A map of Africa set the mood early on in Virginia Mullin’s Levy Levy presentation and photo slideshow on Tuesday, June 14, as she shared her experiences of a pre-pandemic trip to see Rwanda’s gorillas in their natural habitat.
Mullin has traveled the world for business and pleasure. She is a “certified” circumnavigator and said she can recommend things to do and places to explore on every continent.
She shared her passion for travel with the Levy Levy audience, outlining some of the preparatory requirements such as vaccinations and what it was like to travel to and through the wilds of Rwanda.
Mullin’s son-in-law treated her to the trip in 2017. He organized key details and kept Mullin informed about the proposed itinerary and the list of clothing and vaccinations she would need.
The day the group went to see the gorillas, they were warned not to wear red “because it made the gorillas angry,” Mullin said. The group was constantly reminded that the humans were the visitors and not the other way around.
Mullin said the trip would have been impossible without the drivers and guards of the jeeps that transported his small group. They carried rifles – but not to protect passengers from dangerous animals. The weapons were to protect the gorillas from poachers.
Mullin’s photographs of the silver-backed male gorilla, mature female gorillas, a baby gorilla, and a few “child” gorillas allowed viewers to feel like they were in the moment.
Over the years, Mullin said she was mentored by a professional photographer. One of the most amazing photographs, of a gorilla’s foot, showed a profound level of detail and texture.
“I loved them,” viewer Susan Slocum said of the photographs. “You made me feel like I was there vicariously.”
A tape of Mullin’s webinar is available on the Levy Senior Center Foundation’s YouTube channel.