Apprentice Field Guides: Week 1
It is great to be back!! We trust you will enjoy another year of Ulovane Updates with us!
Adriaan & Megan are from South Africa and are both with us for the one year course! They are here this week to tell you all about their introduction to Ulovane and the first week of their year-long journey with us, on their Apprentice Field Guide course.
We began our first day at Ulovane on a morning game drive with Justin, our course instructor, and Shani, who is involved with us from time to time on our course as well, especially later on when it comes to tracking. It was a fantastic game drive and a really strong start to our course! If I had to pick one, my most outstanding moment of the week was seeing two female lions taking a nap under a tree, completely relaxed and unphased by our game viewer. We also learned how to gauge the age of a tortoise by looking at what is called the ‘valleys & ridges’ on the scutes, which is the term given to plates on its shell that grow in size with the tortoise, as it ages.
The Leopard tortoise is the only tortoise that can swim, and did you know that it forms part of the group of animals that are referred to as ‘The little 5’! This species of tortoise can get very big, and using this counting method, sometimes you could find an individual that one could estimate to be up to 100 years old!
I would say one of the most important skills that I learnt this week was being able to adapt to a very social environment that will prepare me for the environments we as guides, find ourselves in throughout a guiding career. I also made a great personal discovery this week, finding how I get along with different cultures; and the biggest lesson I learned was that tolerating and understanding things from the other person’s perspective, is key!
The 4 x 4 driving skills we had mid-week were the most outstanding moment for me this week. I laughed so much on this activity.
It was a bonding moment for the group, as we all had a lot of fun together as a group, instead of as individuals.
The funniest moment, I think to us all, was when Simon stalled the one game viewer, the Landrover, that is affectionately referred to as ‘Theo’, on the top of the hill! We discovered the battery was flat, so all had to get out the vehicle and push it to an even surface; and voilà! Then we had our first lesson on how to jump-start a vehicle too!!! After having helped jump-start the car, we stayed behind at the bottom and waited for Simon to come back. And we waited… and waited…. And waited!
Next thing, Simon was standing at the top of the hill, scratching his head saying, “Uhhhhh guys, I think I messed up!” Of course, then, we all ran back up the hill to find that Simon had stalled the vehicle again…
It was a great moment for us as a group; we will certainly remember the memory and the laughter!
We also had Doug from Medwise Safety Services here for three days over the weekend, to train, and provide us with our Wilderness Level 2 First Aid qualification. The way Doug teaches the course and all we need to know, is very detailed and he really makes it interesting, so we want to learn, rather than feeling we are doing it because we have to. He even goes to the lengths of including real-life simulated scenarios, which is not a course requirement at all, but it is so beneficial in helping us feel how we would react to a situation in real life; one that is under pressure! The theory is one thing but being able to apply skills practically is another thing altogether.
A personal development I made of myself this week was that of learning how to adapt; to people from all over the world, and to different situations too.
I am still learning to adapt, but already for myself, I have come so far. I have found myself being much more social than I usually am. It is very different being away from home, but I am happy so far!
A great start to the first week here at Ulovane, we are excited to see what week two will bring.
“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.” ―
Apprentice Trails Guides: Week 1
Chante is with us for the one-year course, you last heard from her last year when she was doing her Apprentice Field Guide course with us! She is back this year to join us for the Apprentice Trails guide course.
Coming back to Ulovane was like coming back to my second home and being able to reconnect with everyone that has become like family to me. We had a lovely three-week break over the December holidays, it was great to be back home to see family and friends, and have a good, long relaxing break before we came back for our Apprentice Trails Guide course in January!
It felt like I never left and it’s as welcoming as it was the first time I arrived here for my Apprentice Field Guide course almost four months ago!
There were seven of us from our Apprentice Field Guide group, who came back to carry on with the Apprentice Trails Guide course. Our first week in and I have already experienced and learnt so much! We had a lot of class and theory to get through this week, like learning how the rifles work and the theory necessary to learn how to shoot and handle a weapon. I realised this week that I am good at it! It was a great personal discovery!
Mid-week, we had a trip into Port Elizabeth to complete our Unit Standards and manually operated rifle proficiency at Falcon Firearm Training academy. This is a legal requirement for us to obtain before we can start with our A.R.H (Advanced Rifle Handling) here at Ulovane.
My favourite experience of this week, however, must be when we found a baby mouse that we up tried to save. Even though our Jerry ended up returning to nature, I was happy to have had him around for a while.
We are excited to get started on our A.R.H practising on Monday!
“Live the Life of Your Dreams: Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.” ―