The SCI Convention was the starting point of Tom Mattusch's trip to Mozambique with Safrique. He was excited to pursue several of the Big Five and add to Dangerous Seven. Although this was not Tom's first trip to Africa, it was his first to bring Blue Bags as part of SafariCare. With the help of his wife Lisa they planned what would go into their Blue Bag. He spent several months accumulating schools supplies, pens, chalk, pencils, shampoo and soap while Lisa got crayons, colored drawing pens of different types, coloring books, washable colored chalk, flash cards and number games. They also purchased soccer balls and air pumps, volley balls and tennis balls to bring.
They were up in the Niassa Provence of Mozambique where none of the local villages had ever had electricity or running water. Tom and Lisa were fortunate that some of the trackers had been recruited from the local villages and knew the local dialect, as well as Portuguese. They were able to stop in two villages, Ncangano and Pindura. Tom will never forget the look of astonishment, admiration and thankfulness as they gave the supplies to the locals. "Going into those villages and see how little the villages have, it is particularly rewarding to bring such needed and unexpected supplies", remarked Tom. He presented a box of crayons to a teacher who looked at them thoughtfully and said, 'Wax Crayons! I have heard of these!'
One of the great successes of his trip was an elephant. In order to preserve the elephant meat, it was dry smoked on the spot. The elephant would provide meat to the villages for up to six months. It is estimated the weight of the final dried and smoked meat would total about 1,500 pounds. The smoking process would take a week or so to complete. Tom had made arrangements to have the meat distributed as part of SCI's Sportsmen Against Hunger program. The dried meat is cut up into small pieces and added to whatever liquid based dish the locals are preparing. 200 pounds of meat was brought to Ncangano and Pindura with the blue bags. Tom and Lisa were greatful to how much they were able to give back to the people of Mozambique.
What Is A Blue Bag?
In 1996, SCIF created the SafariCare program to provide everyday resources to struggling communities around the world. Among several of SafariCare's outstanding programs is "Blue Bags," which continues to be success year round. Blue Bags are bags filled with medical and relief supplies, clothing and toys, hygiene products and tools for education. They are then brought to remote areas of the world by hunters who have planned hunts in these regions. Since 2005, there have been 1,331 bags delivered internationally and the number is still growing. These bags are just one of the few steps hunters are taking to create a better quality of life for local communities.
For more information on Blue Bags and how to get involved please click here×