During the past two weeks,

  • I lost one of my new chickens to Solo.
  • we went without access to water for a day, 
  • then had only brown liquid come out of the tap for the next two days. 
  • Power lines were stolen in the Lowlands and we, and our entire valley, went without electricity for most of a day.
  • We discovered a buck snare on our farm — evidence that there is, indeed, poaching going on in our own backyard.
  • I had contact with one of the most unpleasant people I've met in a very long time.

The impact

  • I went without a shower for four days (it wasn't pretty).
  • We had to haul many Jerry cans to go fetch clean, fresh drinking water from neighbors' down the road. Imagine!
  • I had already been backed up in doing laundry, and without water, ended up wearing underwear previously delegated to the rag pile. Mom definitely wouldn't have approved (I know, this is too much information).
  • The many seedlings we had started suffered from lack of water.
  • Nils and others missed the South Africa vs. Fiji Rugby World Cup match on television. 
  • I couldn't blog or surf!!!
  • We couldn't do most of the (electricity dependent) things we planned to do,
  • so, we went and spent the afternoon having a braai and fun with new friends. 
  • I was reminded to listen to my own instincts, and do what I know is the right thing to do.
  • I think that Nils and I talked to each other more (unavoidable since I couldn't surf or blog, and there was no television).
  • I learned I can get dishes clean by hand with a small amount of water.
  • We drank less coffee (electric coffee machine) and more fruit juice.
  • We get more exercise since we take slightly longer walks on the farm to survey for traps and snares.
  • I re-started meditation and began putting more efforts into a "Five Elements" exercise course I've wanted to develop. 
Nope, Africa isn't for sissies; maybe that's not a bad thing.
Having nothing to do with anything except it's news for us, and we're both in shock: Nils has lost  8 kilos (17.5 lbs), I have lost … drum roll, please … 10 kilos (22 lbs)!!  I guess Africa isn't for fat people either. :-) … well, okay, so maybe it's the faaaaaarm livin'. Maybe I will be able to wear those size 3 jeans … the ones I just got rid of! Rats!

14 Responses to I’m told that Africa isn’t for sissies

  • Marie says:

    Wow… be careful not to lose too much weight, you need energy for all the hard work you're doing at the farm!
    I could never do what you're doing, I realise I'm a real sissy.  First of all I'd be scared at night without electricity. 
    You impress me!

    • Corinne says:

      Marie, I’m glad to report that the weight loss is perfect. I couldn’t possibly feel healthier — I’ll never be as skinny as I was when we first met, but I am as close to that as I want to be.

      As for being scared at night, believe me, I’m a real “scaredy cat”. But when you have a dog like Solo (who has a very sensitive “nose” for danger, is very protective, and has big, shiny teeth) you fear very little. :-)

  • debbie says:

    No time to be a sissy when you're busy surviving.  Incredible challenges. I'm relieved to know that you had access to fresh water.  Yay for weight loss – as long as you feel good.

    • Corinne says:

      “Surviving” is a big word for what we’re experiencing :-) . Inconveniences and loss of some comforts temporarily is really probably more like it. Surprising how “easy” it is to deal with them though when … well, when life is good! The weight loss is SO workin’ for me. Feeling fantastic! (but a bit disappointed, no matter what, I’ll never had that completely flat stomach we had back when we were … uh … 16. :) )

  • Barbara says:

    OMG! I am so impressed and amazed. Congratulatons!

    • Corinne says:

      Thanks, Barbara. Don’t be impressed (it’s not like I’ve been working hard toward losing the weight), but yes, be amazed. Just by “living life” I’ve lost all this weight. And feel fabulous!

  • Prue says:

    Nothing like physical work (and the stress of farming) to help you lose weight! Corinne… can you remind me to do my meditation? And what is this Five Elements thing?

    • Corinne says:

      Prue, to be honest, aside from a few days of muscle-aching work, I can’t say that I’ve been subject to immense amounts of physical activity. But by comparison to my very sedentary life in Vienna and Hamburg, what little I do is “a lot.” One of the tougher adjustments for me is the “to do lists” that don’t get any shorter and the level of flexibility required (changing gears in a millisecond). I always thought I was pretty good at multi-tasking — farm living is really putting me to the test :-) . Loving every moment of it though!

  • Shannon says:

    Oh, I so admire people who can rough it in any way.  Living without my Internet alone would have me whining after two hours.  Congrats on the weight loss!  That's fabulous.

    • Corinne says:

      Shannon, I am anything BUT the type who can rough it! Honestly. Believe me. Ask Nils … sailor, camper, could-survive-in-the-desert MacGyver-kinda guy! Aside from the fact that I love him, WHY do you think I married him????

  • lenka says:

    hmm, not bad as an alternative to fitness bootcamp – so can I send my mum and my dad and my huband? because they all need to loose weight!!!

    • Corinne says:

      Hm, well we had slightly different plans for Chrysalis Farm, but I suppose we could turn it into a “fat farm” :) . But honestly, all I’ve been doing is living life, I don’t know where or how the kilos went!

  • Kathy F says:

    South Africa sounds like the perfect weight loss plan – sign me up!

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Hi! I'm Corinne.
After many years of meeting challenges of the corporate world as a (moderately) Type-A city gal, I embark with my DH, Nils, on a completely different adventure in living.

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