Coudersport Rotary Club
Article - written by Cathy Bowers
Photo - Cathy Bowers photo
Rotary had several guests attend today’s meeting. School is back in session and the Citizens of Tomorrow are attending. Welcome back. Today, Alyssa Allenbaugh, the daughter of Eric and Julie Allenbaugh joined us. Alyssa stated that she was not involved in many school clubs as she has an after school job. She is looking forward to beginning Art classes soon. Her plan for the future is to attend school for Accounting after completing High School. Thank you, Alyssa for joining us. Shaylei Burr, the daughter of Christopher and Jessica Burr also joined us today. Shay is also a Citizen of Tomorrow and is involved with the InterAct Club, Marching Band, Show Choir, as well as other activities. Shay’s plans are to become a Veterinarian. Welcome back to Rotary, Shay.
Joann Moshier was also a guest of John Abplanalp. Joann is the IT specialist at the school. She makes sure everything is working as it should and is the right hand woman to many. Welcome back, Joann.
Rotarian, John Abplanalp’s guest speakers were local residents Tim and Megan Walck. They gave a remarkable presentation on their yearlong adventure in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Megan taught English and was Dean of Students at Northern Potter High School and Tim is a photographer and musician. Tim and Megan presented Rotary with an outstanding slide show of the places they visited.
A close friend of the Walcks’ working in Dubai for approximately six years always wanted Tim and Megan to go there and work. The friend works at the Centre for Musical Arts. They visited Dubai and the music center and after returning home, received a call for job offers. They decided to accept when presented with the same offer again a year later.
Dubai is located close to Saudi Arabia and is on what most people in the USA call the Persian Gulf. The people of Dubai prefer the Arabian Gulf as opposed to the Persian Gulf. When Dubai struck oil, it became one of the wealthiest cities in the entire world. The land, formerly sand dunes, is now a magnificent city with a skyline that dwarfs the New York City’s.
Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, is home to 911 completed high-rises, 88 of which stand taller than 591 ft. The tallest building in Dubai is the Burj Khalifa, which rises 2,717 ft and contains 209 floors. The Empire State Building is half the size. Today they are building a taller “world’s tallest building” next door to the Burj Khalifa in preparation for the Dubai World Expo in 2020.
The skyscrapers along the road in Dubai are all the size of the Empire State Building in NYC. Tim stated that from the time they moved to Dubai up to the time they left, a town the size of Coudersport grew where sand dunes formerly were located. The road running through the heart of Dubai connects all the city centers, and the speed limit is 88 mph with 16 lanes of traffic.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, and is considered the key site for worship in the country. It is also the largest mosque in the country. Out of respect, Megan wore an abaya while visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. In addition, she kept her ankles and wrists covered, otherwise it was the only time she wore one.
For fun, Tim and Megan went to the sand dunes and did some camping and dune bashing. One would camp in the winter, as it is too hot in summer. In October, the temperatures are around 80 in the day and 75 at night.
Questions asked - Were you safe and did you feel safe? The answer was, yes, they felt very safe. The laws are very strict in Dubai and are enforced quickly. Were you treated okay? They were treated very well. Was English spoken? Yes, everything was in English. Did they have to dress differently? No, Tim stated that for men everything was fine. While at work, Megan could not wear anything showing her knees. Are you glad to be home? Yes. Mr. Walck said he liked his teaching job in Dubai, however, he missed his photography business and their family and friends.
— with Tim Walck, Meg Walck, Alyssa Allenbaugh, Citizen of Tomorrow, John Abplanalp, Shaylei Burr, Citizen of Tomorrow, Cathy Thompson Bowers and Joann Moshier, IT Specialist at Rotary meeting held at Episcopal Church, Coudersport, Pa.