Ulovane Update: April 2019 Field and Backup Trails Guides

16 Apr

Field Guides

Heaven on Earth!

In only 48 hours, I realised how much one can really experience, and I have experienced so many natural and wonderful animal interactions. I have seen people going the extra mile to make a conscious effort to change or do something small that will become a big change for the good of the environment in the long run.

I have always felt and known that as soon as I had the chance to spend time in the wild, it would be peaceful and full of wonders, but seeing how the animals communicate with each other and have their own understanding, is absolutely heart-warming. I felt so privileged to have been able to see a jackal wait so respectfully for a cheetah to finish its meal and be too grateful for what is left behind.

A warthog that will prepare herself for the worst, thinking that two jackals surrounding her and her piglets, want to have her babies as lunch, but then moments after, she comes to realise that they only want to pass with no harm done.

The way of life and respect humans can learn from the way animals and nature interact is out of this world.

The rest of the week was intense, being busy with first aid training from Friday to Sunday.

We have a very intense and in-depth Wilderness First Aid Training course with Doug. He goes into detail of what could be expected living and working in a remote area and reinforces our training with real-life practical scenarios of ‘accidents’. It is a hugely beneficial component as it opens up your mind as to how you would respond in a real-life scenario. Doug will set up a ‘scene’ and then us first aiders must respond, using what we have been taught over the course and improvise to work together as a team to problem solve as swiftly as possible.

What I learnt is how disruptive your brain can become in stressful situations and how you need to control it when it really needs to jump into action in a limited amount of time.

I am learning how to see, feel and live more aware, and thanks to Ulovane, my passion, love and excitement have just started to help me fulfil my dreams, and therefore I am so grateful.

  • Therien.

“Instructions for living a life. 
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.” 
― Mary Oliver

Backup Trails Guides

Sunday, our first day back! It’s always very exciting meeting all the new students who are going to be doing their field guide course, as well as any new students who are joining us for the trails guide course.

Our week started off with an ARH (Advanced Rifle Handling) lecture. All the students learnt quite a lot about rifles that we didn’t know before, and I personally learnt and realized all the mistakes I had been making when handling a rifle all these years. We got given our PFTC workbooks which kept us busy for a while, but once we had done that we immediately jumped into the range with the pellet gun. This was a very exciting time for some of us as it was the first time we had ever shot with any kind of rifle.

On Wednesday we had a very interesting day with the lecturer from the falcon firearm academy from Port Elizabeth who taught us everything we needed to know for our exams the following day in PE. Bright and early we headed to PE for our exams on Thursday, and it was a great day as all the students did very well and passed all their exams. After we finished writing the exams, we headed to the shooting range. This was an exciting experience as it was the first time for many in the trails group shooting with a large calibre rifle. Everyone really enjoyed this experience and all it had to offer, to the fullest.

 

It was Nicks birthday on this day, so after we had done what needed to be done, we went to have some quality time to celebrate. It seemed, however, to look more as if it was Sam’s birthday as she was approached and asked to sell her Ulovane cap for R1000!!! This for sure tells us Ulovane is of an extremely high standard!

The week ended off with all students having a blindfolded exercise whereby we all needed to load 3 dummy rounds into the chamber of the .375 calibre rifles in under 10 seconds. It is quite a challenge but with much patience and perseverance, one eventually gets the feel for it. The idea behind this exercise is to learn to trust your instincts and to understand that as a trails guide, your rifle has to be ‘an extension of your arm’ so that you may be able to use it if ever necessary, as naturally as you would a body’s reflex.

 

Our instructor Pieter has the best saying for this exercise, which doesn’t make sense the first time you hear it but once you start the exercise, it falls into place – “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast”.

It has been an extremely productive first week for the trail guides, with a lot of theory and important lessons already learned!

  • Damon & Lloyd.

“Never stop dreaming, 
never stop believing, 
never give up, 
never stop trying, and 
never stop learning.” 
― Roy T. Bennett

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