Conservatory in South Africa

I spent 3 weeks at a ”Conservation through education” Balule Nature Reserve, learning about conservatory wildlife, observation of animal behaviour, South Africa from December 2010 to January 2011.

VOLUNTEERING SOUTH AFRICA CONSERVATORY WILDLIFE ANIMALS

Zayera Khan

12/19/2010 2 min read

I spent 3 weeks at a ”Conservation through education” Balule Nature Reserve, learning about conservatory wildlife, observation of animal behaviour, South Africa from December 2010 to January 2011.

My friend Juan and I made this trip together at Campfire Safaris just outside of Hoedspruit in northern South Africa. This camp was in the private Balule Nature Reserve which is next to Kruger Park. We learnt daily about the wildlife, nature, went for walks or rounds with the jeep to observe animals but also road maintenance. There was a water hole also with a hidden shed for observation. As you can see in the photos we saw a lot of wildlife. We also visited a school site in Hoedspruit and also another school being built in Mozambique.

The second photo of me, when covered with clay is from Xmas day 2020, where they had a tradition of having a mud fight in the water hole.
The third photo, we went for a hike, climbed through a cave and saw plenty of bats in the cave, sleeping and resting.

After this trip, I wrote this blogpost end of January 2011.

As it is 2011 and I have spent the month of January learning new skills, observation, nature, wildlife, understanding behaviours and contemplating about the role of technology, civilisations and how different our lives are now in comparison to 30 years ago. The strongest realizations about change due to technology I had while being in Mozambique. We visited a village and the schools. This school had no benches nor chairs. Just a blackboard and windows, a floor where pupils could sit.

It reminded me of my own school in Nigeria and my experiences as a child written with chalk on the blackboard, however we had wooden benches and chairs. In some places around the world, technology has still not changed the lives of many. No electricity, no infrastructure with running water, basic hygiene, etc. Yet mobile phones are sold and miles away there is internet connection available (albeit a very slow one). In my role as an entrepreneur, creative person, interaction designer I can see many ways to contribute and change the life of many. My tools and skills were predominately in the IT­-sector, internet products and services.

Since a few years, and with every trip to Africa, I wonder how can I truly contribute with my skills and know­how. Which is the most effective way of improving lives, increasing the level of education and giving people the power of knowledge, choice and freedom to make their own decisions?

Then I ended up in a discussion with a person, who claimed that westerns & europeans have no right to come to Africa to change the life there. Let people live "traditional lives" do not spoil, manipulate their mind with consumption, capitalism and abandonment of their own traditions ­ just in order to keep up with the changing connected global world.

Now a few weeks later in Sweden, I am reading and witnessing political changes in northern africa and LGBT-­person being murdered in Uganda. Africa is in for major changes. I believe these major changes will happen regardless of political agendas and most likely driven by economical purposes. The battles will be in the domain of information, knowledge and dealing with progress vs. corruption. The question is how can and will technology be utilized in these battles?