…the party’s over. But wait, is the party really over with the Trust?

Mark Wildschut
16 August 2017

Dear team,

It is August 2017, meaning I’m now at the end of my journey in South Africa, but I truly hope not at the end of our journey together. I say this because I bring great memories of the Trust with me and I know that we’ll see each other again, one day or another.

It amazes me how much I’ve been able to bond with everyone there so quickly. I’ve never felt so part of something in such a short amount of time and I truly believe this is a testament to the culture.

Some of my favourite memories (among many):

  • Early mornings with stunning sunrises. I always look forward to days working in the field, to see the sun rise up from the horizon. Although I’m not a morning person, stunning sunrises in South Africa’s fascinating natural environment always made me feel like one of the luckiest people alive.



One of the many sunrises I’ve seen!


  • The office days. The organisation itself completely took me by surprise at how memorable this was. Everybody helps each other when in need. Furthermore, you’re not just a number - like in many other organisations as an intern, volunteer or even a staff member. Everything you do or accomplish feels like a group effort and very importantly: valuable for the organisation!


  • Stumbling home. What can I say? Bonding over drinks is an effective way to get to know people even if I can’t remember everything from all of those nights. I’ve had great discussions about life whether it be a bunch of us at home or at dinner.


  • Leading me on to the right path.  Learning skills is what I’m passionate about. I’ve learned so many since my stay with the Trust, ranging from social, ecological, research and project skills just by participating with current existing projects of the Trust and by talking with the staff members. This helped me a lot with shaping how my future will look like one day.


It was a really fruitful and valuable experience and I want to thank everyone from the Trust for the opportunity to work together and for the memories I’ll be taking with me and they have given me. I’d say good luck, but I don’t believe it’s appropriate here since luck doesn’t play a role in Nature’s Valley Trust’s success. Good people + good vision + good execution will decide your bright future ahead.

So before I ride out on my bicycle back home to the Netherlands, I leave you all with this quote:

“I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason… by bringing something we must learn. We are led to those who help us grow and, in return, we help them grow.” - Stephen Schwartz

This has never been more true for me.


Mark Wildschut