took a helicopter ride. Now, she’s thinking about the next travel extravaganza for her 90th birthday!