Emma Mitchell's Blog - a volunteer's perspective
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Dorm rooms, bunk beds, extremely early mornings, it kind of like being in the army… An army who’s base is surrounded by the most spectacular, picturesque land on Earth, boasting the famous big5 & an endless array of everything magnificent that makes South Africa so beautiful and unique.
The conservation of this land and its breathtaking wildlife is made even more intensely imperative when you literally have front row viewing of everything it has to offer. Let me ask you this; is there any better way of viewing this natural phenomenon than on the back of a GVI truck? I think NOT!!!
From stuffing Zebra poo into a tiny jar with Laura to being metres away from the mighty king of the jungle; ‘Zero’ with Andreas. To almost trampling Jess at the reptile park during a cobra attack, to sitting on top of beacon rock with Dawie taking in the tranquility & peacefulness of the reserve. Each day was a new adventure. I think Beth summed it up best when she said “South Africa sucks you in & doesn’t let you go.” How right she is.
Not only are volunteers privileged to be part of such a vital project and unbeatable game viewing, they are equally as privileged to have spent 2weeks with the staff. One morning Beth (yes another Beth quote) described me as having, “just a spoonful of crazy”, but I think than description better fits the staff at Karongwe. Of course with any job there has to be some degree of professionalism & the staff got that balance perfect every time. All of whom are extremely helpful & approachable. I think Jess has been my main savior, supplying me with the essentials, earplugs, pillow case & blanket (I forgot mine) but most essential of all vegemite… so thank you Jess. Kaggie your enthusiasm for life is to a degree I have never before witnessed. I love it!! J Jean & Paul your cooking is superb.
I could go on forever about how fantastic the staff are and great this place is but I think ill wrap it up… so thank you all for your help, knowledge & patience. I had a marvelous time and shall return with more Aussies. Stay classy & as Kaggie says; “at GVI everyone’s a winner!”
Emma Mitchell – Volunteer September 2011
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