Hunting, hiking, shooting – there was nothing to daunt this group from taking part in the activities on offer
Everything about the morning of June 28 suggested that we should just stay in bed. However, not even the freezing cold, the early-morning hour or the long road ahead could keep this group of amputees from joining the annual HG Prosthetics Amputee Hunting Trip.
With the unmistakable roar of diesel engines, the convoy consisting of a Range Rover Evoque, Defender and two Discoveries, proudly sponsored by Land Rover Centurion, set out on its four-hour drive along the N1 South. Even the sun was slow to poke its head out from underneath its winter morning blanket, but when the sky turned brighter, it was our cue for a halfway stop.
There’s very little that comes close to a warming cup of filter coffee in a plastic cup – it was like the first confirmation that our getaway was going to be epic.
Arriving at Sofala Safaris Game Ranch just outside of Mokopane (formerly Potgietersrus), we were met by our coordinator and guide who treated us to hunting sessions, evening game drives and a guided hike up a koppie. Keeping in mind that 90 percent of our group consisted of amputees, it was quite the achievement when everyone reached the top in one piece. It is important to show amputees of all amputation levels that anything is possible, even after losing a limb.
The amputees who did not take part in the hunting enjoyed using the rifles on the shooting range, challenging each other to get closer to the bull’s-eye. And the evenings were spent around the campfire, where we exchanged inspiring stories of hardships overcome and successes enjoyed.
Although our group was smaller this year than before, it was one of the most memorable amputee hunting trips ever.
We take so many things for granted. The Land Rover slogan, “One Life. Live It!”, has particularly resonated with us, because shortly after we returned from the trip, we lost one of our members to a workplace-related incident.
Our close friend and supplier, Ossur, was a huge contributor to making this year’s trip a success and we are very grateful for the dependable hand they lent. Most of all, we consider ourselves beyond lucky to have been able to spend time with this group of people.
Heinrich Grimsehl is a prosthetist in private practice and a member of the South African Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (SAOPA). email: firstname.lastname@example.org