What a busy semester this has been. Important ‘obstacles’ were accomplished, such as the FGASA Level 1 exam, with an average score of 94%! Over the last two weeks, as I am sure you are all aware, the FGASA Level 1 assessment drives have been taking place. These are the practical components to the theoretical exams and are an important manner in which the assessor can gauge each student’s knowledge and their ability to relay that knowledge to guests, forming a well-rounded guided experience.
Four days into practical assessments and already 8 students have passed! So far, so good! Well done students, you make us proud. Amidst all the frantic preparations (at least it appeared so) the students excelled at demonstrating the “WOW!” factor as I like to call it, with some innovative and interesting displays of refreshment breaks for their “guests”. Whilst not a prerequisite, it is always a great way to display hosting skills, and the lengths that most went too have not gone unnoticed, well done!
We find ourselves at the end of yet another week and course time for our students is quickly nearing an end. This week was devoted to study, study and more study with a bit of time to eat and sleep in between. Apart from the studies we had the two groups host one another for a bush dinner. They had to choose a location and create a dining experience somewhere other than the normal eating area. While some put in more effort than others, both nights turned out wonderful and the experience was enjoyed by the receiving group. Well done to all.
This week saw things heating up a bit more around camp as exam and assessment time comes closer, and what better way to relieve some of that stress than a trip to the very popular Kruger National Park(KNP)!!
The third semester has drawn to a close, and we begin.....to realise that we are on our way to becoming fully fledged guides, with the beginning of the fire-arm assessments and more intense game drives. The tension is mounting as more and more “pressure” is being exerted on the students to begin conditioning them to the upcoming driving assessments in the next semester, but not until the fire-arm assessments commenced in the latter part of this week did reality begin to bite!
Greetings from the slow veld and with another week gone by, things are not that slow. The week started off with a couple of lectures. The last two for our students and I’m sure they were all to please to find that out!
For most aspiring guides training and refining their guiding skills, one subject out there strikes fear into their hearts at the mere thought of it. That module is of course, birds! Unlike mammals, they are small, unlike trees, they move and worst of all, they all look and sound the same, well not quite, but ask the right person (or should we perhaps say the wrong person), and this is what they will tell you.
Back in the saddle after a much needed rest on Sunday after the full tracking week saw Monday kick off with a fish lecture in the morning and a game drive with a student at the wheel as per usual. Tuesday saw the students back in the lecture room attending an Arthropods lecture (for the uninformed-creepy crawlies and things!) and a tree walk in the afternoon for those that were not intending to do a placement, whilst those that are, were met with for one-on-one interviews with Shirell and Charles.
This week saw us hosting the third Cybertracker track and sign course here at Bushwise, hosted by expert tracker, Colin Patrick. As much as students often think that tracking is easy, with someone like Colin, you will very quickly learn that it involves more than just finding and identifying a few tracks. One of the best things about the tracking course, is not only do you learn loads about tracks, but it teaches us to look and think outside the box! Once you can start looking outside the box, you can start forming stories in your mind as to what had happened in a certain area.