South African Wildlife!

Hello everyone! Here are some of the photos I promised on my last post from my trip to South Africa. It was a truly amazing experience, pictures simply cannot capture it’s beauty. Enjoy and let me know what you think! I will be back soon with my fourth anxiety help guide post.

To be honest I got more videos than photos which will all be combined into a YouTube video which will be posted on my channel- Hannah Grace- soon! I saw lots more animals than just these few but I wanted to enjoy the present moment when I was there and not live behind the camera or through a screen, I hope you all understand.

All my love,

HG

A more serious blog post

Hello beautiful readers, I hope you’ve all had an amazing day or are currently having an amazing day. I am currently in a siesta in South Africa, so most people are napping before we head out this evening for a night drive which should be exciting. On regular monitoring during the day, the majority of the animals here are passed out sleeping or are just very inactive, this is because it’s cooler in the evenings therefore they are more active then, so tonight should be interesting! 

Being here in South Africa has been really fascinating, it wasn’t quite what I expected but then I didn’t really have any expectations anyway! To be honest I thought I’d cope better with travelling alone because I am a confident person but as I mentioned in my previous post I did struggle for a couple of days. Overall the entire experience has been incredible and I would recommend it to anyone, it’s so refreshing to be outside every day, the scenery here has been insane and of course the wildlife is incredible. It’s actually rather surreal to see animals such as giraffes, elephants and lions in the wild rather than behind a fence at a zoo in small enclosures. Being able to help the local communities too has been wonderful, and every day I learn something new about a species of animal here. The best part is everything is a surprise, you may go out planning on tracking rhinos and come across an entire herd of elephants in the process. I’ll be sharing even more photos at the end of next week once I’m home again, since I have too many to share! 

One of the places I visited this week is called Born Free, a place where rescued big cats can find solitude and finds forever home, after being either abused or mistreated by previous owners. One of the lions, King, was particularly friendly, although this was adorable it was pretty evident that he would never be able to get released into the wild because he was too confident around humans which could lead to him being poached. They have Born Free centres worldwide, places like this really deserve recognition, and although I got to visit as a volunteer these places are not zoo’s, and there was only a small number of us visiting the sanctuary on this morning. I really appreciate the work of places like this, to be able to visit here was a really lovely experience, and although it was sad hearing these cats back stories it was also reassuring to know they are in good hands now.

Another memorable experience this week was seeing a black rhino in the wild, for those who don’t know this species of rhino is particularly endangered, rhinos in general are regularly poached for their horns. For anyone who can it would really be amazing if you could sponsor a rhino or help contribute to this species survival, part of this means spreading awareness that rhino horns don’t have any medicinal value which is believed in many cultures but is false. If we get rid of the consumers there is no need for the product therefore rhino horns wouldn’t be in demand and they wouldn’t be getting poached. 

I know this post was a bit more informative than my others, and I still have lots to talk about with South Africa, but I just felt the need to help everyone understand that this trip wasn’t just for fun I’m educating myself in conservation and helping protect species that may not be around in the next 20 years! We should all spread awareness for animal conservation, because are we really happy with our children only being able to see an elephant or rhino through a picture book? I think not. Have a beautiful week.

All my love, 
HG 
(The Broken Pearl) 

P.S: I apologise for this post being delayed, I have just been very busy here and timing has been a struggle, I hope you understand

Finding a greater sense of gratitude

Hello beautiful world from the other side of the world for a change, I’m writing from South Africa this morning but still wanted to post a second blog for the week. It’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere and sometimes the temperatures here make me want to go back to England, since it’s summer there right now, and I never thought I’d be saying that! To top it off the showers are either freezing cold or boiling hot, and when you’re getting up at 6 in the morning and it’s freezing I can tell you a cold shower is not appealing…

That being said it has been such a memorable experience so far, even though it’s only been three days I have seen so much wildlife, and the culture here is unbelievably different. Yesterday for example we went to the local town near the reserve I’m staying at in order to do some volunteering for the local community. We were painting some of the playground for the children since it looked a bit worse for wear and needed a lick of paint. Arriving in this place that was considered a town was astounding, we all see the advertisements on TV of places with litter everywhere, tin cans for houses and stray dogs wandering around but until you see them it doesn’t really hit you. It makes everything sort of shift into perspective, and makes you see greater gratitude in everything, it made me appreciate what I have even more.

I have such admiration for the children in this town, who as soon as we got off the trucks were immediately giving hugs, they constantly had smiles on their faces when the only entertainment they had was each other and some plastic. It was amazing to see the entertainment they got from playing with used water bottles, and made you think how kids back home always want the latest things the newest technology, how materialistic our society has become. The sad thing is these kids didn’t know any different, they’re confined to this town in the middle of nowhere to be honest it was upsetting. Painting their playground would make their day, and it was such an amazing feeling to know you’re making someone else’s day, week, even month that bit better and more exciting. 

This is the pleasure of giving, with giving comes gratitude, visiting that local town really moved me, and made me realise how insignificant our problems are back home when some of these people may not even know how they’re going to afford their dinner. Just as we were leaving the town this one guy was literally begging for 5 rand to buy bread because he was so hungry, that will stay with me forever. 

I’ll make sure to tell you about future experiences out here, more environmental stuff! This week just happened to be more community based, but next week I’ll be doing more game drives and animal tracking.

Keep spreading love and helping others, and you’ll naturally see gratitude in everything around you.

All my love, 

HG

How Volunteering can boost your CV and your self-love

Hello everyone, and a happy Monday to you all! I know Monday’s may seem like a drag, and understandably so, it’s a reality check of going back to work and getting on your grind again. But if you shift your perspective a little, we can all be thankful for Monday’s, since they’re an opportunity for a fresh start. A new week, full of lots of opportunities at the touch of your fingertips, all you have to do is have the confidence to seize them for yourself!

Now, onto the topic of volunteering today. This is something I’ve wanted to talk about since forever, because volunteering has genuinely changed my life, and makes me feel 10000X better about myself. Not only this but it also looks very snazzy to future employers, giving your precious time away out of the good of your heart, now that’s appealing!!!

Why did I volunteer? First of all I just want to start by saying that I understand it may be harder for those of you who work your socks off in full-time jobs to volunteer, and that my circumstances were very different. So, after dropping out of University I undoubtedly had a lot of time on my hands, and for someone who was mentally a bit unstable this was very challenging. Every day seemed to go by soooooo slowly, it was like waiting for paint to dry, even with my hobbies such as reading I still seemed to have too much time on my hands! Understandably, this is one of the big reasons so many people my age become over-educated and stick at University, because they’re so unsure and horseskind of scared of what they’d do if they weren’t in education and actually had to think for themselves (wow, that was a mini rant). But it’s TRUE! So with this endless time I had, I decided I wanted to work with animals in some form, and volunteer doing this.

It took some time, but eventually I found something, and it was local which was even better since I don’t drive! All I had to do was look after some horses at an academy, it was outdoor work of course so sometimes it wasn’t pretty. I was carrying large nets of hay which could break my freaking back, attending to horses which threatened to bite my fingers off from time to time, and poo picked on top of a field on my own for 2 hours… I’m really selling this to you right?!! Although the work was often hard, I still felt a sense of achievement after working, and the fact I got to work outside and enjoy the scenery was even better. As I’ve said before, being out in the fresh air really helps to get into the present moment, you can find gratitude for pretty much anything if you’re living in the present!

It was this sense of achievement that kept me driven, and after working for the academy for a few months I finally built up the courage to ride a horse which I hadn’t done for like 15 years and it was amazing! Volunteering opens the doors to new unexpected things in your life that you may have never gotten the opportunity for before. It opens your eyes and your soul, and makes you realise that giving is better than taking!

You’re opening yourself to receiving gratitude from those you’re working for, and soak that shit up because it’s gold-dust!!!

Gratitude is the secret to happiness, and volunteering can help with unlocking that.

owl
This was Merlin my favourite owl! Follow my Instagram for future pictures- Hannahzgracee

Since doing the horse academy volunteering, I have gotten a job, yet I still manage to make time to help out, even if it’s not as often as before. I’ve kinda become addicted to it, I currently volunteer at an aviary too, which has led me to learning how to fly hawks and owls, which I would never have had the opportunity to do before if I hadn’t offered my time and help to their cause.

Volunteering shows that you care for greater causes rather than just yourself.

Empathy and time-giving is something we all need to show and give a little more of, which is why employers love it! It shows you’re different and have gone out of your way to do something that benefits other people as well as yourself! AND IT’S FREAKING AWESOME. As I mentioned before I’ll be going to Africa in June to volunteer and help restore biodiversity on a large piece of land out there, monitoring the wildlife resources and tracking animals. I’ll make sure to document the whole experience for you guys and let you know what I think!

Even if you feel as though you don’t have enough time to give to others, just email around or ask your local community if they need a help in hand with anything. Volunteering doesn’t have to be as bizarre as I make it sound! Volunteering can be caring for the elderly, or packing peoples shopping for them at the supermarket. I’m just the sort of person who likes to get out there and do adventurous, exciting things, that involve wildlife. But that’s just me! You do you, do whatever you’ll get the most joy from, otherwise what’s the point? Your happiness should always come first, and I can guarantee you’ll feel even happier after giving your time for a better cause.

All my love,

HG