The theme of a recent Scenic 7 Rotary meeting was “faraway places with strange sounding names,” which was an apt title for a presentation by Sally Jelinek, a member of Hot Springs Village Rotary Club.
The child of parents who worked for the United Nations, Jelinek completed her initial education at boarding schools in her native England. She chose to forego attending a university and, at age 18, began her rather unorthodox young adult life in Uganda, Africa, a news release said.
Jelinek‘s first job was selling Mercedes and Citroen automobiles. That in itself was an unusual occupation for a woman at the time. Loving cars and sports competitions, she and another young woman later comprised the first all-woman team to compete in a road race (sometimes off-road race) from Kampala to Nairobi. They did not win, but Jelinek proudly reported the two won their division — rather predictably because were the only competitors in the all-women division and they did finish the race, the release said.
Later, Jelinek started a driving school where she taught other women, many of them from India. She recounted the sometimes humorous challenges of teaching the ladies clad in yards of sari silk and leather flip-flops how to find and use the gas, clutch, and brake pedals.
In Africa, Jelinek met her husband, Sven, also English. They were married on the banks of Lake Victoria. For much of the time afterward, she arranged safari tours for mostly German and French tourists, studying village life and many wild animals of the area.
Scenic 7 Rotary Club meets at Charlie’s Pizza Pub on Thursdays. Visitors are always welcome. Call Diana Whitlow, 501-922-3877, for more information.
Society on 04/14/2019