This last week of the third semester was filled with anxiousness & excitement for the ARH Assessments, some disappointment, and a few surprises also followed and of course a heat wave that brought us to a maximum temperatures of 40’C (104’F).
We started the week early on Monday morning with ARH mock assessments where the students were preparing for the real assessments on Wednesday and Thursday. All went well, but when the time came for getting the qualification, stress and nerves took over and only a few got to the top where they were awarded with the Advanced Rifle Handling Qualification.
It was an intense exercise which was done in extremely warm conditions (40’C /104’F). Thanks to the astonishing 714 .375 rounds that were shot in the two weeks by 22 people, most of the students also got nice souvenirs like bruised, lame arms and aching muscles. After that many rounds it is obvious that one will get a bruise or 5.
While some students were waiting around the swimming pool to be assessed, they were surprised by a unusual call which they had never heard before. This was not a bird call, but a distress call of the Foam Nest Tree Frog who was caught by a Spotted Bush Snake wrapped around a big Knob-Thorn Tree. This was a magnificent sighting and everyone present was excited to witness this special and sad sight. Nature can be cruel but it is pure survival. Students went back to their rooms to get their cameras and even got onto their fellow student’s shoulders to get a little more height for that “perfect” picture! The frog was quite large so the snake took approximately 20 minutes to swallow it. Once the show was over, everyone focused again on the assessments.
During the mock assessment the students also went out on game drives and were rewarded with great sightings like Brown Hyena, Elephants and Lions.
We stopped on ‘Cheetah clearing’ for a sundowner and a well deserved cool drink after the exhausting hot weather during the day. As everyone enjoyed the refreshing cold drink and snacks someone called out, ‘Hyena, Brown Hyena’. Indeed to my surprise it was a Brown Hyena who happily walked past in the distance towards a dam where it most likely had a drink. These shy creatures are always wonderful to see!
To end this week, we at Bushwise want to congratulate the four men, Kyle, Michael, Ash & Alex and the ONLY successful ARH female student, Larissa, for passing their ARH. Also to all of the 22 students who have completed and passed their Bushwise Level 1 exam. Now for next semester it is FGASA Level 1. Good Luck!