Week 6 of the Apprentice Field Guide course was amazing, we have all learned so many new things!
Growing up in the bush, I almost overlooked how much I learned by being out in nature but now being here with the sole purpose of learning – my knowledge has grown immensely.
The highlight of my week was definitely playing stalk the lantern with all my fellow students, we had a lot of fun running around Ulovane in the dark trying not to fall over each other while still trying our best not to get caught before getting to the lantern. It was the first time for many playing this game and I think it is safe to say that everyone really enjoyed themselves. Little moments like this, help us immensely in learning how to work together as a team and how to observe what is happening around us – in the dark, it was extra challenging and I think we all enjoyed this lesson!
We had a lovely elephant encounter on one of our game drives this week, the game drive that I was conducting. It is always so amazing having the privilege to experience these huge animals up, close and personal. Learning how to approach them and understand their behavior has been another aspect that has been very interesting for me during these last few weeks. I have always seen how other people deal with these different situations but being in the driver’s seat yourself definitely changes the game.
I have learned a lot these past few weeks, not only about nature but also about time management, how to deal with problems of all kinds, and that it is alright to make mistakes as long as you learn from them as this is what helps you become a better person. I may not go into guiding as a career, but I know that all I have learned these last few months will help me in whichever road I choose to follow, and for that, I am forever thankful.
“How much you can learn when you fail determines how far you will go into achieving your goals.”―
It has been another busy, but yet again a fantastic week at Ulovane. I really cannot believe it is now week 7 already. It really doesn’t seem more than 5 minutes since I arrived at Port Elizabeth airport from the UK, armed with a rucksack and a mountain of books. Thinking how lucky I was to escape those British winters.
Each and every week consisted of learning and doing things that I could only have dreamed of in the UK. I have driven game drive vehicles, sat on tracker seats while viewing lions, I’ve been on bush walks, seen and walked with the big 5 and I’ve also been on tracking assessments, which I surprisingly enjoyed very much.
There is a lot of hard work involved and many long days. But, to keep the balance you have access to some excellent instructors who treat you like part of one big family. There have been so many highlight moments during my Nature Enthusiast course at Ulovane, it’s been very hard to pinpoint one particular experience as I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
When I leave at the end of the month, it will be with mixed emotions as I will miss the staff and my fellow students but I will also look forward to getting home and telling my friends all about this course and my time here. I will try to encourage other people to try this experience, too. I believe that if everyone lived an eco-friendly life for just 3 months, the whole world would be a better place to live.
“Your deepest roots are in nature. No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation”. Charles Cook