WE can’t actually believe that he is going. Along with Pieter he is our longest standing member of the team and what a journey WE have had with him, and he with WE. Jan started work for us in December 2006 having virtually completed an audio visual production degree. He quickly became a solid member of the team and an extremely popular person throughout Djuma and the surrounding area. Jan is always off visiting other guides, going to airstrip parties or just having a few drinks with friends. He is incredibly sociable and loved by every person who lives on the property. His leaving party promises to be huge with a lot of people very sad to see him go.
Another thing about Jan that I respect so much is his great enthusiasm for learning the system and understanding the technology of LIVE television. There have been many midnight calls between Graham and Jan and in fact if the phone rang at anytime throughout the night I would no longer worry. I knew that it was probably Jan with his head under the vehicle who needed a bit of advice or support. WE really knew that he would work and work until the job was done. It actually meant something to him which is all you can ask for in a crew member.
Some of the funnier things that I remember are his constant hunt for women in the bush, which to be honest is one of the hardest hunts you can go on out here. They are so incredibly rare that it takes weeks to track one down. However, Jan was remarkably good at this, quite the little hunter!
His incredible ability to fall asleep wherever he happens to be, and whatever time, always amuses me. One day I was in the work shop chatting to him and he was working on something to do with the car. I popped out for 5 minutes and when I returned he was literally fast asleep lying across the driver and passenger seat. Unbelievable!
Jan has been a wonderful crew member and all round team player. He gets on with everyone and is always prepared to do the job even if he really doesn’t want to. Jan, you will be sorely missed, you had better come back soon. Thanks for everything, you have certainly made a large part of WE history.
Written by Emily Wallington
Note: As you all know, Jan has been working day and night trying to get the Jiga back on the road. This morning he thought it was finished and WE were planning to have his farewell drive this afternoon. Unfortunately the thermostat housing broke as it was being reinstalled. We quickly phoned around and a new one has been sourced in Nelspruit. Minutes later Rexon had begun the 5 hour round trip to collect the housing. WE are all super frustrated that we have missed another drive and are hoping that Rex will get back in time to make this afternoons drive happen. If not, Jan will do his farewell drive in the morning. I am sure that we are all looking forward to it.
I also just want to say a big THANK YOU to Jan for everything. I understand that he must go and do what he must do, but I want him, and all of you, to all know that doing what we do is not easy. It takes a lot of dedication and a commitment that is hard to explain. WE fight a never ending war to maintain this broadcast on more levels than I can describe. It is only possible when WE have team members like Jan. Dedicated, passionate, inventive and committed. People who believe that nothing is impossible and nothing will stop them.
Jan, you are a WildEarth Spartan … it will always be in your nature. You WILL be back.
All the best, Graham ;-)