This week started off on a rather serious note, as the students did their mock assessment drives. This entails using all that has been learned in the last 3 months, and hosting a 3 hour Safari experience. Lots of great potential is showing, and our students are really starting to shine as competent field guides! During these drives we encountered plenty of really interesting plants, animals and most beautiful of sunsets. Despite the pressure to perform, loads of fun was had by all as we experienced the bush through their senses!
The next topic on the everlasting list of being a great field guide is to be able to shoot, not for hunting, but to one day take guests out in the African bush on walking safaris, and be sure to keep them safe from whatever could be looming in the thick bush! This entails being able to shoot at a moments notice, and be very accurate, which was a challenge as most of the students had never really used a rifle before! Some hot hours on the shooting range drilling safety checks, where to do what, and of course how to handle the huge calibre rifles resulted in a few bruised shoulders, some even more bruised egos, and finally we started getting results, good results! By the end of the next two weeks we should have a whole class of proficient shooters. Then they will be tested by completing an Advanced Rifle Handling Course. Should they pass this, then they will be eligible to continue on the path towards obtaining their Trails Guide Qualifications, allowing them to do bush walks in dangerous game areas.
After a grueling week, the Friday ended in a huge amount of fun for everyone! Team A B and C was pitched against each other in a variety of team-building tasks, which ranged from building rafts, egg races, put-put and even a Balloon Hump competition! (Which we will not elaborate on!) All the teams did amazingly, and put on a great performance, ending with a banner and war cry at the afternoon braai, where they were then issued with their respective team Mascots (in the form of little squeaky toy animals). 24H later, team A had already lost theirs, and they suspect the kidnapping is team B’s doing, we will have to see if any ransoms come to light in the following week!
And so another sunny week in the African bush comes to an end, and everyone is fresh and ready for the next week, when more ARH practice, and finally the actual evaluations start!
Regards from the bush