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    It is amazing to have people from diverse nationalities, backgrounds and ages gathering in a small place, on a big continent, away from home. It certainly is a challenge. In week 3 of the January intake 2014, the students at Bushwise seems to have embraced this challenge, and is emerging as one, as a group.

    As with so too many Mondays in this world; Administration had to be dealt with this week, and this time, in the form of traffic department paperwork. The reptile orientation course was also completed and a few reptiles and arthopods were handled and taught about. Needless to say it was a long day in town, yet, there are perks. Everyone got to nibble on something at the local restaurant over lunch, and some shopping could get done, and the reptile park trip is always a fun one. OK all done as sunset greets us back at Mahlahla, back in the bush.

    The sun greeted us again soon, yet this time for sunrise, as only Africa can, although, at 04h30 AM getting ready for a game-drive, it sometimes feels almost too soon…yet, when you get out there, it all makes sense. And so it better well should, because every morning this week, and for the rest of your guiding career for that matter, will most probably start, well, rather early. 

    Good news and, not so good news. Not so good first – You can`t be a good guide just because you can get up early in the morning, you have to know something too. Ok, the Good news is, we will attempt to help you to help yourself. Not, for example, helping you to execute a voodoo doll of the head ranger over a cuppa java at 4.30 every morning, no, by helping you to understand and appreciate Awesome Stuff, like Plants. Yes OK, not everybody together now… botany can be a migrain`eish topic for some, but don’t fret, we will bring `round, eventually. Like Group B exclaimed while feverishly keying out a tree from a reference book during botany practical; “B is for Botany!” (I have never yet observed this behaviour in Homo studentus, and sadly, I doubt I ever will again. Symptoms most probably ascribable to a combination of extreme fatigue and anxiety.)

    The next day`s Survival and Navigation presentation put all and sundry into prep mode for next week’s sleepout on the reserve. The challenge stands: Fire from Bokdrol!

    This morning was treat time: On foot in Africa! I need not say much more, for those that know, will know what I mean, and for those that don’t, well, it`s difficult to explain. Just do it. An incredible lion sighting was had!

    When we saw that massive elephant bull, or the lions, and even just beautiful old trees glowing at first light, it’s as if we were just destined to be there, all along, in Africa!

    Until Next Time,

    Cobus and The Bushwise Team

    Photo: Stefanie Simonet