Awareness is key. Education is empowering. At a surface level we know this but I think we often take it for granted. I think we show complacency too easily as humans, assuming we are aware, smug in our level of education or understanding compared to the species we share the planet with. The reality is we never stop learning if we open to taking every opportunity to grow, and developing awareness is never a passive pursuit.

Grace can be defined as bringing honour or credit to someone or something by one’s attendance or participation. I believe there is a grace to education. Every time we show up and are fully present for a teachable moment, we acknowledge this grace of education. This can be at any age or stage, formally or informally.

As part of our Hoedspruit wanderings, the ROTM crew got to experience some of this grace of education.

We spent a lovely morning at Phalaborwa Primary School with the lovely Lewyn and Sandra from the Bush Babies Environmental Education programme. We sat in on a couple of Grade 7 classes completing revision work on rhino habitats. Unfortunately for Sandra she had lost her voice so somehow the chalk landed up in my hands! I fudged my way through teaching on the spot and the gracious learners made this a wonderful learning moment for us all.

Later that day we made our way back to Hoedspruit to visit the Down to the Wire workshop. This is the Down to the Wire story from their website:

This is the story of a snare:

From the hands of a poacher created to kill, set along an animal path, destined for death. Saved by the compassion of a wise field ranger and turned into a symbol of hope. A piece of wire, now worn by the world #wearthestory  to create and spread awareness for the love of our wildlife.

When holding it in your hand, it is just a piece of wire with a loop here and a knot there, but placing it in the hands of a poacher, it becomes deadly.

Snaring is a widespread and serious problem killing millions of animals across the world each year. It is a highly effective method that involves a low cost and effort from the poacher.

Wildlife that manage to escape seldom survive without human intervention, and often succumb to their injuries. Dying a slow and painful death.

The Down to the Wire project was inspired by the lack of awareness of snaring in general and the effects it has on wildlife.

Our aim is to convert these snares into something inspiring, useful and beautiful  that symbolises hope for our wildlife and a way of raising awareness on the critical topic of snaring. Our goal is to educate as many people about the negative impacts snaring has and why it is so undesirable from a conservation perspective.

All our products are uniquely hand crafted by our Down to the Wire team.

We spent a wonderful afternoon as the patient Lily and Troy walked us through making our own snare wire bracelets. You are truly present when crafting in this way. Another grace of learning moment. And another hope-giving wildlife conservation initiative to support.

If you are struggling with awareness and being present for the grace of education, check out my Wellbeing Toolbox especially the Self Reflection Tool 🖤