Sunday, 23 January 2011

South Africa Update 23rd Jan


Well it’s been a while hasnt it?! Thanks for the texts I received keeping me updated and thanks for the ones asking where/what I was at! I have internet for a day today, so here is a big catch up! Tomorrow I go to the Lodge (Safari) and then straight to the airport Wednesday, ready to return home on Thursday morning. This will be my last post before returning to the UK when il report about the Safari.

Well it’s all fine. It’s more than fine, its super. South Africa is a brilliant place with super people and stunning surroundings. I cant believe I have been here since the 4th Jan for all this time.

Since my last update before I left Cape Town:

I spent the last day in Cape Town relaxing and seeing some of the scenery before then flying early to Port Elizabeth. I was lucky that it had been arranged for me to Visit an Elephant park which was great fun. From there I went to Nelisia’s House where I was staying for the weekend and who was my contact in Port Elizabeth.

I had the same group over the weekend and & did sessions on Foundation, Contacts, Weaves, Turns & Handling, Obstacle Discrimination & Course Analysis. The training was intense but fun, by the end of it I was happy that the handlers had lots of information that they could use for a long time to come.

One factor that was hard was the wind. Port Elizabeth is known as the windy city, and it sure was. It was so windy that we had to stake most of the equipment with metal stakes.

Another strange incident was the fire. Yes we had a grass/tree fire right next to our training venue. The Electric substation literally blew up Sunday (it was painfully loud too) and caused a fire which you can see from the pictures below the fire brigade had to put out!

Sunday afternoon I watched Liverpool V Everton in a local bar, I was the only Everton supporter and went crazy when we went 2-1 up! Brilliant stuff.

Monday I flew to Johannesburg. I am staying with Jason & Nicki (who are both great) The climate here is more balanced shall we say. It is humid and hot (too humid at times!) but then it will rain also. We have had a heavy storm Thursday night. Made England’s storms look tame, this was epic!

We had seminars with different themes all week, and also private lessons. I was up at 6.30am every day and we started at 8am. The longest day was Wednesday when we had a judges course in the evening. I was lucky to be asked to give a talk/advice to SA judges. I told them about course design, judging & some of my experiences. I am sure they found it useful.

The pictures below show a little bit of the training, and also the night show which I judged Friday. It was a FCI show, registered etc. I judged Class 12&3 Jumping & Agility SML. We started at 6pm and done by 10pm. It gives you an idea of the numbers of competitors, it really isn’t that many. But i enjoyed my evening and everyone was very welcoming.

Once I had completed the week, I was done as far as agility was concerned. My seminars in SA are now all complete. Amazing really, but it has been a privilege to teach here. Saturday we went to Sun City, a huge water park a couple of hours outside Jo’burg. It was a fantastic day out, although I now have a map of Europe on my back according to Jason(!) where I missed with my sun screen!

So from now on I probably won’t have internet until I get home, although Wednesday I will possibly before the flight. Monday I leave for 2 nights in the Bush at the lodge. It should be amazing and hopefully see lots of wild animals, including the big 5!

Anyone who has sent emails and has yet to have a reply, I apologise but will most probably catch up when I am back in England. Any DVD orders outstanding will be shipped a few days after I am back. Remember that in each province we are going to ship a group order.

For now, goodbye.

Speak soon