SCIF Blue Bag – A Valuable Lesson

By Libby Gear

Excitement was in the air as we landed in South Africa to embark upon another family safari with Madubula Safaris; however, this safari was more than a little different than previous safaris. Not only were my family with me but accompanying us were my best friend who was planning to propose to his girlfriend during an African sunset as well as my longtime boyfriend who was making his first trip to Africa.  The event we were all looking forward to was our plans to personally deliver gifts to what we learned was a very deserving group of native school children.

Our safari was wonderful and as scheduled, on our last day, we arrived at the local one-room schoolhouse to deliver two Safari Club International Foundation Blue Bags to 24 local children. Through the SCIF Blue Bag experience, I discovered a bigger purpose behind the whole hunting experience! We brought these amazing kids new shoes, new school clothes, school supplies, a new soccer ball, and sweet treats. These were the most grateful, sweetest children I had ever been around. They found so much joy in simple things.

While playing soccer with these remarkable children, I learned one of the most valuable lessons of the trip.  Having the chance to interact with children of a different culture was truly amazing.  Through our shared laughter, I realized that there was a greater purpose for our being in Africa.  As much as I love hunting, my purpose for being in Africa was to bring joy to these kids and, surprisingly, to myself! I realized that sharing was what hunting was really about: giving back to those we meet and sharing love with the people who have impacted our lives is life altering.