I’m so happy I could poop rainbows – a halftime report!

Ich chönt dWält umarme!
Oh wie glücklich sii sich doch guet ahfühlt!

Being happy is an extremely humbling privilege – I can barely contain my smile and stop myself from hugging everyone and everything right now!

Last week2 Nyala Males has been extremely rewarding, challenging and just so absolutely fulfilling!
If you know me then you know that I’ve never really favored any sort of animal over another one, but I most definitely never had a keen interest in birds.

Ask me again, please.

BIRDS ARE FASCINATING!
They are absolutely breathtaking creatures – from the tiniest, unidentifiable (well, Charles can) LBJS (those are just some small brown birds that all kinda look the same) to the magnificent and royal martial Eagle – team A had quite the successful week IDing many, many birds.
Of all the 970 species found across Southern Africa we managed to ID about maybe100/120 while viewing them, saw a couple nests and heard them calling constantly.
I learned so very much and I’m just so incredibly impressed with how fast this knowledge sticks to my brain!

African Eagle (?) flyingOn Wednesday we headed out on an excitedly awaited sleep-out.

We packed up everything and drove out – ah just read about it here, Charles put it in perfect words (on the Bushwise Blog here):

“We also thought we would head out for a Sleepout and everything looked good as we headed out to a “room with a view”.  As students started collecting firewood and were settling in to the new surroundings, something suddenly changed…… And change can happen very quickly out in the bush, especially when it comes to the weather! We saw some threatening black clouds build up in the distance earlier, but when the wind all of a sudden picked up (and sent a few sleeping mats, bags and tables flying) we knew we could be in the wrong place at the wrong time. All of a sudden, the clouds in the distance were on us with lots of lightning striking close by. Being quite exposed, the decision was made to rather play things safe and head back to camp. Camp was packed up in record time, and we were all lucky enough to get back before the storm really hit, but unfortunately it seemed to have just blown over.”

Eagle_perchedBasically we drove back – which was an adventure filled trip in itself.
Just shortly after leaving the reserve and driving over to our campus we came across 2 male lions!
They were casually chilling, a couple meters apart from each other, wondering what we were, under our covers, rain ponchos and in our land rovers…
Absolutely stunning how close we managed to be – Nature is beyond fascinating!

Back to birds, though!
We continued with game drives, ID’d even more birds.
Besides birds we saw some general game (like Nyalas – those antelope in the first photo), some more special sightings and apparently the other groups had some luck with lions.

We all got to do some more ARH practice – dry runs.
I might not have told you about those just yet. Basically we get to do stuff with guns. Big ones!
We are currently practicing all the different exercises we are going to be required to excel in, if we want our Advanced Rifle Handling certificate.
You might ask why we would need to be able to shoot?
Be not afraid, we aren’t going to hunt. We love nature way too much to harm it purposefully.
It is a necessary skill to know and have if a guide ever wants to go on a trail and lead clients into territory where lions, buffalo, black and white rhino, hippo, elephant or leopard might roam – these animals could potentially be dangerous to us humans. In the very last resort, to protect our clients and our lives’, the rifle is here. We are not going to act boldly, neglect the animal’s behavior and comfort zones, we are not going to provoke a charge, we are not going to shoot the animal at the first second it takes a step at us – but the rifle is solemnly there as a last resort.
We will walk in on a sighting, make sure all that we’ve learned is actually done, and we’ll safely watch and observe the animals and leave again.

So this is what this week was all about – BIRDS.
Our feathery friends.
Oh and did I mention that we occasionally have about 2-5 grey herons and a juvenile African fish eagle, right in front of my hut, in our dam?

Two of the coolest sightings this week were seeing a martial eagle, perched on the top of a tree, looking about as majestic as it could get.
PearlSpottedOwlet©LarissaMKato-2And this little creature:
A tiny owl.
Does anyone want to hazard a guess what kind of owl it might be?
No worries, if you don’t know.
Just sign up for the Bushwise course! *wink wink*

The absolute highlight of the weekend (besides being able to watch the cutest puppy ever on Saturday and having a relaxing, quite evening in), you might ask?
Well, easy.
I managed to FINALLY upload this – and am now proudly able to share with you what I wanted to do so forever ago!

So what can I say about the last couple weeks, in general?

It’s been about as amazing as this past week sounds like!
I can barely believe that we are about halfway thru our school-time at Bushwise. Time has flown by way too quickly.
Would I want to change anything? I don’t think so.
Do I hope for something special to happen? YES! I want to remain HAPPY! 🙂

I’m ready to take on the next couple weeks, months, years, decades that I get to stay in the bush!

If anyone would like to come visit – send me a message! 🙂

Please always stay humble & happy. Go dream big – make it happen!
It’s the best feeling ever, living your dream 🙂

Lotta love from somewhere out in nowhere,
your Swiss nomad.

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All about knob thorns, gunpowder and load shedding

How did time pass this rapidly? We are about to enter into the last week of semester 3! Meaning we will have been here for 14 weeks by the end of it – sho, time flies! Before arriving here, time didn’t pass this fast.

A bit about last week then…

Monday commenced the week of mock assessments. We had 5 game drives – each game drive another member of our teams gave it their best. They did real game Ryan & Kyledrives with us as if we were clients in a lodge, paying to have the most amazing guided experience ever.
Some failed, some succeeded.
I just know more about knob thorns now then I ever imagined possible.

Mine will be up next Tuesday – fingers crossed I’ll be ready!

RyanKnobthorn

Besides having game drives (where are the animals hiding?) and being able to wake up to stunning sunrises every morning (I mean, just look at this!), we had our last 3 lectures – Fish, conservation and human history & culture. Interesting subjects on which we have been tested on this past Saturday – hopefully with success to keep those GPAs high up!

On Thursday we FINALLY got to shoot – not just 22s like we did a while back in Tzaneen, but the actual 375.
Having done some military shooting training my results deeply disappointed me. My hopes are up, though. I know I can do better.

Saturday I had to live thru 2 (almost) panic attacks – one snake gave me the fright of a life time – you all know that I can deal with everything but snakes! On the latter occasion I was swimming in the pool when a frog jumped into the water followed by the snake! I WAS IN THE WATER!

Panic ensued – both Emma and I were trying to get the heck outta the water as rapidly as possible. Emma because of the frog, me because of the snake. That concluded Saturday night for me – of course only after I had confirmation that the Bokkies won the game! (yes, the rugby world cup is going on and no, I still don’t know the game, really)

Sunset

I can’t sleep with the room’s fan on and my roommate is the opposite (and the fan is always on), so my nights are usually short-lived.

Today, I woke up, thinking I could enjoy some good internet – just to realize that there’s a new load shedding session going on – it has been going on since 6am. Just shortly after 4pm we got the shout that the power was back on – Internet here we come! 😀

At least my photos are all edited and we all enjoyed a lovely couple games of pool rugby. We got drowned, attacked, tackled, hold back, some got sunburnt – but we all had fun!

Pool Action
Give me a like on my page here and I’ll keep you updated on what’s going on 🙂 And as soon as this load shedding is over I’ll try to upload a new highlight reel – watch this space!

Always be humble, count your blessings and enjoy life – don’t let others take you down! 🙂

Love from the jungle 😉
theswissnomad