Life in adventures. Work that inspires
Stories | 16.09.2020
Surrounded by our usual worries, we don't often think that many people's jobs involve daily adventures, discoveries, or dangers. We spoke with representatives of such professions and asked them to share their experience and the effect of such work on the attitudes to the world around.
Adam Stern
Australian record freediver
I'm a competitive freediver and I've been freediving for 10 years now. I fell in love with freediving when I was backpacking around Asia. At first diving so deep on one breath terrified me but I soon realised that my body could easily do it and that it was only my mind holding me back.
You're not in control of your environment. You're only in control of your own body and how you respond. I feel like I apply that to most of my life.
To be absolutely honest I have many scary experiences with diving deep. I've had very few scary experiences in the ocean in general. When I'm spearfishing sometimes the sharks in the water can be a little aggressive but they are interested in the fish you caught and not you. Perhaps the only scary experience I've really had was that once on a deep dive I ran into what is called a 'ghost mooring.' It's a piece of rope from an old mooring that drifts around in the ocean and when I felt the rope touch my face I freaked out, turned around and went back to the surface.
To dive deep you have to be 100% relaxed in an environment where you cannot survive long, while the pressure of the ocean increases and increases as you get deeper. You're not in control of your environment. You're only in control of your own body and how you respond. I feel like I apply that to most of my life.
I would like to dive in the pacific islands more thoroughly. There are remote reefs and atolls that I would love to check out there. Places where very few humans go. The further away from humans you go the more stunning the ocean becomes.
Andrey Tutorsky
Ethnographist, social anthropologist
I am an ethnographist or social anthropologist. I chose my profession because of all the specialties at the history department of my university, this one offered the maximum opportunity to travel and communicate with people of different cultures. That's s what I am doing now. I have already visited New Guinea, Amazonia, Uganda, and the Arkhangelsk Region has become my "home from home".
After traveling to New Guinea, to Amazonia, I realized that the boundaries of the "uncivilized" world had moved a lot. For example, now there are mobile communications on the Maclay Coast, and many Chinguano Indians have Facebook accounts, where they publish photo reports about their rituals. You can call either of them, write an SMS, comment on a post in social networks.
In 2010, my colleague and I interviewed one of the cult leaders, John Froom, on Tanna Island in the Republic of Vanuatu. After the interview, apparently as a sign of respect for us, he invited me (it was taboo for my colleague since she was a girl) to drink kava – a local drink made from the rhizomes of the Píper methýsticum plant chewed by young people. When I saw how it was done and with what water the chewed mass was diluted, I hardly forced myself to drink it. Then, in the hotel, my stomach ached and it seemed that all the tropical intestinal worms were inside me. But the next day the pain disappeared.
Probably, I would like to visit Easter Island, Malekula Island (Vanuatu) in the Trobriand Islands. I would also like to sail between these islands on a ship, since this is how all travellers got there until the beginning of the 20th century. Well, and the most cherished desire is to sail between the islands in an aboriginal canoe!
Fj Mammes
Field and Trails Guide
I am a qualified Field and Trails Guide I have been in this profession since I left High school, so about 8 years. Basically I take tourists from all over on both vehicle based safari's and I also take guests out on bush walks in dangerous game areas. From a young age I fell in love with nature and tried to get out as much as possible to places such as the Kruger National Park. I chose this profession because since a young age I have been fascinated with wild animals and their environments.
When anyone ever gets into a dangerous situation is important to note that staying calm and quiet could be your best defense.
Whether animals understand us or not they do listen/obey most of the time and that is why I prefer to work in areas where animals are wild. Wild animals are born with a natural fear of humans and when we encounter them either on foot or in a vehicle this behaviour can be noticed. Sometimes they are afraid and stay at a distance, other times they are curious and can come very close to the vehicles (when on foot we prefer them at a distance for safety reasons).
In the beginning of my career I was working on a private game farm and we decided to sleep out in the bush and I woke up with a juvenile mozambique spitting cobra curled up in my lap, this was probably one of my scariest moments. One of the most fascinating animals for me to watch is Elephants, they are very intelligent and have an excellent memory. One of my most incredible sightings with Elephants was last year when we had an Elephant bull which died of natural causes near a waterhole, we watched for a few hours as different herds of Elephants came to pay their respects to their fallen friend, they were touching the carcass and were very noisy. Which made the sighting a little bit more interesting was a male Lion and Hyena's hanging around for a free meal.
In Madikwe Game Reserve where I work we are allowed to drive off-road but only if it is an established sighting. How we establish a sighting majority of the time is very interesting and can sometimes be very time consuming. We normally start the mornings off by tracking animals, following their tracks in vehicles with our guests and when the animals go off into the bushes we follow them on foot (Rangers/Guides) only with the guests staying on the vehicles. When we find the animal we are looking for we then walk back to our vehicles and take our guests to view the animal/sighting.
One of my last successful trackings before the lockdown was with our Kwena pride Lionesses (Kwena is the Tshwana name for Crocodile) We found their footprints walking past the lodge and it took us about 45 minutes to find them. We were 3 guides on foot following their footprints when we basically walked right into the pride and it took us a few extra minutes to get away. They were lying in some long grass and when we saw them we were only a few meters away. With them being Wild animals they gave us warning noises (Growling) and we at first stood our ground until they calmed a bit down then we slowly backed off and went to fetch our guests to view the sighting. A very important thing to remember is to never run away, Stay calm and slowly back away when the animal calms a bit down. As Rangers/Guides we always carry Rifles for safety especially when we are exploring on foot. 375 Bolt action Rifle is the minimum calibre rifle that we are allowed to carry. We are very well trained to deal with dangerous situations without needing to use our firearms and only carry them as a last resort.
Mikhail Zenchenko
Mining engineer-geologist
I am a mining engineer-geologist by training, my specialty: geological survey, exploration.

The most captivating things in this profession for me are "field activities" and business trips – small adventures – the markers of life. In some place I spent four months, in another – two weeks, and these trips after years are perceived not as a whole, but as separate lives.

There were many adventures: Chukotka, Kamchatka, Yakutia, Magadan region, Khabarovsk Territory, Bashkortostan, Mountain Shoriya, Arkhangelsk region, Belgorod and Kursk regions, Kyrgyzstan, etc.
And all these adventures are not just a tourist route, but a small life: arrangement of everyday life, establishing relationships with new people for a relatively long time within the framework of the project and, of course, saying goodbye for the same period to the loved ones and native places.
The strangest experience happened when my friend and I cleared the debris for three days in order to go on boats along the river. It was in the Arkhangelsk region. Three months of geological rafting on three boats, the total cargo was about 1.5 tons. Debris on the river is when 20-30 trees lie across the river in one place and each tree is from 10 cm to 30 cm in diameter. My friend and I were chest-deep in water, sawing the fallen trees from the bottom upwards with a two-handed saw, and then, standing on them over the river, we chopped them down with an Ax, and then flopped into the river, and so on for three days running. We managed to lift four such heaps of trees. There was not a living soul for two hundred kilometres around. But then the group leader realized that this was a hopeless business and called a helicopter to transfer us to another area.
There was also a funny moment when I got lost in the forest. The heat was about 30 degrees in the forest, and in the open area it was up to 35. I wandered there for two hours. I went out, or, so to speak, pushed my way out of the forest into the field, and at the forest-field boundary – bang! There was an explosion on the area of the heart and something flowed down the chest. I immediately thought that some hunter took me for a bear and fired. What a ridiculous death, – I thought. And the trickle down my chest was so warm, but it didn't hurt. I immediately closed my eyes, after a couple of seconds I decided to look – it turned out that a lighter exploded from overheating in my anorak's breast pocket.

And there are a lot of such moments – the curiosities of the geological survey – there is enough for a whole book in my biography only.
I have worked with many people in rather difficult conditions. And I have very warm memories of them – of the people with whom we have been through a lot. Such flickers. And accordingly, because of this, the requirement for the choice of comrades has greatly increased, here on the "mainland" it has become more difficult to find new friends, social relations here have become slipping. That is, a kind of permanent loneliness due to the fact that there is something to compare with.
Honestly, I never think about places I would like go and work there. Sometimes it happens so unexpectedly. You sit and write about something and then you are suddenly sent into exile for 40 days on the Amur. And a few days later you catch catfish in the Amur. Well, in general, I would like to work abroad, in Australia, for example.
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