Community Grapevine

On way 'round the world, "Running Man" visits Sereď

"Mad dogs and Englishman" not only "go out in the midday sun," as Noel Coward wrote, sometimes one of the latter decides to run around the world. At least that's what one ambulatory Anglo-Saxon named Rob Garside is doing. The 30-year-old Garside, or "The Running Man" as he calls himself, took a breather from his global jaunt in Bratislava on January 15 to gladhand roadside crowds and flog donations for the international organization, Greenpeace.

Unlike his compatriot, Sir Francis Drake, who used a ship to circumnavigate the planet, Garside aims to run 30 miles a day until New Year's Eve 1999, and has trekked on English, French, Dutch, German, Swiss, and Austrian soil on his worldwide gauntlet since December 7. From here the Running Man heads east through Russia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Columbia, Panama, Mexico, and 18 U.S. States, returning to the eastern hemisphere's southern portion to run through 18 African countries before steering his Nikes towards Piccadilly Circus.

But Garside's still a mama's boy at heart, taking three days to visit his Slovak mother in the small town of Sereď, about 60 km from Bratislava. To contact Greenpeace in Slovakia, or find out more about "The Gar Side"'s on-the-road preparations (including an original defense system against mosquitoes) contact Ĺubica Trubíniová, at Greenpeace, Slovakia's head office in Bratislava, at tel. 07/325-514.

Women's Club explores health issues

The International Women's Club in Bratislava will hold its regular membership and discussion group meeting on February 17, in the Hotel Danube at 18:00. This month's discussion highlights health-care in Slovakia‚ especially "ways for expats to get information" about the Slovak health-care system, said IWC's president, Nancy Trautman. All are welcome. Next month, the IWC will sponsor a daytime seminar on women's cancer by Eva Siracká, president of the Slovak League Against Cancer, and an IWC member (time and date have not been set). Women's Club members are invited on February 6 to tour an exhibition of Oskar Kokoschka at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna. For more information about these events or about IWC, contact Trautman at tel. 07/531-5954.

Tourism peaking in the High Tatras

The High Tatras Regional Tourist Board intends to get busy this year improving tourism in the region. An association of local businesses and other entities from Poprad, Liptov and Orava - established last May in Poprad - will promote better services in the High Tatras through joint initiatives and cooperation among businesses and existing facilities. Alena Šilonová, the Board's marketing manager, says the association will concentrate on marketing, training staff at hotels and restaurants, developing package tours and better tourist information. Advisors to the board include the British Know-How Fund and the Austrian government. "We think our region is very attractive, and this pilot program can be an example for other regions [of Slovakia]," said Šilonová. Contact her at tel. 092/721-186

Children's art exhibits at Bibiana

C Bibiana, Bratislava's library for children, will hold three exhibitions from now through April. The first, scheduled January 23-March 16, "One Sun Instead of all the Stars," is an "idle, funny exhibition" on 50 years of the Slovak "Little Sun" children's newspaper. The second, "A Thousand and One Knitting Needles," is a combined exhibit-workshop for creative moms (or dads?) with a flair for garment-making, February 13-April 6. "Tales from the Old & New Testament" (March 20-April 20) will showcase the work of the Czech children's illustrator, Stepan Zaťěl. On April 20 The Slovak Ministry of Culture in conjuncture with Bibiana will award an annual prize to the author of the best children's book published in Slovakia. For more about Bibiana, at Panská ulica 41, Bratislava, contact Bibliana's Director, Mária Šajdíková, at tel. 07/5334-986.

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