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Thanks to everyone who attended the TCC Texas Chapter meeting in Dallas in October, especially those that drove in from outside the metro area and Houston. The meeting was particularly memorable thanks to our host and featured speaker, Lyda Hill! Her mineral collection was breathtaking and very meaningful to the geologist of the group, and the interactive world map detailing her travels was amazing. Everyone also enjoyed the learning and sharing that took place.
Following are some highlights from the meeting to accompany the photos shown above:
- Lyda‘s presentation on the Palmyra Atoll was inspiring/informative/incredible. This island is being protected and researched by The Nature Conservancy, which is a special organization. It was fun to hear about her success catching a bone fish, and great to see the birds, crabs, and coral in the photos she shared. Click here for more information on this unique spot. Well done, Lyda!
- Lyda also gave the group a surprise by treating for lunch, so the Texas Chapter will be sending the funds collected for lunch to Lynne Hale (The Nature Conservancy) as a $375 donation to support their efforts in Palmyra. In addition, we all received Nature Conservancy hats which will remind us how nice it is to travel, learn, give, and receive. Katie has already followed up by giving me the link to an organization that helps travelers like us give back – check it out: www.generosityinaction.org.
- Congrats to Jeff Scherbarth on reaching Gold Status at 200 countries! Only 10 members in Texas have reached this country count. Who’s next? :-)
- Our around-the-room sharing of “armpit locations or other places to avoid” provided stories from Lyda on Haiti, Jeff and Cynthia from India, Brooks and Renee in Zimbabwe, Dick and Judy in Kenya, Tom in Tunisia when the January uprising began, Katie mid-air and in Gander on 9/11, Bill in Djibouti, Barbara and Kay getting hip replacements during Safari, and Tom and Kim-Kay in Costa Rica.
- Five of the attendees were cleared for the Global Entry customs status that we discussed at the last meeting in June (www.globalentry.gov), though it was news to most that the speed was before and after baggage claim. Nice!
We missed those of you that are out traveling the world, but we certainly had a nice time getting everyone together. Special thanks to Lyda’s exec assistant, Deborah Fugit – she was instrumental in making the meeting a success … before, during, and after.
This was our last meeting of 2011, but I’ll continue to update you on TCC issues as they arise. As a reminder, 2012 meetings are from 11am-2pm and are noted below:
- January 14, 2012 (Houston)
Featured speaker Kay Champion, MD: Penguin Quest; 13 years traveling to some of the most remote places on the planet
- April 14, 2012 (Austin)
Featured speaker Gary Elliott: Pres, Texas Wine/Grape Growers
- July 14, 2012 (Houston)
- October 13, 2012 (Dallas)
—Kim-Kay Randt, Area Coordinator