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Avalon, California
March 4, 2016     The Catalina Islander
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March 4, 2016

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Watson From page 1 phia, a two-week swell—tossed trip across the North Atlantic in a car— go ship, a week in Paris and finally five weeks in Senegal studying French. It was hard to believe it was almost time to go home. That’s one of the great things ' about taking extended trips, as op— posed to the typical one-week va- cation to which so many people are relegated: you become much more absorbed in the places you’re visiting. Unlike the month of March, trips to Africa come in a like a lion and go OUT like a lion as well. The long lines and confusing visits to Sene- galese Immigration, Cus- toms, the airline counters, ad nauseam, were no dif- ferent than what I faced upon my arrival five weeks earlier. Unfortunately, there seems to be no simple, hassle-free way of coming and going to a place like Africa, but all the trouble is more than worth the effort. Besides, the wait in the football field-length line for Senegalese security at the airport gave me time to reflect on my last week “in country.” Lions in Africa It was during that last week in Senegal that I took the opportu— nity of attending a meeting of Li— ons Club International. I recently became a member of that august and charitable organization myself and have always been interested in seeing how LCI meetings are run elsewhere. As you may or may not know, LCI is a humungous worldwide or— ganization known best perhaps for Jim Watson Columnist their work with vision—impaired folks around the world. But the philanthropy doesn’t stop there and the organization gets involved in a variety of health and econom— iC-related assistance and disaster ' relief on not only the local level, but internationally as well. The City of Dakar alone is home to no fewer than a dozen different clubs, including “Da— kar Flamboyant,” the club whose meeting I attended. The meeting was quite a bit more ' formal than our meetings here in Avalon, having the feel more of a corporate board meeting than the laid—back Island atmosphere of our meet- ings here at old Chicago V Cubs clubhouse. But the mission of my Lions Club brethren in ‘ Senegal was essentially the same and the Dakar club faced many of the same is- sues that I’m sure Lions clubs face everywhere. The debating and the delibera- tions regarding scheduling con- flicts and funding sources and the like were not a whole lot different than those we have at the, Avalon club. The only difference was it was all done in French instead of English. The‘ big bird home a Despite my earlier grumblings about the hassles and waits re— volving around my trip home, such trips these days are far easier and safer than they were, say, 500 years ago. It was exactly 24 hours from the > time I stepped into my taxi to the airport in Senegal to the moment I opened my front door on Catalina. The flight alone from Dakar to New York where I had to change Make a difference — VOTE TheCityofAvakmismmhmmflmhmefotdlofuThis magicalplaoeattrwsvkimfiommmdthewmidanditisa Wmfianem‘thpdfihgc-fugtm Smdhlgupaldmakingmvoioeheudisanusmfial oomponentofnotjustdmmaacy,hntommnfity.lnhvalon, whueeleuimmbedecidedbyas‘mglemnnkingmm heudbyvmingismfiaive, Nomfilcrwhoyoucagyourbollotformlcasemnkeymn voioeheardbycmingyolrbnflot momenta .12 Registertombyvisifingtegistummugov. mqumBISMdaySbefinan electidmlfyoumnotregifiexfipleasedosonow. Ym’llneedmhaveICalifoufiaddver’slimem‘ seamitymmbuaxlymtdueofbinh. lfyoudonotlnvea dfiva’sficummidunificdimmwucanmpktem l...- Poid poificd advertisement “IE CATALINA ISLANDER planes was nine bumpy hours. Nine hours may seem like a long time, but if you’ve been following my column for the last eight weeks you know it took two weeks just to cross the same distance on the Rickmers Singapore cargo ship, which traveled at about 15 miles per hour. A transfer of planes at JFK and then a pleasant trip across the “contiguous 48” through mostly clear skies and I was back on the ground at Los Angeles. There’s always that sigh of relief you get when your plane touches down at LAX after a long trip and your chariot of the skies once again slows to taxiing speed. You have made it, you say to yourself, envisioning that you have some- how survived great odds against you. But the truth is that, despite how I may have portrayed some of my travels over the past few weeks, every part of this trip was statisti- cally speaking very safe. The dangers one imagines with crossing the North Atlantic in winter, braving terrorist attacks in Europe and dodging malaria, Ebola and ISIS in West Africa are, in reality, more figments of the Complimentary imagination than anything else. It turns out that the things we think of as being the most dangerous el- ements of travel (like flying) are, in fact, the safest, and what we think to be the safest (like driv— ing ourselves in a car) are the most dangerous. In fact, the ironic truth is that— statistically speaking—by far the most dangerous part of any such trip that we Islanders take these days is the very last leg: the ride on the LA. freeways from the air- port to Long Beach. Evidently, I survived that as well. GILT wnu Dunne SPRING ,IS IN THE, AIR at the SHOPS AT THE ATWAIER! Spend $35 or more at Knuckles Swimwear, Jewels of Interest or Ben’s Bakery ~andlreceive a sand dollar decorative Piece. Seafitwmtp \\.\ll\(,,il\'l7\lll‘\r\ l\l '\.\J1)L‘U\\l’\z\\ . 5 tax? 4 "our: Bil!!! Friday,M§ri:ii”4féb1 15"