Rotary Clubs Bring Americans and Russians Together
Rotarian hosts in Yakutsk. Pete, Katya and Maria (Club President).
(Image by Photo by Ann Wright) Details DMCA
My hosts in Yakutsk were members of Rotary Club International. Rotary clubs have been in Russia since the 1980s when American Rotarians visited Russian families through the Center for Citizens Initiatives and then reciprocated and invited Russians to visit the U.S. There are now over 60 chapters of Rotary in Russia. Rotary International has partnered with eight universities around the world to create Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution. Rotary provides funds for 75 scholars each year for two years of graduate study in one of eight universities around the world.
The next worldwide Rotary International conference will be in June 2020 in Honolulu and we hope that friends from Rotary chapters in Russia will be able to get visas to the U.S. so they can attend.
PermaICE, not Permafrost!!!
During the winter, Yakutsk is reported to be the coldest city on earth during with average temperature of -40 degrees Centigrade. The city sits on permafrost, the 100 meters to one and a half kilometers thick ice blanket that lies only a few feet underground throughout northern Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland. Permafrost is a misnomer as far as I am concerned. It should be called the PermaICE as its ice, not frost that is the vast underground glacier hidden under only a few feet of earth.
As global warming heats up the earth, the glacier is beginning to melt. Buildings begin listing and sinking. Construction now requires buildings to be built on pilings to keep them off the ground and prevent their heating from contributing to the melting of the PermaICE. Should the massive underground glacier melt, not only will the coastal cities of the world be inundated, but water would be flowing deep into the continents. The permafrost museum carved out of an ice hill on the outskirts of Yakutsk provides an opportunity to get a glimpse of the vastness of the iceberg the north of the planet sits on. Ice carvings of themes of Yakutian life make the museum one of the most unique I have ever seen.