Ulovane Update: September 2017 Newsletter
Welcome to the September Ulovane Update
The last month of the semester was exciting and productive! The Field guides wrapped up their ten weeks with us, all achieving incredible results and making us super proud. The marine guides were blessed with amazing weather for their four weeks of exploring the Eastern Cape coastline. They finished off their 6 months with us in style and are all excited about their placements starting in October at various lodges in South Africa. It was the month for polishing our diamonds and preparing them for their next courses or guiding careers. Wish them all well for the opportunities and adventures ahead!
“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, by doing them with the right people” ― Nicolas Sparks
News from the Field Guides
Week 8: This started with lots of excitement and anticipation. We started our first round of assessment drives. It was an awesome experience full of new information learned as well as new learning curves. We got to see some really amazing sightings on some of the drives such as the cheetah family, elephant drinking water at a river crossing, and by far the standout sighting being a baby red hartebeest which was born minutes before we arrived. All in all it was a very busy, but a fantastic week! – Roelof
Week 9: The highlight of my week was definitely going out to sea with the marines and seeing southern right whales, cape fur seal, bottlenose dolphins, penguins, cape gannets, and lastly a massive sun fish. The sighting of the sun fish was apparently the fourth sighting of one in 20 years in that area which is quite amazing. We were super lucky because before we left port the captain of our ‘ship’ (Jamie), said that the only animal he could guarantee us seeing was the penguins. Very similar to going out on game drive I guess. It was an experience that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life so thank you and thanks to Ulovane team for making it possible for me to go out with the marines. The rest of the week was quite tedious because I had to work on my biomes project which I finished on time yesterday 😀 😀 I’m so chuffed!
Editor note – Dylan joined us for the advanced Field Guide course. He is already a qualified guide, operating on Shamwari Game Reserve. He wanted to further his qualifications and guiding skills and knowledge, so took 10 weeks leave to join us! From the team Dylan you were a legend and did exceptionally well on the extra workload of being an Advanced Field Guide! Well done!
Week 10 (Final Update): Our last week has been a bittersweet one! I remember the first week like it was yesterday! The early morning starts, the timid first conversations with people who are now like family! All those late nights and early morning study sessions before Sunday’s exam!
The greatest blessing, however, is being able to learn and work in an environment that we’re all so passionate about. The lessons, the knowledge, the practical and personal skills, we have learnt over these 10 weeks are going to stay with us for the rest of our lives. The amount of new things we have learnt are mind-blowing, and every single day, nature will teach you something more that sometimes opens up an avenue you never even knew existed!
We had a week full of final assessments and game drives, but Ulovane always ensures we get the most of each and every single day, and so one of the highlights of our last week was definitely seeing the ‘Little Grand Canyon’ on Amakhala Game Reserve. The story behind it being that is used to be an animal path that has just continued to deepen, and now we have this magnificent structure! Certainly one of the most special and memorable moments, thank you to the Ulovane team for the most spectacular graduation, it was so wonderful to have done something out of the ordinary! The company (parents, us and the Ulovane team), the set-up, the location (at boat site in the middle of Amakhala Game reserve), all of it -was just magical and will definitely never be forgotten. What a treat to have seen mommy cheetah with her 4 grown cubs, having a practice chase with the wildebeest and red hartebeest!
The four of us are so thankful to have experienced all that we have, there are just so many things, but the game captures, community projects, the conservation work on the reserve, and the opportunity to have been involved with a rhino darting in the area, to pick out a few, have given us memories and a fire inside for the amount of positive impact we can really have; we need only to remember to follow our hearts!
Thank you to Schalk and Candice, the world of Ulovane you have created for so many people is such a blessing and a gift to be cherished! Jacques and mama Thabs, you keep us so well fed, without you the hangry emotions would ruin us all!!! Mama Joyce, thank you for all you do for all of us!
Justin, we wouldn’t have graduated as we did without your guidance and the way in which you shared your passion with us! Thank you!
Shani and Piet, we thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent with you throughout the course, each time we got to take away yet another gem of information!
You’re all a fabulous team, and always, ALWAYS have nothing but the best interest of your students at heart; what you have created is unique and we are so very thankful for it all 🌻
To say we’re excited about the next chapter is an understatement! – Melissa
Personal Experience, Melissa Gomes
My love for nature has been part of my heart and soul since before I can even remember! The bush is a part of me, and I a part of it. I have spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years in the bush, every school holiday, long weekend, public holiday, was spent camping or on the river.
Life doesn’t always pan out exactly as we plan it to, but one thing’s for sure, and that is what is meant to be, will always find a way!
For me, that has been Ulovane…
There really are no words to express my gratitude and happiness for having been introduced to this environmental training centre, and the pride of which I feel for having completed my nature field guide training through Ulovane.
What they offer is so well-rounded and all-encompassing, often going completely above and beyond the stipulated quota of what it is we ‘need to know’.
I really have conservation and education very close to my heart, for I believe this is exactly where our world is falling short; if you are educated on something, then you have the chance to positively make an impact.
It was heartening to be involved with some local communities in the area, as well and being able to get real physical and practical with conservation work on the reserve and in surrounding areas too. There are not many more things more rewarding than being able to physically see a difference one has made by just a little bit of attention and care. One of the biggest things that struck me about Ulovane is the attention to the detail they put into every aspect of the course. And for me, that’s important, because, at the end of the day, the Little things ARE the big things!
There is such a support structure that comes with living at Ulovane, it is home from the second you walk in the door! When I arrived there, I knew I was in for an incredible journey, but I have left these 10 weeks a different person to the one who walked in on the 9th of July! The personal growth and life lessons I have gained were definitely not bargained for – but that’s exactly what makes it so beautiful!
We were a small course, one of the smallest yet for field guides, but the instructors made each and every second worth our while, most times doing so much more than was required! For that, I am so very grateful because of the exposure we’ve had in just two short months.
I can’t compare any other training centre to this; I don’t need to.
We always end up where we’re meant to be, and not for one single second do I believe I would have gotten a better start to my career anywhere else, than what I have gotten here.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the laughter, the tears, the hard work, the cement mixing, the braais, the walks, the drives, the lessons, the banter, but most of all, for the love and support you’ve shown us! You’re moulding strength and wisdom into many young people, I hope we go forth into the industry and make you all proud!
If you have the chance to make a difference, even by just putting a smile on someone’s face, do it – The world needs more of that! 🐘🐾🌻
Kind regards, Melissa Gomes.
Editor note – Wow thank you, Melissa! We really did not expect such an incredible response when we asked you to give us your feedback on your time with us! Chuffed to have you back for Trails – Good Luck!
‘There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.’ – Lord Byron
News from the Marine Guides
Week 1: After finishing level one, and having an amazing experience, I was very keen to return for Marines and it hasn’t disappointed. We began with a canoe trip down the Bushman’s river. A true test of teamwork and fitness that we will never forget, combined with great laughs and good memories. Our lucky sighting of viewing a group of elephants from the canoe as we paddled down the stream was beautiful.
We later in the week began our beach search, collecting samples to ID. This has really opened my eyes and given me a deeper understanding of how vast our oceans are, and how rich of life.
It has also highlighted the importance of keeping our beaches clean, and we always take a plastic bag to collect anything that does not belong on the stunning beaches of South Africa.
At the end of week one, I’m feeling excited to continue our journey and looking forward to all the knowledge I’m about to gain thanks to our incredible tutor Shani. Thank you Ulovane for another outstanding experience so far! – Hope Connolly, UK.
Week 2: It’s already halfway through the Marine Guiding course, and I can’t believe it. This last week was another jam-packed week with an exciting field trip with Raggy Charters, we were so lucky to see a Sun fish which is quite a rare find, along with some whales, dolphins and loads of penguins! We tackled the shell board to identify as many species as we could, there are so many different types of limpets!! Saturday and Sunday was spent on the beach collecting more shells and seaweeds to identify. It’s so amazing what you find and observe on the beach and how you notice things you’ve never noticed before. It’s all a next level kind of interesting now! Shell collecting is not the same anymore because now you can identify the species and it becomes so much more than just a pretty shell. Looking forward to the next half of our Marine adventures! – Keryn and Greg
Week 3: This week has been very interesting. We started by an awesome deep sea fishing experience with Schalk. Some of us had a lot of fun and managed to catch some good fish for our Monday night’s braai. However, almost all of us were seasick, but we enjoyed this day and all learnt a lot about fishing.
We’ve also been to the beach to make some mock field observation. We all managed to make a lot of progress within a few days only. Now we do not only walk on the beach surrounded by “stuff” but we are able to name those different plants and animals. That’s actually really cool!
We had to say goodbye to our deal field guides, level 1 and 2, who finished their 10 weeks program and can now enjoy their holidays. That was a sad Saturday morning… we had to study for some of our exams and see them packing. We are now all ready for our 4th and last week of Marine training! – Philippine
That’s a wrap!
Where did time go?! Six months I could do again!
Six months sounds like a really long time, but now that it’s gone I’m wishing there was 6 months more…
We have become a family, we laugh together, cry together and love each other exactly as we do our own families. The Ulovane experience is one that we shall all hold dear in our hearts for the rest of our lives, we’ve had some pretty special experiences together and along with the strife’s we have only ever grown closer together.
If there are only two things to take away from Ulovane it’s an underlying and unwavering respect and ethics for the environment and nature itself, and that nothing is ever as it seems at first glance.
My time here at Ulovane has been some of the best time I’ve ever spent, the fact that we were taught to conserve at every corner, wherever possible and at any time to consider it. Whether at the ocean or in the bush or even in town, it’s always “clean up” when you’re a nature lover.
For us it’s been an epic adventure in which we as group have grown experienced a lot. Our life after leaving this magical piece of paradise will never be the same again.
This last week has been busy, extremely busy, it still now hasn’t even sunk in that time is up and saying goodbye to all the friends we’ve made and to the instructors who has bestowed all this life-changing knowledge on us is now here.
All I can say is this entire course has been amazing and I wouldn’t change anything…
For the last time: Nathan Moore & Dylan
Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion. – Lorraine Anderson
News from the Ulovane Team
Welcome to our Operations Manager
It has been a long time coming for the Ulovane to grow a little more. We have found the right person, team, family member. Some of you know him, he was an Ulovane student a few years ago. Then returned to help out with some training and then we lost him to the corporate world for a while. He has since come to his senses and has returned home as our Operations manager at Ulovane Campus. Koenraad we would like to welcome you back to the team and we look forward to all the exciting plans and opportunities we will all be building on together.
We will be uploading his profile shortly to the website soon. In the meantime here is his a little on his history.
Koen has a BComm (Investment management & Financial accounting) from Stellenbosch University. In 2014 he successfully completed his Field, Backup & Marine guide qualifications with us. He is currently a long distance student at University of South Africa and is busy with his BSc (Botany & Ecology degree). After his practical placement, he joined the Ulovane team from 2015 for the year as an accountant and assistant trainer. We then lost him to the concrete jungle, he was an employee at Capitec Bank Ltd. From the start of 2016 to mid-2017 at the head office exercising financial accounting responsibilities.
Wishing Koen all the best in his new position! Welcome to the team!
Food for Thought
Once in a while someone amazing comes along and shows us that life is just a series of moments and if you miss these moments, you miss life. They teach us that WHAT matters is not the big things in life but the small things that will fill up our hearts. They teach us that it is not about how MUCH we say but about the quality of our words. They teach us to listen and not only hear.
They teach us to be strong – that courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow’. Courage is to get up every time life pushes you down. Courage is to do things you have never done before.
Your life is a theatre for greatness, and each day a platform for mastery. Be the sculptor of your own life; the painter of your own story – make your faith larger than your fears and your dreams bigger than your doubts. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and more loved than you’ll ever know.
Because – the dreams that you DARE dream, really do come true. If people are not laughing at your dreams once a week, you are aiming too low.
Never lose the sparkle in your eye, the fire in your belly and the steel in your character! – Shani
Wrap up for the Fabulous Four Field Guides
The 3rd Field Guide course started on the 10th of July and consisted of four students and an advanced Field Guide. Yes, a very small course in number however over the next 10 weeks the students put in massive efforts towards conservation both from an educational role as well as hard labour.
We were very fortunate to attend an Eland game capture which the students really enjoyed this experience. As you may know, the Eland is the largest of all antelope and their sheer size makes them easy to spot from a distance, however it is only once you are right up next to the animal that one is totally blown away by its size.
Our next adventure led us to some brush packing a heavily damaged road on the reserve and having just completed our Conservation Management module it was a great task to put our skills to the test. Once a road gets damaged it is vitally important to rehabilitate it to a better state and depending on the severity of the damage one can use a couple of methods. In this case, we chose brush packing which entails the collection of Sweet Thorn branches and placing them overlapping one another. This keeps the section protected from further damage and in turn slows water movement over the area. As water movement is slowed down one finds mineral/sediment build up which greatly enriches the area for the new establishment of young grasses and plants.
Our conservation management did not end here as we assisted in rehabilitating an eroded slope by planting Spekboom vegetation. Spekboom is a succulent, grows relatively fast and at the same time removes more carbon dioxide from the environment than any other vegetation.
Looking back at the course I can honestly say that these three students will go very far in the industry, they are very bright and greatly committed to completing tasks. – Justin
Thank you for taking the time read our news! We hope you enjoy reading the news, straight from the students, only a little bit of spelling editing goes into the final product. Huge thank you as always to all the students and staff for their stunning photos and updates.
Should you wish to visit the campus at any time, to view the facilities and chat to the team, please get in touch you are always welcome! Candice@ulovane.co.za.
We still have availability our November Marine guide course. However, space is limited!! Please contact us for rates and dates email@example.com.
Until Next Time,
Candice and the Ulovane Team
Believe you can and you’re halfway there.- Theodore Roosevelt