My Tender Shoulder – Reminiscences on a Buffalo Hunt
I have a very dear aunt who lives in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Every time she sends me a text message, email or word of mouth message, her missive ends in the following words; “Please tell him that I still pray for him, every day.” She directs these sincere thoughts towards my husband, of course. I always smile about this a little, but I take it to heart and appreciate her prayers. You see: she reckons he has a very hard life with me.
But please allow me to make a small defence on behalf of myself: I am the eldest of three daughters who have been raised by a formidable man; an avid hunter, serious sportsman, loving husband, honest father, but most of all a perfectionist in every facet of life. The standard had been set very high, and the combination of this example and my strong-headed personality required a miracle husband. I married the Eighth Wonder.
It was on one of many of my birthdays that my husband was again tending to a hunting exhibition elsewhere in the world, while, back in Namibia, I entertained and guided hunters. I always joke that the only time both Gysbert and I have ever been to one of our daughters’ birthdays, was at their births, and never again. We enjoy a very high quality of life, but the job of a professional hunter is extremely strenuous, and family life unfortunately tends to be put into second place for about eleven months of the year.
When he returned, he handed me an envelope, a hand-written letter inside. He said this was my birthday present. Normally I know what I’m getting for a present, because he always asks me what I want, for fear that I won’t like it, so this came as a total surprise…
A buffalo hunt in the Caprivi!