Sindi shares her love of the sea in a special way
After completing my matric I studied human resources and worked in the corporate field for a few years. However, in my heart I yearned to work in the marine environment as I love fish and understand the importance of conserving the world as we know it.
Two years ago I was accepted to join the uShaka Sea World education team.
Saturday 23 February proved to be one of my happiest (and most tiring) days working as a marine educator since joining uShaka Sea World. For a person who loves talking to kids and showing them some of the amazing marine creatures that live along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, the day was a dream come true: we hosted 10 000 children who were experiencing the marine world for the first time – it was a day in heaven for me.
I am always grateful that I hold a position in the NPC Education Centre and I love my job. Sharing information about the ocean and its animals with visitors and children is always an amazing experience – even more so when children visit us for the very first time.
I watched the faces of the children as they saw turtles for the first time, stared at the strange pulsating movement of jellyfish, or hid their faces from the sharks until kind words of comfort gave them the courage to take a closer look.
It is always a challenge for my colleagues and I when children from disadvantaged areas visit us because some of the children cannot comprehend so many new visuals, experiences and feelings all at once.
I usually take the more timid children aside and quietly speak to them in Zulu, telling them about the animals in the form of a story that they can relate to.
I was surprised and pleased at the level of questions from such young children once they relaxed and understood they were only in an aquarium and not actually under the sea!
I am a patient person and can spend hours explaining the biology and behaviour of fish, but with 10,000 children passing through my hands within eight hours, I had to maximise the time I had with each group.
As the first group of 2000 children left the aquarium on their way to the dolphin stadium, the next group of 2000 made their way in. And so the day continued...
One day when I am much, much older and my grandchildren ask me what I did to change the world, I think I will tell them about this day.
Sindi Ngubane is a marine educationist at uShaka Sea World.
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