People often assume that I’ve had an easy time finding work in South Africa. They guess that it must be easy for an American with a Masters degree to get a work visa. If not for my education and experience, then surely being married to a South African citizen should give me the ability to work.
I’ve lived in this beautiful country for almost four years now. Getting a work permit is no walk in the park. You have to have a work permit to get a job, you can’t get a work permit without a job offer, and companies won’t offer you a job if you don’t have a work permit. Huh?!
You have to have a work permit to get a job, you can’t get a work permit without a job offer, and companies won’t offer you a job if you don’t have a work permit. Huh?!
I did have a work permit for about 18 months, but it was revoked without warning (illegally, not that my former boss cared). As a result of these difficulties, I’ve worked largely as a freelance writer and editor.
But I’m about to start an exciting new chapter.
In just over a week I will begin a 60-day training programme with Nature Guide Training to become a certified Field Guide in South Africa. Have you ever been on a safari, or watched a video of a game drive taking place? Assuming I pass the exams and excel in the course, I could become one of the people you see driving those game vehicles. It would be a dream come true – and would provide me with a new career path in South Africa!
The course will cover the following:
- Guiding in the natural environment
- Weather and Climate
- Biomes of Southern Africa
- Plants and Grasses
- Animal behaviour
- Conservation Management
- Historical Human Habitation
At the end of 60 days, when I’ve become a completely wild child, living in a tent, using basic shower and toilet facilities, not running or cycling (because only food runs in Kruger), I’ll qualify for certificates as a Field Guide, Emergency First Aid, Reptile Handling, Track and Sign, Trailing, CyberTracker, and FCASA Tracker.
Only food runs in Kruger!
It’s an exciting opportunity and I can’t wait to get started. There aren’t very many women in this industry, certainly not many American women, so it’s an experience I plan to closely document and share. I won’t have regular internet but will try to keep updated as much as possible. Happy New Year and here’s to an awesome 2019!