Ulovane Update: Field Guides
In a week filled with fun activity and adventure,my standout moment would have to be sedating and loading, yes, loading 3 male buffalo onto the back of a truck for relocation. To make one understand, we had a sleep out under the stars at bush bravo, which in itself was a great experience and were elegantly hosted by our awesome ladies on Friday night.
Both nights failed in comparison to being able to be so close to buffalo and actually laying your hands upon them and lifting their muscular, heavy, bulky bodies onto the back of a truck. It was indeed an unforgettable experience which reminded me of the beauty of nature.
“The Earth is what we all have in common” – Wendell Berry
Ulovane Update: Backup Trails Guides
In this third week of our course everyone in our group had their first experience as a back up guide. Walking in the bush as a back up changed my perception of the environment.
Sometimes everything around me is so beautiful, that I start to dream. My attention was drawn to the cirrus clouds in the sky, the bird calls of the spring morning and the flowers surrounding me; but as a back up you have to be concentrated at all times and be aware of the direction of the wind, your rifle and all signs of animals around you. You suddenly do not walk for yourself anymore, relying on the lead, but are responsible for your group and for the animals you come across.
I noticed this week, that I started to see the whole picture of the bush, instead of getting lost in a swallow flying around us and that has a beauty on its own.
On Thursday we had our first sleep out on the reserve. We started from our campus and had a long walk of eight hours until we arrived at bush braai, where we prepared everything for the night. Preparing food over the fire and sleeping under the stars was lovely. The benefit of the early morning watch shift was the most beautiful sunrise, what brings into perspective what one usually overlooks or simply misses.
In the evening Thomas from the Anti Poaching Unit visited us at our campfire to talk about his work and his experiences. I never realized how much anti poaching is about communication. The Anti Poaching Unit is present on the reserve at all times and investigates all unnatural signs of poaching activity. They know the bush and the animals, but they have to know people as well. In the end, the right words could change the mindset of a person and save the life of an animal. I am grateful for the insight Thomas gave us and I hope I will have the opportunity to show him my respect for his attitude and work.
Our veggie garden grows with every Saturday’s sustainable living project and soon we will plant the first new seedlings and start to produce our own food. This week our garden fairies created the soil for the beets and took care of the herbs, that already existed when the garden was still a quarter of its size now. As the time progresses and our garden grows we hope, that we ourselves will one day become more reliant on the land and less dependent on manufactured goods.
- Charne and Maya
“Time spent among trees is never time wasted” – Anonymous