Looking at a track longer doesn’t make the track clearer…

Offtime was over and education continued. New week, new course, new reserve. So what was the plan for the next 2 weeks? A lot! Track & signs and Trailing course and exams… I learned a lot about tracks but also a lot about myself and life…

TRACKS! And believe me we learned every little track possible! From frogs, to lion, to baboon, to millipedes, to Hippo… We learned to identify  if the cat was hunting, just walking slowly or if it is just a normal gait. If ist a left or right foot, if its a male or a female. We learned in 1 week over 50 tracks. Despite really bad weather or hot hours… we stood around a trqck and tried to figure out which one it is… and yes of course… elephant is easy, rhino should be easy … but did you know that there are many alike looking tracks out there? Cats, or tertapine vs. tortoise… Especially the antelopes… they just all look the same… Amd I mean those aren’t stamps… sometimes you only can see half the track, or the lightning is bad or because of the ground it appears bogger than normal and and and…

Sometimes our guides saw things that weren’t there or we just couldn’t see it. The track & signs exam arrived – and well I have the feeling that I failed big time. The almost 12 hour exam – driving around looking for tracks, identifiying them and go and look for more tracks – felt like hell – pure torture. I messed up one of the forst tracks and it got into my head… one big lesson that I can give for all out there joining a tracking course: listen to you gutfeeling – your first intinct! Don’t think too much about it. I wish I would have followed my own advice – but I overthought every track… But honestly it was a good lesson. I learned that I don’t have to always be perfect and that life doesn’t end if I will mess up an exam.. Life will go on and I will have another chance for the exam… I learned, that I should and can take things a bit easier… Of course I still want to put in my work and not just hope for the best… but I am also allowed to fail, not be good at something and I will survive.

Second week was all about following tracks… checking wind, listen for alarm calls and trying to follow and catch up with the animals… It was hard to follow tracks and it got frustrating when you lost them… I was better at trailing an animal than just staring at a track… well maybe it helped that I sometimes just thought… well if I would be a Rhino where would I walk – oh it looks nice over there… Exam-Day also arrived here… 1h to prove that you can safely track an animal through the bush… Honestly – sometimes I just walked and hoped to accidentally find another track and somehow I think it worked 🙂

Well Track and signs Course was over… it was time to prepare for the big exam for the Field Guide! How it went and what little friend made it a bit more difficult than I hoped for… Well I am going to tell you in the next Blog. 🙂

 

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