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Ulovane Update: My Ulovane Experience



Ulovane Update: 6 Months at Ulovane has changed my life

I am one of the four students who did all 3 courses starting from being an April Field Guide and now ending in September as a Marine Guide. My heart is filled with both joy and grief that my time at Ulovane Environmental Training has come to an end. Joy on that I have gained so much knowledge and cannot wait to share it with the world and grief in that I leave the ones that have made an important impact in my life.
My journey started on the 8th April where I walked into a familiar yet strange place. After a couple of weeks had gone by I settled in nicely and had made friends with all the students. The workload was a difficult task to keep up but by the end of 10 weeks it all came in hand with me graduating as a field guide and 3rd in my Class. It was a heartfelt goodbye to many of the students but an awakening adventure to come.
After 3 weeks of holiday at home, the 7 week Trails Course begun. I was really nervous and had second thoughts about this course knowing I wasn’t prepared to encounter animals on foot. After some encouragement from the instructors and fellow pupils I decided to continue. The experience was the best!! The early mornings and all the walking was worth it. Unfortunately the girls of the course didn’t pass the ARH assessment but we know we will be back for that lion charge. This course taught me some mental challenges that I’m glad I was able to overcome and I learnt that I am capable of doing anything if I put my mind to it.
The final course to end off the 6 months was the Marine Guiding course. It’s amazing how much can be learnt in such a short time. This course makes you see the beach/ocean differently and opens yours eyes to so much more.
To my fellow 3 students who have been on the journey with me  since day one, fly and soar those wings of yours in following what you really desire and love. To Terence and Kristi who joined us for the Marine Course, thank you for the endless laughs and encouragement. I wish you all the best for the future and hope our paths cross soon for a catch up.
To the Ulovane Team, as I write this blog with a heavy heart I am so happy and proud to have studied with you. There are no words to describe the feelings I have experienced while studying here for 6 months. I am beyond grateful to have experienced all that I have accomplished in these past 6 months. I thank you for the love, support, laughs, adventures, lessons, encouragement and always assisting the needs of the students. But most importantly I thank you for being my Ulovane family.
As we bid our farewells, go our different ways and leave the Ulovane gates, we leave behind the memories we shared, the footprints we walked and the people who had an impact on our lives but always knowing this will be our second home.
Again I thank you Ulovane and wish you all the best of luck for the future.
Amber Tweedie
“Today is the day! Your mountain is waiting… get on your way!”- Dr Seuss 

Ulovane Update: Final August Marine Update

We have come to the final week of our 4 week Marine Guide Course! We can feel the pressure upon us for upcoming Assessments, Beach Observations, Slide Exams and the big ‘F’ word- the FINAL FGASA exam! We have had an amazing experience with two trips to the ‘oh so heavenly’ Brenton-on-sea, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and a trip out to sea with Raggy Charters, where we had exciting sightings of 3 different species of whales and a pod of bottlenose dolphins. We had the privilege of canoeing up the Kowie river and staying overnight at a hikers hut near Water’s meeting.
We have learnt so much about the marine environment from the smallest to the largest living creatures. There is so much more out there than just a blue ocean and grainy sand. The beach is the best place to be during relaxing times and the sound of the ocean sure sets the happiness in you. One of my favourite sightings seen during this course was overlooking the ocean at Brenton on sea while a pod of dolphins swam into the pink-orange sunset.
We couldn’t have gone through all the hard work and studying if it wasn’t for Shani and Koen. We thank you for your time, dedication,  motivation and above all support in all you put in ensuring we had a fun experience while working hard at the same time. Thank you!
Amber and Julia

“Your education is the dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.” – Nora Ephron

Final Wrap from Shani

And so, yet another six months has come and gone.
Today we say goodbye to the year students’ Marco, Julia, Amber, Megan and Jaco and wishing them all the best of luck with their work placements! It was a pleasure having you all with us and we are truly happy that you are a part of the ever-growing Ulovane family.
 We also say goodbye to Kristi and Terence whom have joined us here at Ulovane for the Marine guide course. To Terence and Kristi – thank you for choosing Ulovane to have been your home for the last month and we wish you all the luck for your future careers in guiding – go get them guys!
 The last day is always a day filled with mixed emotions from happiness to tears, and it is understandable because these guys and gals have spent the last six months together and great memories were made! Ask any ex-Ulovane student – lifelong friendships are formed during this time.
The August/September Marine Guide course was certainly one to remember – from swimming with seals to being blessed with sightings of three different species of whale to dolphins swimming in the sunset. We were also very blessed to spend two of the four weeks at one incredible marine destination
Brenton-on-sea. Thank you very much Koen for organising it, it was truly very special!
I would also like to thank Candice and Schalk for making all of these “dream come true” opportunities available for us and the students!
The Healing Power of the Ocean
There is just something about waking up to the sound of crushing waves and the salty smell of the ocean. The ocean holds so many mysteries and power that one truly feels small and insignificant when faced with that power.
The sea is often used a symbol of life itself – for most part it is calm, but can become raging in an instant, with the waves representing the sudden obstacles life throws our way, and just as quickly as the storm began, it calms down again.
A visit to the beach always leaves you feeling alive and cleansed – physically, emotionally and spiritually. The combination of sun, sea and sand is the most natural and easily accessible form of therapy and freely available to everyone.
In ancient times, the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians understood the therapeutic properties of the sea. Hippocrates, Plato and Aristotle recommended the use of hot baths infused with salt to clean wounds and purify.
A recent day study stated that sea water strengthens the body against viruses, low defences, bacteria and pathogens. Another research said that being by the sea has multiple benefits on ones’ state of mind as the crashing waves induces deep states of relaxation.
Sea air is charged with healthy negative ions that builds our body’s capacity to absorb more oxygen. The use of modern-day technology exposes us to unhealthy free radicals which erodes our body’s natural energy, but when we are by the sea, we feel energised and relaxed all at the same time!
So, put that phone and laptop away and go take a dip in the ocean!

“Dance with the waves, Move with the sea, Let the rhythm of the water. Set your soul free.”