Clubs Redlin tours 'Pearl of Africa'

Greg Redlin, USD vice president for finance and administration, provided Rotarians at their weekly meeting on Tuesday noon with an intimate and fascinating glimpse of Uganda, the East African nation that Winston Churchill once called "The Pearl of Africa." With a sister, Mary Redlin, currently serving as a United Nations business consultant in Uganda, Redlin took the opportunity to visit her and tour the country two weeks earlier this winter. Convulsed with terror during the Idi Amin regime in the 1970s and 1980s, Ugandans today enjoy a much more stable government and life. Redlin spent most of his time outside the capital city of Kampala sampling the wildlife and beautiful scenery. One of the highlights was a two-day "gorilla trek," some of it involving a hike through dense jungle growth, to mountainous southwest Uganda. He captured gorillas in breathtaking photos that he showed his Rotary audience. Uganda protects 300 of the 600 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild, and two groups of six persons each day are permitted an hour or less to view a gorilla community in Bwindi National Forest. Redlin was also able to take photos of many other birds and animals in his tour of the country. Though his itinerary was not geared to see elephants, he was rewarded nonetheless when a herd of 50 or so happened to be grazing by the roadside along his party's route one day. Redlin found Uganda's climate to be very comfortable in December, although he crossed the Equator. He was struck by the country's two main newspapers, one pro-government and one anti-government, which practice "yellow journalism" to a degree rarely seen in the United States. Wondering for a while why his party had to use mosquito netting in their overnight camps because there were no mosquitos in the evening, Redlin learned that mosquitos become a major problem only after midnight. While most Ugandans are poor by any standard, Redlin said they seldom lack for food because most crops will grow in the country's soil and climate. Tourism and agricultural production, led by coffee, tea and vanilla beans, fuel Uganda's economy. Rotary guests this week were Joe Hubert and four Vermillion high school students � Alexandra Johnson, Natalie Johnson, Coletty Joy and Nathan Scheidel.

Seniors miss snowbird friends

On Tuesday, Feb. 3, a cold, bright sunshiny afternoon, 17 seniors came aboard to play Mexican train dominos. At three tables streamlining in with low points were, Louise Eklund, Fritz Leffler, and Nila Fostvedt. High caboose points went to Babe Manning, Robin Eisenmenger and Opal Marshall. Thursday, Feb. 5, snow, early school dismissal, snow, no dominos. Snow, snow, go away, come again another year. There's always sunshine at the Senior Center! 320 W. Main. Domino play begins at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. "Hello, Snowbirds. We miss you."

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