Born and bred in Port Elizabeth, nature was not part of Jason Arend’s life. Nice times, parties and the wrong friends were. He did a short stint in the St Albans prison, but made it through and came out alive. That was the point where Jason decided to change his life for the better.
He wanted to move away from PE, so Jason and his girlfriend moved to her mother’s house in Tsitsikamma. Jason’s future mother-in-law organised a job for him at Stormsriver Adventures during the summer holidays, where he attended a canopy tour safety guide training and became a qualified safety guide. This is when he fell in love with nature and guiding. Time flew, the summer holiday passed and Jason found himself jobless again. But eventually, through much perseverance, he managed to get a position in maintenance at Stormsriver. “I knew I had to grab this chance with both hands so I did everything to the best of my abilities”. Another chance came along when Jason was afforded the opportunity to attend a Field Guide course. With support from the Stormsriver management and an inspiring mentor, Jason successfully completed the course. This means that he is now ready to take the next step in his career and become a full-time guide.
“I enjoy my job very much and I never want to do anything else! I was swimming in a deep ocean and Stormsriver Adventures’ ship came past and took me on board and gave me the chance to become a better person, developing me with life skills and practical skills. My message to the youth is: no matter how hard it seems, it can be done!”