John Schultz was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis in his early twenties. His doctor told him he would be paralyzed from the neck down or be dead before he reached the ripe old age of forty. John, a strong-willed man, never let the pain of this crippling disease stop him from doing what he loved to do. He worked hard and always found the time and energy to hunt and fish. He has hunted many of the Midwestern and western states, Alaska, and several territories in Canada. But he always dreamed of hunting in Africa. His story begins where his dream became reality.
John attended the annual hunting and fishing show in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in February 2013. It was at this show where he met Dawie Kemp of Kemp African Safaris. John was 42 years old; alive and not paralyzed. He decided it was time to make his dream of hunting in Africa a reality. John said he spoke with several African outfitters, only to learn the outfitters had sent representatives to the show. Then he stopped at the booth of Kemp African Safaris where he met Dawie (pronounced Daw-vee) Kemp, the owner and professional hunter. John liked the fact he could talk to the man in charge and he liked Dawie Kemp. John and Dawie spoke at length about hunting in Africa and by the end of the conversation John had booked a safari for 2014.
Part of John’s dream of hunting in Africa included taking his best friend along as his guest — all expenses paid unless the guest wanted to hunt. When John got home, he knocked on the bedroom door of his renter and best friend, Mitzy. He opened the door a crack and told his sleepy friend they were going to Africa next year. He then went to bed so he could get up at 2 AM to milk cows on the farm where he has worked for the past fifteen years.
Mitzy met Dawie the following year at the Green Bay show. She, too liked Dawie Kemp, although she had some reservations about how good of a guide this young whipper snapper would be. Mitzy even mentioned this to Dawie’s wife, Leandri Kemp, in one of several pre-hunt emails. Leandri assured Mitzy her husband was highly skilled and would do everything possible to get John on some nice animals.
Mitzy also told Leandri about her and John’s health issues. Mitzy has Celiac disease and would need a gluten free diet. John has diabetes, in addition to the ankylosing spondylitis. Mitzy wanted to make sure Dawie would keep a close eye on her dear friend. Leandri told Mitzy not to worry as John would be in good hands with Dawie.
John wanted to go to Africa in July, between his first and second alfalfa harvest. His boss took an international vacation every year. Nancy, the boss’s wife, always made all the travel arrangements. John had asked Nancy to make the arrangements for the trip to Africa. When Nancy was finally able to get airline tickets at the price John wanted, the only hunt available for 2014 was in May.
It was a bit of a scramble to get immunizations, passports and gear ready for the safari they weren’t planning to take until July, but they did it. May arrived and John and Mitzy departed. They spent one night in a hotel in a Chicago suburb where they could leave their truck until they returned from Africa. They were driven to O’Hare International airport by a shuttle provided by the hotel. The driver dropped them off at the proper entrance and would pick them up when they returned.
They arrived in Atlanta, Georgia, where they had a comfortable layover. Mitzy had noticed John smelled really bad on the trip from Chicago to Atlanta. They figured out it was his shoes which he had put in the garage to dry out after leaving them out in the rain. Unfortunately, the shoes dried out, but not before growing some nice stinky mold. The layover provided John with an opportunity to find sweeter smelling footwear. It also allowed them to be misdirected to their gate resulting in touring the airport three times before finding the correct gate. They both agreed Atlanta has a nice airport; a bit confusing, but nice.
They arrived in Johannesburg with their luggage intact and John spotted Dawie within minutes. Dawie drove them to his parents’ house where they would stay the night before heading to Botswana in the morning.
The Kemps were very gracious hosts. Elmari, Dawie’s mother, Awie, his father and Leandri his wife, shared the evening meal with John and Mitzy. Mitzy recalled how surprised she was when Elmari told them to use the shower in the master bedroom. The shower was very nice after the long flight, but to invite strangers to use your personal bathroom and shower??? What amazingly nice people!
After a quick breakfast, Dawie arrived to escort them to Botswana and the beginning of John’s safari. Although it was fall in South Africa, there was still a lot of green foliage on the plants and trees. Dawie explained they were having unusual weather for this time of the year. Hunting would be a little more difficult because of the foliage, but not to worry, John would still have a good hunt.
They had to stop at the border to leave South Africa. Passports were scanned electronically, and all was good to go. They crossed the border into Botswana where they had to fill in forms by hand. Mitzy saw a tent across the road that had a sign indicating it was a place to vote. The man behind the counter told them Botswana had recently held elections. The paperwork was completed and the three were on their way to Bush Babies Botswana, the lodge that would be home for the next few days.
John and Mitzy took their luggage to the small thatched roofed cottage, before meeting the others in the group at the main lodge. The main lodge was also where meals would be served. Dawie’s young relative, Matt, was introduced to them. Matt was earning his credentials to become a professional hunter and needed a certain amount of hours working with visitors from overseas. Jeff, a professional hunter from Botswana, was also introduced. After the introductions were made, Dawie showed John a chart which had cut away views of the animals he would be hunting. The African plains game have their vital organs placed a little differently than Wisconsin white tailed deer. Dawie wanted John to become familiar with this because it would mean John would have to place his shots accordingly. Then John was taken to the shooting range to sight in the gun he would be using. Once this was done the hunt commenced.
John recalled the first afternoon was not very productive. Dawie had him spot and stalk a couple of animals, but John said he could not remember what animals. Dawie had told John the gemsbok and the kudu would be the hardest to find, so the beginning of the hunt focused on those two animals. Mitzy remembered they also kept an eye out for zebra. It seemed the zebra were easy to spot, but stalking them was another story.
The hunting party returned to the lodge almost every day for a meal around noon. There were two tables in the main lodge; one for the early meal and one for the evening meal. (The reason for the 2 tables was never explained. But, John and Mitzy said they never questioned it either). The owners brought food from the main house to the lodge. John and Mitzy, as guests, were always given the courtesy of filling their plates before the other members of the party. Mitzy recalled the easy going Dawie put his foot down at one of the first evening meals. He told Mitzy she needed to increase her fluid intake if she wanted to continue going out in the bush with the men. Mitzy said if she drank a lot of fluids she would have to take a whiz more frequently. Dawie stood his ground and Jeff offered to teach Mitzy how to whiz in the bush. There was no room for discussion. It was clear Dawie took the wellbeing of his guests as seriously as he took the hunt itself. While Mitzy had felt embarrassed being the focus of attention, she knew Dawie was right. End of discussion!
The days began with a quick bite to eat before heading out to hunt. There was a cooler stocked with bottled water, juice and soda and a snack box filled with all kinds of munchies packed in the truck every day. Mitzy was amazed at the large amount and variety of gluten free snacks. She thought Leandri must have bought every gluten free item in the grocery store prior to the hunt. Jeff made sure Mitzy was drinking fluids which did indeed make whizzing in the bush a necessity. Mitzy, not wanting Jeff involved, had carefully walked into the bush alert for animals, insects and snakes and successfully took a whiz. She laughed as she recalled how proud she was after taking her first whiz in the bush. Meanwhile, John and Dawie were on a spot and stalk at 8:20 AM, which once again, ended without a shot. They observed a herd of hartebeests on their way back to the lodge. Unfortunately, John was not hunting them. They ate a light lunch before proceeding back to the bush.
The afternoon hunt on the second day started out slow, but ended on a high note when John shot his gemsbok. Dawie had taken John to a different farm owned by a weathered old gentleman of undetermined age, named Uncle Cheese. Mitzy learned that he wasn’t an uncle to anyone in the hunting party. Uncle, in this context, was a sign of respect because of his age and wisdom. Mitzy also learned Uncle Cheese had a twin brother whom they called “Coffee”. Mitzy had asked Uncle Cheese why he and his brother were called Cheese and Coffee. Uncle Cheese was a story teller and had needed little prompting to tell the story. Uncle Cheese said he and his brother got their names in school when they were young boys. The teacher was unable to tell the boys apart so she put one boy at the cheese table and the other at the coffee table. They were, according to this old story teller, known as Cheese and Coffee ever since.
Dawie and John proceeded into the bush intent on crossing off one or more of the animals on John’s list. They had spotted a gemsbok and the stalk was on. The clever gemsbok eluded the men by slipping into some heavy brush. John and Dawie continued through the thick brush. Dawie caught a glimpse of the animal, who once again slipped into more heavy brush. The two men followed it further through dense brush. They were rewarded by the sight of their prey standing in a group of gemsbok in a small clearing. Dawie, according to John, identified John’s gemsbok by his male genitals. John said he knelt down in the tall grass, raised the 30.06 rifle to his shoulder and squeezed off a shot aimed right behind its shoulder. John had his gemsbok!
The gemsbok was posed for pictures. Dawie, Matt and Jeff pulled the grass from in front of the animal. Mitzy could not resist the photo opportunity that presented itself when all three of the men had their backsides pointed toward her camera. It was the beginning of butt shots that would continue even after the hunt ended.
Dawie was very particular about getting the perfect picture. He had John pose several different ways with the gemsbok. Dawie kept telling John to turn his head. Finally, John said, “I can’t turn my head you dumb @#$%!” Poor Dawie had been unaware John’s disease had a crippling grasp on John’s neck. John’s laughter had been proof he viewed the situation with humor; humor that set the tone for the remainder of the hunt. John and Dawie seemed to enjoy the constant jovial banter throughout the entire hunt and beyond.
The gemsbok, which John had harvested, was loaded into the back of the truck. The hunting party returned to Bush Babies Botswana where the animal would be skinned in the facilities at the main house. The hide would be soaked in a saltwater bath overnight before being packed in salt to keep it fresh until the taxidermy company would collect it, and any other hides. The hides would be taken back to Pretoria where they would be prepared for shipment back to the US. The meat would be given to the local people.
The most spectacular sight of day was that of both black and white rhinos, each accompanied by a baby rhino. Uncle Cheese pointed out the black rhino mother walked in front of her baby, while the white rhino mother walked behind her baby. John and Mitzy felt very blessed to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
The sun was setting on the African bush. Uncle Cheese was dropped off at his house. John and Mitzy enjoyed a beautiful African sunset as they returned to the lodge. The trees were black silhouettes against an orange sky. It was picture perfect and they were part of the picture.
There was always a fire burning in the pit on the patio when the hunting party returned from the day’s hunt. Every evening they all sat on the patio with a beverage and talked about the events of the day or plans for the next. Sometimes the owners would join the group when they brought the food to the lodge, although they never stayed to share the meal. Dawie always said grace before the meal, which John and Mitzy thought was very nice.
The third day of the hunt was uneventful in terms of hunting. The zebras managed to evade John and Dawie on every stalk. Dawie had Matt drive through the bush in what appeared to be somewhat of a grid pattern. Dawie kept his well-trained eyes on the bush. There were times when he would have Matt back up the truck to take a look with the binoculars. He had John stalk zebras a couple of times, but the zebras managed to dodge the hunter on every occasion. They jokingly wondered if the zebras were very fast or if John was very slow.
Dawie’s next tactical maneuver was to sit at a watering hole used by many animals with the hope John might be able to cross another animal off his list. A herd of wildebeest was seen off to the left of the clump of trees screening the hunting party. The wildebeest did not continue on toward the watering hole as was hoped, but rather turned away from it. It was unclear if they had caught the sight or the scent of the hunting party; then again, it really didn’t matter because they were gone. The lack of his daily nap caught up with John, who rolled over and fell fast asleep. Mitzy had taken off her sweatshirt and folded it into a pillow which Dawie tucked under the sleeping hunter’s head. Dawie moved to the left side of the clump of trees where he sat on the ground and leaned back against a tree. Mitzy thought Dawie had dozed off, too, because his eyes were closed. However, as she kept her ears alert for the sound of animals approaching the watering hole, she noticed Dawie was far from being asleep. His eyes may have been closed, but he too, was listening. She could see the almost imperceptible tensing of his muscles at every sound. She had to admit the man was good.
Mitzy was not sure how long they had sat there before the sound of hooves could be heard off to the right of the clump of trees. Dawie became alert in an instant. The animals sounded like they would be coming to the watering hole; however, these animals, like the wildebeest earlier, did not venture down to the water. Shortly after that Matt and Jeff arrived with lunch and two chairs from the patio. John and Mitzy were to sit in these chairs while the others sat on the ground. These were not regular patio chairs where the seat is even with the back of your knees. The seats on these chairs were even with one’s butt when one was standing. John and Mitzy made an attempt to decline the use of the chairs, but they protested in vain. Matt told them they were the king and queen and had to sit in the chairs. The men sat on the ground while eating their meal.
The hunt on the third afternoon commenced once the men had picked up the remnants of the lunch and the chairs were stowed in the truck. Dawie had John on a couple of spot and stalks for zebra with no tangible results. Meanwhile, Jeff kept Mitzy hydrated and added spraying her with sun block as another of his duties. Matt continued to be a fountain of information. The topic this day involved weaver birds. Mitzy had asked what kind of birds built the nests resembling woven baskets. There were many trees with these nests and many nests in each tree. Matt had told her the nests were made by weaver birds. He also pointed out the nests which appeared to be ripped to shreds informing her those nests had been attacked by predator birds who ate the eggs and/or the baby birds. When Mitzy expressed concern for the weaver bird population due to predation, Matt told her it was nature’s way of keeping the weaver bird population in check.
The topic of conversation on the patio that night was the ever elusive zebras. Dawie declared it was time for drastic measures. Dawie decided he, Matt and Jeff would drag the roads after the evening meal. The drag consisted of a triangle of tires held together with rope and rebar which was pulled behind the truck. The theory behind this endeavor was to erase all tracks from the road with the hope any new zebra tracks would lead to the location of a zebra herd in the morning.
Mitzy offered to clear the table and put the food away, as the men were heading out to drag the roads. She was told she was the queen and was not to be doing such things. The men said they would take care of it when they returned. Jeff went so far as to lock the door of the lodge that opened up to a breezeway that led to the little house used by the maids who came each day to wash the dishes, clean the cottages, collect the dirty laundry and return clean laundry. The men then left to drag the roads. Mitzy roped John into helping her clear the table, stacking the soiled dishes together, unplugging the food warmers and covering the leftover food as best they could before going to their cottage.
The fourth day of the hunt began with John and Dawie perched in a tree stand above a trail zebras were known to traverse. John remembered it was very windy that day and a bit frightening sitting high in a tree swaying to and fro. John said he thought they might get blown out of the tree stand it was so windy. They climbed out of the tree stand when it was clear there were no zebras to be seen (and before John was blown out of the tree).
Mitzy had not joined the hunt the fourth day, remaining at the lodge to crochet scarves for Dawie’s mom and wife. Mitzy had enough material left after making the scarves so she made one for each of the two maids. The women were delighted by the gesture. The one lady wrapped her scarf around her neck and puffed out her chest to show how she was going to go home proudly showing off her new accessory. Mitzy realized kindness has a universal language all of its own.
Later Mitzy was joined by Celeste Swart of Bush Babies Botswana to tour the local community. Celeste was a wonderful guide as she explained the culture of the people. Mitzy was glad for the female companionship and the wealth of information Celeste shared with her. The farms covered so many miles it made mail delivery economically impossible. People would come to the post office to pick up their mail when it was convenient for them to do so. If a farmer expected a package they would alert the post office requesting a call when the package arrived. One building housed the post office and the equivalent of a cyber café minus the café.
The natives lived in both round thatch roofed cottages and the newer square cottages. The school was rectangular and additions were made as the pupil population increased. Animals (goats, donkeys and cows) were allowed to roam and graze at will. Celeste explained that each family knew their animals and the animals knew their owners. When the owners called to their animals each night the animals would return to their proper home.
Once back at the lodge, Mitzy took the opportunity to take pictures and investigate the grounds surrounding the lodge. She learned they used gravity to provide the flow of water from a rather short tower to each of the buildings. Behind each of the buildings was what appeared to be tiny huts. These huts provided storage for water. A fireplace was in the bottom of each hut and every day someone made sure there was fire in the little hut to heat the water so guests at the lodge would be able to take warm showers. The electricity for the lodge was provided by a generator and was only used to provide the bare minimum of electricity needed for the entire lodge. But, perhaps the most interesting thing was a sign proclaiming one should beware of crocodiles, which Mitzy said she took to heart because there was a large watering hole just beyond the lodge.
Meanwhile, Dawie had taken John back to Uncle Cheese’s. Dawie sighted a nice impala buck, but John’s shot missed its target. Later Dawie got him lined up on a nice blue wildebeest and let’s just say he didn’t shoot a blue wildebeest. John was able to redeem himself at about a quarter to four that afternoon when he shot a very nice impala.
The fifth day of the hunt proved to be the most exciting for John. John, Mitzy and Dawie were riding in the back of the truck. Dawie’s eagle eyes scanning the bush as they headed out early in the morning. John recollected Dawie had the driver back up the truck and then told John to get the gun. Dawie had spotted an excellent kudu. John shot from the truck and the kudu disappeared. Matt had quickly run into the bush to see where the kudu went. Then he was shouting for John and Dawie to come into the bush. Dawie went in one way and John another. Dawie caught up with John and told him to take a look behind him. It had been a one shot kill shot. The kudu was down! Mitzy joined John, who said he wasn’t sure who was happier. Mitzy had hugged her friend and shed a few happy tears. Mitzy knew the kudu was number one on his list. The gemsbok had been number two.
Dawie was excited, too. The kudu had massive horns, which Dawie thought would be classified as gold by Safari Club International (SCI). John and Mitzy had thought Dawie was particular about taking pictures of harvested animals in the past, but pictures of the kudu had surpassed all previous photo shoots. The grass was all neatly pulled and the kudu posed. Dawie started taking pictures, when of all things, the kudu would not cooperate! Dawie had Jeff lie on the ground behind the kudu to keep its head in the exact position Dawie wanted. John was to sit behind the kudu without sitting on Jeff. Dawie had finally stopped taking pictures. Mitzy had stopped laughing. But, Dawie and John did not stop comparing John’s kudu to every kudu they saw. Then, they would both agree John’s kudu was much better! John later learned the horns of the kudu, which are measured on the spiral, were 54 inches and worthy of an SCI gold medal.
The day had gotten even better when John got a second chance for a blue wildebeest on the way back to the main house with the kudu. Dawie had Matt drive down near a river. Dawie spotted a blue wildebeest and had told John to grab the gun. John told Dawie to back him up. It was clear John had not gotten over the lost opportunity of the previous day. John had made a good shot on his second chance. The wildebeest was down for the count.
The kudu and the wildebeest had been dropped off at the skinning shed before noon. Once back at the lodge, Dawie had told them to pack their gear because they were headed back to South Africa in search of zebras. Dawie stated they would be going to Marco and Franciska’s in Limpopo, South Africa, as Marco had access to land containing zebras.
The three of them arrived in Limpopo mid to late afternoon. Three ostriches strolled across the lane as they drove up to Marco and Franciska’s lodge. Marco, a friendly young man, welcomed his guests. The two guides had chatted briefly before Marco brought out a gun for John. Although John was unable to recall the caliber of the gun, he did state it was not a 30.06 like he had used in Botswana. John handed the gun to Mitzy, who shouldered it and found the sweet spot in the scope without difficulty. John ensured Dawie he would be comfortable using the gun Marco had offered.
The party of three became a party of five as Marco and his tracking dog, Flint, joined the hunt. Marco drove, as he was familiar with the land. While the land in Botswana reminded John of Wisconsin, Marco’s land reminded him of the more westerly regions of the United States, where the flat plains butted up against the mountains. A herd of blesbuck was spotted as Marco drove across this flat land. Dawie had handed the rifle to Mitzy commanding her to get ready to shoot. Which she did. Marco and Flint led them to the spot where the blesbuck had fallen. Marco pointed out to Mitzy she had made a perfect shot. The blesbuck was loaded into the truck and the quest for zebra continued. John remembered it was starting to get dark as Marco drove in search for the zebras. John was blown away when Dawie pulled out a bright light so they could continue the hunt into the night. The spot light evoked visions of game wardens coming to arrest them for John and Mitzy. Dawie laughed at the two foreigners as if he were saying “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto!”  Then John embraced the idea and the hunt continued until it was time to take the blesbuck to the skinning shed and return to the lodge for the evening meal.
The next morning Mitzy stayed at the lodge due to a painful Fibromyalgia flare up, while the men continued the mission of harvesting a zebra. John said he and Dawie sat in a tower stand for part of the morning before driving and scouting from the truck. When they returned to the lodge it was, once again, without a zebra. While John recalls being frustrated, Mitzy was feeling better and had enjoyed a wonderful morning with the beautiful and energetic Franciska. They enjoyed the delicious meal Franciska had prepared for them before returning to hunt.
Mitzy joined the men that afternoon. Marco took them to another property where zebra were known to roam. He drove them up hills and down hills. Then along the river and across the river. Not a zebra was to be seen. Dawie and Marco never showed any signs of defeat, although John recalls having thoughts about going home without a zebra. Suddenly, zebra were spotted. Mitzy had looked over at John, who for a split second looked as if he didn’t know if he should “wind his butt or scratch his watch.” He did pull himself together in time to get off a shot. The men said the zebra went to the left. Mitzy said the one John shot went to the right. Dawie, Marco and Flint had left the truck to look for the zebra, which was off to the right. However, the zebra, spooked by the two men and a dog got up and started to run. Dawie fired off a shot before he told John to come with his gun. John made the final kill shot. John finally had his zebra! While Marco and Dawie went for the tuck, John and Mitzy utilized the knowledge they had gained to pose the zebra for pictures. Dawie took his pictures before loading the zebra mare into the back of the truck.
A steenbok was spotted on the trip back to the skinning shed. John had shot all the animals he had purchased when he booked the safari, but Dawie said he could hunt more if he would like to do so. John never turns down a hunt, so the steenbok had soon found itself in the crosshairs of John’s rifle scope. A steenbok is the size of a medium dog with 3 inch horns. The one John shot had 4.2 inch horns, which Dawie thought would be eligible for an SCI gold medal.
The harvest was followed by the usual picture taking session. Dawie, also took some pictures of John holding the rifle; a black silhouette against the African sunset. Then it was off to the skinning shed and a meal by the bonfire back at the lodge.
Once again, John and Mitzy were king and queen. Chairs with cushions had been placed by the bonfire for them to sit in. Franciska had a table set up with everything but the meat, which Marco grilled for them on the edge of the fire before joining Franciska in their private quarters. Dawie sat across from the king and queen on a large log. Afterwards when John and Mitzy were looking through the pictures, they realized they had taken pictures of Dawie taking pictures of them from across the bonfire.
After the meal ended, Marco, Dawie and John decided to do some more night hunting. Mitzy had barely walked the distance from the bonfire to the lodge when she heard the crack of a rifle shot. John had shot a duiker. Soon after, a white male blesbuck was in the spotlight followed by being in the crosshairs of John’s scope. Dawie thought the blesbuck might also qualify for SCI gold because it was white.
Mitzy had found two ticks on her when she got ready to shower. Freaked out, she sprayed all her clothes with Deet and even went so far as to wash her hair in Deet. When John came back to the lodge she made him strip down outside, then spray his clothes with Deet and put them in the backpack with her clothes.
The hunt was finished and it was time for Dawie to show off his Country. Leandri was not able to join Dawie, John and Mitzy. Dawie found himself with only his hunting boots to wear with his casual clothes. Remember John’s stinky shoes? He had replaced them with a new pair of flip flops plus he had packed a pair. Long story short; Dawie had a new pair of flip flops. Dawie showed them the very old baobab tree. Mitzy had climbed a ladder leading to the lower branches of the huge tree offering Dawie the opportunity for some good humored revenge for all the butt shots she had taken during the hunt. Dawie also took them to an Amarula factory on the way to Kruger National Park where they stayed for two days and two nights. The elephant experience, which included a ride on an elephant, ended that portion of tourist attractions until they returned to Pretoria. They ended the day by taking Dawie and his family out for dinner before spending the night at Dawie’s parent’s home. They visited the South African version of Cabela’s, a large taxidermy and a huge flea market the next day before preparing to go to the airport in Johannesburg.
John and Mitzy were stunned to learn they had actually been scheduled to fly out the day before. They almost had heart attacks when they discovered how expensive it would be to get them on the flight that night. It was economically impossible. They were told to see what Delta Airlines could do for them. Delta could get them on a flight tonight for approximately 1/10th the cost, but they would not take American money or credit cards. Dawie came to their rescue, paying for the extra fare. John was told the plane was loading. Delta told them to check their bags in one area and wait for Delta to process the tickets. They finally got permission to go to the boarding area. John and Mitzy were so afraid they were going to miss their flight they started running. They arrived at the boarding area only to learn they had not started to board, yet.
John and Mitzy returned home in one piece with hundreds of pictures on their cameras and in their head. They also had memories of hunting in Africa and making new friends. Dawie’s motto of “You come as strangers and leave as friends” was certainly true.
 From the movie “The Wizard of Oz”
In February of 2015 Dawie visited with John and Mitzy at John’s house. Boys will be boys and they like playing with their toys. John, like any good boy, was glad to share his toys with his new friend from South Africa. February in Wisconsin can be pretty cold, so John let Dawie shoot out the patio door of his basement. Dawie had a blast shooting an AK47 223 while Mitzy took a video of the event so Dawie could tease Leandri. The noise was deafening, shells were flying and new friends were having fun. John had total hip replacement surgery on his left hip in late February. He was back to work milking cows by the first part of April. John plans to return to hunt Africa with Dawie Kemp of Kemp African Safaris provided the good Lord continues to bless him as he battles the disease threatening his life and his ability to live life as a hardworking man who loves to fish and hunt.
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