On Jan. 11, the Texas and Oklanhoma Chapter enjoyed a Mexican lunch in Colleyville, Texas. There were 25 of us, and we all truly missed Paul Clites who was the previous co-coordinator. He chose to resign as his in-laws are out of state and wanted and needed his talents and expertise. Understandably, family comes first.
Gina Morello was our speaker and had just returned from Chad, or the “heart of Africa.” In 1960, Chad freed itself from France and became independent.
The Wodaabe people gather annually at the end of the rainy season for a week of incredible celebrations known as the Gerewol Festival. The festival is a mass courtship ritual where the young Wodaabe men decorate themselves with elaborate paint, layers upon layers of jewelry, fancy hats, and beautiful ornate costumes in a display to attract the young women in search of a partner. The ensuing encounter can either signify a desire for marriage or for something brief.
As per chapter tradition, we held a two-minute per person around-the-room story telling of something travel related. We heard about close encounters with silver back gorillas, blue-footed boobies in the Galapagos, a journey down the Congo River, and advice to take multiple copies of your passport and place one in each piece of luggage.