VIRUNGA - HOME OF THE MOUNTAIN GORILLAS
by Jessie Campbell
reprinted with permission
I really don't know where to begin this story.
On the one hand it is a story of Dian Fossey, who single-handedly saved the gentle Mountain Gorillas from certain extinction. Like Jane Goodall was to chimpanzees, Dian spent her life befriending, studying, writing about and bringing to light the nearly unknown world of the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. She was honored many times, set up a lasting fund for Mountain Gorilla protection, and contributed deep and convincing studies that brought the plight of the Mountain Gorilla to the world.
On the other hand this is a story of two amazing people who spent years in creating Virunga - Home of the Mountain Gorillas in the Outworldz grid. A tip of the hat must be given to Fred Beckhusen aka Ferd Frederix and Debbie Edwards aka Nyira Machabelli. Two years of love and scripting bring this place to life. It is truly a wonderland!
A trip to Virunga will keep you amazed at what can be done on the Open
Sim grids. This place is full to the brim of animals, people, wild bunnies and more!
Everything is moving around, running up to investigate or hopping off into the jungle!
Amazing NPC work is everywhere.
Let me begin with the animals! Herds of wild beasts such as elephants, tigers, zebras and duiker deer. And of course the gentle Mountain Gorillas, including her beloved gorilla friend Digit !
Watch the signs and beware of the wild animals!
There are several ways to take in the sights. I hiked my way through the whole thing - took me hours. Hop on the airplane for a direct ride to the Virunga Lodge. Or as you fish just wait for the steam tug to pop around and ride over all the sims. Of course you can also hop on a zebra and take your chances!
There are faithful reproductions of Dian's Jungle Home, the Virunga Lodge and even the Rosamond Carr home. All of these places are detailed in notecards as you arrive at each.
In Dian's jungle cabin you can watch her as she works. Listen to her chat as she tells you about her lifetime of dedication. Also walk into the back room and at the film projector touch the screen to see the National Geographic documentary. At the Virunga lodge I spent a half hour following Bob, her companion/photographer of many years.
I cannot recommend these regions highly enough. They faithfully take you through the places that were near and dear to Dian Fossey and they represent the pinnacle of what our Grids are all about. And of course... like any good jungle adventurer...be sure to grab a cold Margarita at the Virunga Lodge and enjoy the wonderful view from the veranda!
Virunga and its associated sims are located in the Outworldz grid. Use any of the many Grid gates to get there and just search for Virunga.
Editors Note : Since I began this article, Virunga has been honored to be named as a UNESCO World Heritage site. For more information, please view https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digit_Fund and http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/63 .
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