Feeding African Communities

Tom Mattusch, an avid hunter, planned a trip to Mozambique. 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 got 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 have 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. 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 seeing how little the villages have, it is particularly rewarding to bring such needed and unexpected supplies", Tom said.

Though the children of the village were excited by the presents brought in the blue bags, one of the greatest gifts Tom provided was an elephant. The elephant would provide meat to the villages for up to six months. In order to preserve the elephant meat, it was dry smoked on the spot. The estimated weight of the final dried and smoked meat totaled to about 1,500 pounds. Tom had made arrangements to have the meat distributed as part of SCI's "Sportsmen against Hunger" program. The dried meat was cut up into small pieces and added to whatever liquid based dish the locals were preparing. 200 pounds of meat was brought to Ncangano and Pindura with the blue bags. Tom and Lisa were overjoyed to see how much they were able to give back to the people of Mozambique.

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