2020-2021 Presentation Calendar






September 17, 2020      Marilyn Johnston

Taking the High Road in Mexico: A Visit to the "Colonial Cities"  

What started out as a short one-week stint in a language school in Oaxaca developed into an obsession to explore what are considered Mexico’s Colonial Cities, particularly those that are located in the central part of the country. This evening, you are invited to join in on what will be a quick jaunt to 18 cities in 12 different Mexican states. You will experience some of the sights, sounds, and stories of these communities, as well as learn some little-known facts that Marilyn Johnston learned during her discoveries South of the Border, in 2018 and 2019. There will be time to discuss options for transportation, lodging, and language schools for those who want to gain a deeper appreciation of the Mexican people, their colonial history, and their culture.


October 8, 2020          Pritam Rohila

Crimea to Kyiv, Incredible Ukraine     

In Ukraine, we first headed to the Crimean Peninsula, before it was forcibly annexed to Russia in 2014. There we visited Salem’s Sister City of Simferopol and the most popular of the Crimean resort of Yalta, where at the end of WWII, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin, met to divide among themselves their European conquests. Then we flew to Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine’s capital and largest city. There we enjoyed the city’s sights, including the Golden Gates, Saint Sophia Cathedral, St. Michael's Monastery, St. Andrew Church, the Independence Square, and the River Dnieper Embankment, which has a monument to the legendary Founders of Kyiv – brothers Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv and their sister Lybid - and the nearby Tree of Wishes, which is frequented by newly-married couples.


November 12, 2020       Cherie & Chuck Bennett

Half a Fortnight in Salop      

Join Chuck and Cherie Bennett for Half A Fortnight in Salop, AKA Shropshire, on the Welsh Marches. They were there to fulfill two long-held goals: seeing Ironbridge Gorge museums with the iconic Iron Bridge, symbol of the Industrial Revolution, and crossing the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in a narrowboat. Both are now World Heritage Sites. Other highlights include the spectacular terraced Powis Castle and Garden; Chester, with its cathedral quire full of medieval carvings, and Liverpool, home of The Beatles and famous docks. Be amused as Chuck and Cherie strangle over the Welsh "Llangollen" and "Pontcysyllte." They also will share some thoughts on self-catering.


December 10, 2020     Virginia Vanderbilt

Touring the Wine Country of Macedonia & Georgia      

June 2018 saw Virginia and Michael visiting countries unknown to them: Macedonia (now officially known as North Macedonia) and Georgia.  Through their presentation we will visit Skopje with its recently fabricated “patina of age” and the remains of ancient cave communities in Georgia.  We will explore beautiful Lake Ohrid in southern Northern Macedonia and the shore of the Black Sea in Batumi, Georgia.  We will drink Macedonian wine embellished with flakes of gold and Georgian wine poured directly from terra cotta qvevri.  Join us in exploring two lesser known but incredible countries.


January 14, 2021 Ron & Kathy Kelemen

Sri Lanka—The Hidden Gem of South Asia

What’s not to like about this place?  Other than the long flight to get there, Ron and Kathy Kelemen found Sri Lanka in January 2020 to be downright refreshing and low cost.  While there are a few similarities with Malaysia, Bali, Thailand and India, Sri Lanka is unique in its own right and quite easy to travel independently.  As periodic guests of local Rotarians they got to experience this country from a unique perspective. Join them as they share some of their insights and photos of Sri Lanka’s serene beauty, people, hospitality, historic sites, travel tips, and more.


February 11, 2021       Stephanie Hazen & Roy Temple

Stephanie and Roy recount their adventures rafting down Eastern Oregon's Owyhee River.  Big Horn sheet, desert flowers, rapids, petroglyphs, colorful basalt cliffs, golden eagle nests and a bit of Oregon history, all wrapped up in a memorable trip.


March 11, 2021      Abbie Hitchen

East Africa: A Six Country Solo Female Journey  

Abbie will show photos and share stories of her journey through East Africa, including highlights of Capetown, Victoria Falls, safari adventures, relaxing in Zanzibar and mishaps in Botswana and Tanzania, and what it's like to work while traveling.  She'll comment on her observations of African culture, the Rwandan genocide and its amazingly quick recovery, and the wonderful people she met along the way. 


April 8, 2021        Nonna Crook

Himachal Pradesh and the Spiti Valley of India          

Ten years ago my husband Larry worked with the Tibetans in Dharamsala, India.  While we were there we took a trip to the Spiti Valley in the northern section of Himachal Pradesh state.  This area is in the Himalayan foothills, a mountainous region with steep glacial valleys, dotted with Buddhist monasteries.  It is a place of austere beauty with a harsh climate, ancient culture, and hair-raising rough roads leading to remote colorful villages.  We traveled by car in the first two weeks of October, always with an eye on the weather, afraid that snow would close the Kunzum Pass, which, at 15,000 ft, is one of the highest passes in Northern India.


May 13, 2021     Eden Rose Brown


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