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  • Writer's pictureRuth First Trust

An opportunity to develop an affinity for nature

“It is because of your influence that any bird sound now sparks a tinge of curiosity in my mind. The opportunity to develop an affinity for nature was one that I appreciate greatly and for your large role in it, I thank you. My gratitude will be shown in my active pursuit of greater knowledge of the natural world - and being able to tell you how much protein is in a jar of termites! Thank you for everything.” Nomagugu Khumalo’s thanks to Lucas.

After Covid and operational delays, our Grade 11 President’s Award Adventurous Journey finally took place on 17 and 18 March, to round off a very busy first term for these senior girls. The four participants were apprehensive, excited, noisy and quiet by turn as we travelled up the N1 to Nylsvley near Modimolle for a night of camping and two days of hiking to achieve the required 24 kilometre distance.

Following the abundant summer rains, the vley was flooded which made for prolific bird and insect life, and very muddy shoes. The girls embraced the opportunity to learn new practical skills including putting up a tent, erecting stretchers, making ‘smores’ on the fire, and walking a long long way!

Lucas Nyamanyane, our guide was an inspiration to the team. “I cannot begin to explain how enriching I found the hikes that you led us on. Through the conversations we’ve had, you reignited my passion for science. I’ve also realised that I am braver than I thought I was.” Katlego Mokgatla

“You were a continuous example of perseverance for us. Whether it be with the walking or just being your motivational self, you managed to hold us together and pull us through a total of 24km. Thank you too for generously sharing your knowledge of nature, especially with birds... the "Three blind mice" call from the Chinspot Batis as well as the "coffee, tea on me" call from the Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike have been instilled in my brain. Even as a non-life science student, I easily managed to grasp the majority of the topics you dealt with because of your detailed explanations. You're deeply appreciated ❤️” Comfort Ihenacho

“Thank you for the educational hikes that we had. We may have complained about the distance, but we had a lot of fun, learning about the different types of birds. You are greatly appreciated.” Tina Kunene.

Thank you to our sponsors who make this extra-curricular type of activity possible. It is exposure to elements like this outside of the school framework which differentiate our programme and our Ruthies!

Above: Tina, Comfort, Nomagugu and Katlego reinvigorated after spotting a giraffe at the end of their hike.

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