MCAS April Meeting in Gualala
- Monday, April 30th, at 7:00 pm, members of the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society invite residents of Mendonoma to join them for their annual meeting in South County at the Gualala Arts Center. Following a short business meeting, Richard Kuehn, a retired Obstetrician/Gynecologist living at The Sea Ranch with a penchant for travel and a love of birds, will present a program on an adventurous trip he undertook this past January to Ethiopia in the 'Horn of Africa'.
In this land of dramatic natural contrasts and ever-changing scenery dominated by the isolated mountain massif of central Ethiopia/Eritrea - the most extensive highland plateau in Africa, which is bisected by the Rift Valley and its series of important lakes, Rich joined a small group of like-minded individuals. They traveled to this rarely visited part of Africa probably best known for its periodic famines in search of many of the more than 800 species of birds - 16 of which are endemic and only found in this country. They also hoped to glimpse some of the intriguing mammals, like the endemic Gelada Baboon, Beisa Oryx, and the critically endangered Abyssinian Wolf, now the rarest member of the Canid family with slightly more than 500 animals surviving today, before they disappear.
Luckily, his group of 8 was nowhere near the Afar region on the morning of January 16th when 5 European tourists were killed and 2 kidnapped by a group of 40 armed gunmen reported to have been done to embarrass the Ethiopian government just prior to it hosting the annual African Union Summit. Rich felt safe throughout his trip and will share many images of the local tribal people who were quite friendly and welcoming. He also will share cultural images of the peoples living and worshipping at the monolithic, rock-hewn churches of Lalibela that were carved below ground level more than 800 years ago, connected to one another by a tangled maze of tunnels and passages, and still used regularly for worship.