By: Christopher Magee
Before we knew it, the sun had set on the second semester and a new day had started in the third semester. In our week off, I had been studying really hard for what was the most important and difficult test which kicked off the third semester – our Level 1 FGASA test. I was feeling quite confident with the amount of studying I had put in and I felt ready as ever when I went in. But…. I also came out just as stressed after the test. Later that evening I was told that, based on our trainer’s preliminary review of our tests, I had passed! That made it a really great start to the third semester.
The third semester had started with a bang and we had jumped into so many new things. For one, we had started doing our own game drives on a big 5 game reserve. It was a new experience and we had to learn how-to guide on our own – it was important to show our guests the wonders of nature in our own unique way. Of course, we had our guides with us to help out when we needed them. However, there is so much to talk about when it comes to nature. I sometimes felt like I knew nothing, but I have also learned that a field guide will never really know everything and that is what makes this career fun and interesting: you get to learn something new each and every day.
In this semester there were two important activities that we received training on. This included track and sign training and rifle training. It was fun to practice and grow our knowledge in these areas. I enjoyed shooting a .22 and a .223 calibre rifle at the shooting range and obtaining the experience to protect my guests should the need ever arise. The track and sign practice, and then the assessment, was most enjoyable as well. In our assessment, we had to identify certain tracks and I was very happy to receive a Level 2 Track and Sign badge. I was excited and proud to share my achievement with my family and friends.
Coming to the end of this semester, I was excited to go home for a week as I had not seen my family for two months. I was missing them quite a bit. It was so much fun to share the wonderful pictures that I had taken during my time at Bushwise and answering the questions that arose about the wonders of nature. It made me realise how much I had learned and how excited I was to continue learning and growing my knowledge. Even though I will be sad to leave my family again, I was excited to return to my second family in the bush and continue to expand my knowledge of the amazing African wildlife.