Week 9 and we are looking fine!
We have just finished off the 9th week of our 10-Week Apprentice Field Guide course with a mere 1 week to go before we all start heading home!
We are all facing so many different challenges at this point in the course. We have been under a lot of pressure with our final assessment game drives this week, all trying to make the best of the assessment time.
The course as a whole has been very adventurous and just amazing! I have a really great team on my side which makes the course even more enjoyable every day. Waking up to beautiful views and lovely smells of nature is really a huge blessing for me.
Ulovane Environmental Training is definitely a place that I would recommend to the youth of today. I have learned so much about myself, other peoples’ personalities, and most of all about the beautiful animals and their surroundings.
Nature is such an amazing place to be, especially if we can all work together to protect it and make sure future generations are able to witness its beauty. If this could happen, the world would absolutely be a better place because every little thing on earth matters and has a purpose!
“Notice the small things. The rewards are inversely proportional.” – Liz Vassey
The practical assessment of game drives with bona fide guests is upon us. Non-stop baking of cookies, wildlife bingo for the kids, every imaginable sundowner treat for the adults, complete with ribbons and bows and spekboom decorations on guest vehicle blankets. This is our 5-star lodge now and the buck stops with us.
There is only one word I can say. Teamwork. As if by magic the kettle is boiled. 14 times over. If there are no teaspoons in your cooler box, nonchalantly break off a twig to stir the coffees, hoping you didn’t just choose the only poisonous shrub in the vicinity. Common areas where guests are received are kept spic and span and after weeks of relentless servitude, vehicles Sullivan and Theo have emerged from under muddy coats to reveal their shiny outer selves. Student nature guides spend hours and hours planning and researching, comparing notes on the best stories that nature can tell our clients.
Only one thing is not playing ball. The weather. After 7 years of drought in this area, a veritable deluge has been raining down on us for the past 3 days. The Bushman’s River may well be flooded in the next couple of days and the guides’ carefully planned game drive routes are suddenly scuppered by restricted, impassable roads. From underneath perma-damp uniforms and squelching field boots they cheerfully point out to guests the newly lush green grass and the happy hippos. The show must go on.
A sudden break in the clouds. Who knew we could love the sun so much! It is decidedly more congenial not to have to worry about that menacing pool of water that is guaranteed to pour onto your clients’ lap from the roof cover every time your vehicle takes a left turn.
As if on cue the season’s crop of newly born impalas, red hartebeest, and zebra race about with impromptu, uncoordinated abandon. Spare a thought for them, having been born into this world in the pouring rain. Nature can be harsh but for now, life has turned into wall-to-wall sunshine. There is so much to be happy about.
For us? The second week of finals looms; the official FGASA exams. Has anybody had even had a single free minute to study? We help each other out. We’re a TEAM.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – Phil Jackson
Under the sea, there is so much to see!
I decided to join the marine guide course because of my love for the ocean. The course has taught me so many new things, I’ve learned how all the organisms underwater are connected and how each organism relies on one another to survive, everything from the rocky shores to the deep dark blue waters.
This course has also truly opened my eyes to the reality of our oceans and how the marine ecosystem is depleting at a drastic rate due to us as humans.
It is now one of my duties to teach people around me the importance of conservation and how crucial it is for us to look after our oceans.
Nevertheless, I have enjoyed every day of the course so far, especially having the opportunity to go diving and being underneath the water, it is really another world and beauty.
The sea is an underwater museum awaiting its visitors 🙂
From the very start of hearing about Ulovane and going to Ulovane, I was unimaginably excited for the marine guide course. As I grew up along the coast I spent the vast majority of my time diving, fishing, and surfing. I remember going fishing with my Dad and staring into the tidal pools with wonder and amazement, I always wanted to know what was happening in the ocean and how everything worked below just the surface!
Being on the marine guide course has opened my eyes and showed me everything I had seen and interacted with while growing up, only now it is in much more depth. It has given me an amazing feeling of understanding something I had always admired.
This past week we went deep-sea fishing and prepared amazing seafood dishes for dinner, freshly caught! We went diving as often as we could and put our theory into action by observing the marine environment from within. We went whale watching and observed how marine guiding from a boat takes place!
We’ve bonded amazingly as a group and I’m crying on the inside knowing this course will be over soon and so will my career with Ulovane (for the moment, I still need to do BIRDS!!).
Ulovane has taught me many amazing ways of thinking and living life. I’m forever grateful for the exceedingly exceptional Ulovane crew that makes everything possible and provides the best training! I can’t wait to put my training into action and start my career as a guide!!
- Much love, Cam.
“Mother Earth, one of my absolute favorite places … where the sounds, the energy, the beauty, and the Life pounds into your every fiber of being, letting you know that you are alive. I will always respect and honor this gift of creation that we call our home.” – Peace Gypsy