UPDATE ON PUNKI AND RECOVERY FUND AND AUCTION
Friends, we are happy to report that Punki's (hopefully) final operation went well. He has been released from the hospital and is home recuperating. There is still a much more minor infection at the wound sites, but it should respond to a wide-spectrum antibiotic. Punki is walking mostly on crutches, not because he has to, but because this is what the Doctors want him to do, and he's trying to follow orders. With the help of many of you, Brittany and I will continue to pay his salary through the end of the year so that he can recover fully, and of course we will see to any physical therapy needs. Truly, considering the wound, it is a marvelous recovery. His doctors are amazed by his tenacity, and this has much to do with his survival, let alone degree of recovery.
As many of you know, we had the opportunity to auction two hunts in support of Punki, a leopard hunt with Omujeve Safaris, including life-size leopard mount and shipping from Reiser taxidermy; and a Mozambique buffalo hunt with Nyati safaris, including a new Rigby double .500 donated by myself, including a shoulder mount of the buffalo donated by Rowdy Woodson of Woods and Water Taxidermy in Austin.
I will accompany these hunts and we will film them for "Tracks Across Africa."
Brittany, Punki, and I wish to express our gratitude for the several generous bids received. As stated, we opened the bids yesterday, 15 July. The winning bidders were:
For the Omujeve leopard hunt, Mr. Bill Jones.
For the Nyati buffalo safari and rifle, Mr. David Porter. Many thanks to both of you, and I will look forward to hunting with you. And, again, thanks so much to our other bidders.
I would also like to thank all of you who contributed to Brittany's "Punki Recovery Fund." (PO Box 33303, Granada Hills, CA 91394). All contributions, great and small, have helped and are helping get a truly great hunter back on his feet and with his dogs. Brittany and I appreciate equally the many prayers, kind words, and messages of support as well.
I have been in this business for 35 years now, and I have always believed we hunters are among the best people in this world. The outpouring of support and concern through this unfortunate situation has validated that belief. I have also believed that we as hunters are all brothers and sisters, and the level of support the hunting community provided for an unknown hunter of a different nation, tribe, and culture validated this belief as well. I cannot thank you all enough.
At this stage setbacks remain possible, and the full degree of Punki's recovery (and future mobility) are unknown, but his strength of character as well as body have helped immeasurably, as has the knowledge that so many people he has never met are praying for him and doing what they can to help him. I was a thousand miles away in the Zambezi Valley when I got the call on this. I was told in no uncertain terms that it was very unlikely that Punki would survive the night. We have come a long way since that terrible day, and now I truly believe that Punki will be present with his dogs when we do Bill Jones' auction hunt. The tremendous support from all of you has been a huge part of this miracle--and I want to especially thank Saeed for keeping this issue at the forefront through this long process.
Needless to say, one must take the bad with the good on these situations. There have been a handful of negative comments and a few that were downright nasty. This is to be expected. An accident like this should not happen, and there are some thngs many of us have thought about that might have avoided it. In general, I cannot tell you how pleased and proud I am at the overwhelmingly positive response and support. Among the negatives, a couple of people suggested that it was a great deal for me because I would get "ten or a dozen" stories out of it. Yes, well, I'm a writer, and I write a lot. But I will not write specifically about this incident. I wasn't there, so I don't own it and can only report second-hand, which is not the kind of writing I do; my role has been to support my daughter and my friends, Punki and his colleagues. There are lessons here that would be valuable for us all, and I am learning that Brittany is a very good writer in her own right. So far I have discouraged her from direct discussion or writing about this. We all need a healing process, though Punki most of all. However, there may come a time when she is ready to tell the story, and there are things we can all learn.
In the meantime, thanks again to all. I will provide occasional posts on Punki's progress, and I look forward to hunting with him again.
With best regards and best wishes to all,
Craig and Donna Boddington