The Langenfeld Foundation and Minnesota SCI
7-day safari to South Africa - August 11-18, 2009
with U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Kyle Anderson
Check back for daily updates and photos from the field!
August 18, 2009
Great news from Africa:
KYLE GOT HIS KUDU!!!
We have all been working very hard each day to get Kyle on a kudu bull, but the animals just would not cooperate. We would find cows and calves, but the big bulls were elusive beyond belief.
However, finally, we found a young bull with a group of females that were in the trees and felt secure enough to hold still for a few moments. Kyle got the rifle ready, wobbled a bit to control its weight, and then made a good shot.
The herd scattered and the bull ran 10-20 yards to the right and stood still again, a sign that he had been hit and did not know from what direction the shot had come. Our guide tried to get a second bullet into him, to apply an anchor-shot as they call it here. But when he pulled the trigger, there was a loud “click”…the rifle was empty. Kyle only loaded one bullet because he said that was all he ever needed.
And he was correct. The bull ran again, now lost in the thick part of the Bushveld. We all started chasing through the rough, rocky terrain to find the blood trail. After about 75 yards, I found the bull lying stone dead in the boulders.
Amazingly, when I looked behind me, there was Kyle (cane and all) hustling across the rocks and logs. He was so excited, not even his disabilities could slow him down. He had already covered more than half the distance that I had, and me with two good legs.
When Kyle got to his animal, his JOY knew no bounds. He was ecstatic and so proud that it is hard to put into words. We captured it all on video and you will be able to see it for yourself when the TV special airs of the Minnesota Bound show with Ron Schara.
Kyle settled for a young kudu as it was the only one that would stand long enough for a shot.
For now, we can all celebrate with Kyle. He has accomplished something that most people thought impossible for someone with such devastating injuries from the war in Iraq. It shows that, in this case for sure, you just can’t keep an American Marine down. If there is a way to do it, Kyle will find it.
Last night, we had Kyle’s kudu for dinner…and it was delicious. As a hunter, Kyle brought home the meat that fed our entire group…and the native peoples as well. All the innards, bones and hide will be put to use. Nothing was wasted. Nothing was left behind, except its breath.
Now we head for home, with great memories and big smiles.
Thanks everyone for your support and prayers,
August 17, 2009
Today we continue to hunt for Kyle’s kudu. The time is getting shorter and shorter, but we have high hopes. There have been a handful of chanced for Kyle, but the bulls run off before he is able to get set and make the shot. However, he will not give up and neither will we.
This morning we went over to the Phenyane School, which has about 500 students. We brought with us a Humanitarian Services Blue Bag from Minnesota SCI, filled with about 100 pounds of school supplies to donate: about 1,200 pencils; 4,200 sheets of lined writing paper; and of course a couple of pencil sharpeners. Everyone was thrilled with the gifts, and we were happy to contribute them to help educate the next generation of people in South Africa.
We were also very privileged to receive a gift from them; they spent an hour or more singing us songs and performing ethnic dancing for us that was as profound a cultural experience as you can imagine. We filmed all of this for the TV show Minnesota Bound, and I know you will love to see it when it airs.
What the students need the most right now is: scientific calculators; mathematical instruments (compasses, geometric cut-outs), individual slates, colouring pencils, whiteboard and permanent markers.
On the way back to camp, we stopped off at a neighbour’s property and went to visit some lakes that were there. We saw a group of nine hippos. Now, I think we have seen it all. The hippopotami we across the lake when we arrived, and came over to our side to get a better look at us. They never came ashore, but stayed about 45-50 yards away with their heads and eyes out of the water. Once in a while, they would rise their massive backs above the surface, and we would get an impression of just how huge these animals are.
Thank you again,
August 16, 2009
This is day six of our African safari with wounded Marine Lance Corporal Kyle Anderson. This humanitarian trip is happening through the partnership of Minnesota SCI (Safari Club International) with The Langenfeld Foundation. The hunt was donated by Willem and Amanda Basson. They are the owners of Zeekoepan Safaris, of South Africa.
Today was a day of wonderful surprises. Very early in the morning, shortly after we had left camp, we discovered an ostrich egg. It was lying 15 yard off the side of the road, just there on the barren ground; no nest built, no downy feathers, just laid on the dirt right out in the open.
We all got out to look at it and were absolutely amazed when Willem showed us that these things were so tough that he could actually stand on it without it breaking. (In fact, we each tried standing on it.) Needless to say, the egg was really, really tough and we brought it home for breakfast—one egg will feed all seven of us.
We spent the whole day not hunting, but at the Tembe Elephant Park, about a 2.5-hour drive from camp. WOW! What a day it was. We spent hours at the waterhole hide, and watched 10 - 12 huge elephants come to the water to drink, play, challenge each other, dust themselves, and wash with mud. It was a fabulous opportunity for photographs.
They told us there had been lions there early in the morning, but we had missed them. Which is okay, since we hear lions from our camp, roaring up on the hillside most every night. (We’ve actually gotten kind of used to it.)
We also saw nyala come to water, as well as warthogs, kudu, bushbuck, maribu storks, waterbucks, and zebra. Speaking of zebra, when you come to Africa, you must try at least one thing that is new and different; so we ate tenderloin butterfly stakes of zebra for supper last night. And it was marvellously delicious! We could not believe it. It was the best wild game meat I have ever tasted, in the U.S. or Africa. What a nice surprise that was.
Thank you all,
August 16, 2009
Hello again from Africa,
Today has topped everything we have seen so far!!!
We got an extra early start and worked solely to get Kyle a kudu bull. As we drove the property in the land rovers, we amazingly came upon another rhino. This one did not run from the sight of us like the last one, and so we got some great photos (see attached.)
As we drove through the bush, there were times when he would run but we drove parallel to him 30-40 yards to his right. We both thundered across the landscape together, us keeping perfect pace with him. We went 150 some yards like that and it was awesome to watch this “water-truck” of an animal rumble across the terrain. We got great photos and even better video. (This safari trip is being filmed for television, on Ron Schara’s Minnesota Bound program.)
After that we went back to finding Kyle a kudu. We came upon a “target of opportunity” and Kyle’s brother Matt took an ostrich. It is a beautiful bird and we will have a meal of him tomorrow.
After lunch, Kyle and I and the cameraman went out again after kudus. Meanwhile, Kyle’s dad and brother went to a waterhole and sat in the blind. There, Tim took a warthog, which will also be one of our meals; “Warthog: the other white meat.”
Kyle and our vehicle were still searching for kudus, could find no…except for some females with young ones. However, as we were heading back to camp, we came upon two old nyala bulls that were fighting with each other. They were both very big bulls, but one of them was 12-13 years old and had horns measuring about 30 inches—big enough to easily make it into the record book.
We asked Kyle if he wanted to take this record animal, as it was the trophy of a lifetime (the nyala is called the “game of kings” and is a highly prized among safari hunters.) But Kyle said “No, kudu, kudu.)
So another member of our party took the shot, and now we have more meat in the freezer.
We also took an impala today, and after gathering over it to take photos and film, we turned around and there was a giant bull giraffe standing 30 yards, off watching us. We were stunned, to say the least.
Thanks everyone for your support,
August 15, 2009
What a great second half of the day we have had.
We continued trying to get a kudu for Kyle. We have been working hard, but nothing yet. We drove throughout the property to locate some big bulls, and even got to approach them within shooting distance. We just could not get them to stand still long enough.
As we looked for Kyle’s kudu, we would come upon other “targets or opportunity” that one of the other hunters could take if they wanted to. Yours truly was willing to take a zebra and hope to have a nice zebra skin rug made.
We came upon a small herd, and after several manoeuvres to get close, a short stalk through the trees got yours truly within 40 yards. The 375-magnum did the rest. The animal ran only 50 yards and it was easy to find.
As with all the animals to be taken on this…and any safaris in general…all the meat is used or donated for food; the organs and innards are given to the Zulu peoples for their uses; even the bones and hide is used in some way or another. Absolutely nothing goes to waste. Nothing is left behind but the breath.
That’s all for now. More updates to come.
Goodbye from the Dark Continent,
August 15, 2009
Hello from safari,
Today has been a glorious day on our African safari trip. Zeekoepan Safaris has been good enough to donate this opportunity, and Minnesota SCI and Minnesota Bound TV show have partnered with The Langenfeld Foundation to help make it all happen to benefit one of our disabled veterans, Kyle Anderson.
This was our first day of hunting—and what a day it has been. We worked hard to get Kyle onto a kudu bull. We were able to get within shooting range of a couple of nice kudus, but they bolted before he was able to take the shot.
Today was a spectacular day, we saw some of the best wildlife that South Africa has to offer, and we even saw a rhino. Additionally, we got to observe some giraffes, impala, warthogs, nyala, and ostrich. Also, when Aaron our cameraman and I were sitting in a waterhole blind, we had a herd of eight Cape buffalo come in to drink. They were standing only about 20 yards from our blind, so close that we could hear them drink.
Everyone is having a tremendous time and enjoying each other’s company. Please enjoy the photos attached.
That’s all for now. More updates to come.
Best regards from the bushveld,
August 14, 2009
Greetings from the bush,
We can’t believe that we are really here…finally. After more than 50 hours of travelling, we have arrived at our camp and are quickly making it our home.
Everyone is doing just great. Though the journey was long, we had lots of breaks and time to rest before continuing on. Our group is becoming a family of friends, and we are now looking forward to sharing high adventures.
It was dark by the time we got to our camp; which is actually a small lodge with stone walls and lots of woodwork. Again, it is winter here and many trees have lost their leaves. The sun does not rise until 6:30 AM, and sets again at about 5:45 PM. In the mornings we can see our breath.
We saw that even the moon appears upside down, compared to its view from the U.S. The stars are brighter and we enjoy the beauty of nature.
This evening we had a big bonfire and wonderful conversation. About 10 PM we heard a lion roaring across the river. It sounded very deep and extremely wild—it sent shivers up our spines.
That’s all for now. More updates to come.
Best regards from the bushveld,
Here we are in the Amsterdam airport.
August 13, 2009
Hello, from the other side of the world.
We have now safely arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa. Our group of five finished an almost 11 hour flight down from Amsterdam, but the plane was only half full and we were able to stretch out across a couple seats and get some sleep.
We have crossed over the Equator, which means that we passed from summertime into wintertime. We understand that the temps back home are in the 90s, but here it will be in the 70s, with overnight lows in the 40s.
We are staying at a wonderful cultural hotel and have had a great opportunity to meet some of the local peoples. What has been a most pleasant surprise is what a very positive response there has been to our charity trip and especially to Kyle. We spent the evening with three South African men: Rich, Everest, and Trooper. They loved hearing from Kyle about his service as a Marine in Iraq, and the great things he did and sacrificed in the name of freedom. They had treated him with high honor and respect.
August 12, 2009
We are on day #1 of our wonderful safari trip to South Africa. This trip is being accomplished by a partnership of The Langenfeld Foundation and Minnesota SCI, and the safari donation of Zeekoepan Safaris, by mark Nelson. I am sending this from the airport in Amsterdam, I believe it is about midnight back in Minnesota.
Our first day of the journey was smooth sailing all the way. We met up at my house in St. Paul, and were all driven to the airport by Dean Ascheman (former head of the MN DAV and now board member of The Langenfeld Foundation.) Thank you Dean.
We had a great flight over here. The night horizon to the North never got completely dark. We saw a beautiful sunset and sunrise on the same eight hour flight. Now we have a four hour layover, and then get back on the big bird to fly nine hour to Johannesburg, South Africa. Thank you everybody that has helped make this trip possible; all in our group thank you, especially our wounded warrior Kyle.
Please check in often for more updates and photos.
The Langenfeld Foundation and Minnesota SCI will take U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Kyle Anderson on a 7-day safari to South Africa on August 11-18, 2009
Accompanying Kyle (right) on the trip as caregivers will be
his father and brother (left), Tim and Matt Anderson.
In 2004, U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Kyle Anderson was badly hurt, fighting terrorist insurgents in Iraq. Surgeons helped his injuries heal, but now The Langenfeld Foundation and Minnesota SCI are helping him see that...despite having disabilities...he can go anywhere and do anything he sets his mind to.
In what could be considered a form of alternative therapy, they will take Kyle Anderson on a 7-day safari to South Africa, August 11-18, 2009. There he will experience some of the best that our world has to offer. This should help fuel his love for life, and motivate him to overcome his limitations. Dr. Daniel G. Carey, PhD is an expert in Exercise Physiology and a professor a the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Carey said, “There is a great deal of interrelatedness between a healthy mind and a health body. This safari trip will contribute to an enhanced quality of life for Kyle and therefore assist him in his recovery on every level.”
Accompanying Kyle on the trip as caregivers will be his father and brother, Tim and Matt Anderson. Leading the group will be Paul Scott Langenfeld, the founder and president of The Langenfeld Foundation and Humanitarian Coordinator for MN SCI. Also going with the group will be a cameraman from the TV show Minnesota Bound, with Ron Schara.
Kyle and his group will travel from Minneapolis to Johannesburg, South Africa. They will safari in Kwazulu-Natal, located in the North Eastern region, near the boarder with Swaziland and Mozambique. The hunt has been donated by Zeekoepan Safaris. While there Kyle will view and photograph some of the most spectacular wildlife on the planet. He will eat wonderful African cuisine, experience intriguing cultures, and interact with the native peoples. He will also do some hunting of plains game animals, and would like to take a warthog or an impala—which are both excellent table fare. (Every part of all animals taken will be donated to the native villagers, for food and other uses. Nothing is left behind except for its breath.)
In 2003, Kyle Anderson was an 18-year old at Simley High School. He won the Minnesota State Wrestling Championship that year and after graduation, immediately went into the U.S. Marines. In Iraq, he was involved in the “Fight For Fallujah” where he saved the lives of three other soldiers—including his commanding officer.
In 2004, during another fierce fire-fight, Kyle was badly hunt and doctors doubted that he would survive. But Kyle did survive, thanks to a strong heart and even stronger will. He suffered serious brain injuries; resulting in some speech, vision, and hearing loss. He also has limited movement on his right side.
Now Kyle Anderson is 23-years old and living with his family, in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. His physical wounds have healed as much as they are going to, and he is in therapy at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. He is learning to talk again, and regain his basic life skills. Kyle's personality is effervescent, he smiles and laughs a lot. Kyle is determined, despite his disabilities, to live life to the fullest.
The Langenfeld Foundation wholeheartedly supports Kyle's ambitions, and has therefore chosen him to participate in a 7-day African safari to South Africa.