The AAUW Corpus Christi Branch held a meeting electronically on May 1, 2021.
In attendance were 23 members. After welcoming guests and members, several end-of-the-year reports were made. Program Vice President Sylvia Rendon introduced our speaker, Sylvia Whitworth, who has been an AAUW Branch member since 2019. Sylvia is a seasoned world traveler who has visited over 100 countries. Sylvia grew up in Corpus Christi, and she inherited the travel bug from her mother, Florence Beatty, who was president of the AAUW Corpus Christi Branch in 1973 to 1975.
Sylvia Whitworth enchanted us with personalized stories of her trips to 10 exotic, fascinating places around the world. She shared pictures of “refrigerator magnets” she has collected from her travels that serve as mementos and a visual reminder of these trips. The 10 locations Sylvia shared stories about were:
- UZBEKISTAN – a small double-landlocked country in central Asia where she walked the ruins of the fort built 2,300 years ago by Alexander the Great.
- MAURITIUS – an island over 1,000 miles out in the Indian Ocean east of Africa. This is the land of the Dodo bird, a flightless, fat bird that is now extinct.
- JAPAN – the magnet was a Japanese cat figurine often believed to bring good luck. While in Japan, Sylvia and her husband saw the Emperor of Japan speak from the balcony of his palace.
- PITCAIRN ISLAND – an island in the Pacific Ocean that is part of the British Empire.
- AMAZON – the world’s largest river by volume, crossing the breadth of South America. Sylvia and her husband boarded a river boat in Iquitos, Peru, and navigated down river to Manaus, Brazil, about 1,000 miles.
- TRUK LAGOON, MICRONESIA – an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just north of the equator, which was formed by a volcano. Sunken Japanese ships from WWII are a popular draw for scuba divers and history buffs.
- CHIANG MAI, THAILAND – a city in the northern mountains of Thailand founded in 1296. Sylvia spoke of riding elephants through the jungle and feeding bananas to the young elephants.
- MONGOLIA – the largest land-locked country bordered by Russia on the north and China on the south. She flew to the Gobi Desert where they stayed in portable tents, just like the nomads.
- MADAGASCAR – an island off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, formerly part of the French Empire. Sylvia mentioned feeding the tame ringtail lemurs and finding a Madagascar hissing cockroach.
- GUATEMALA – a Central American country below Mexico, with mountains, rain forests, volcanoes, and beaches on the Pacific. Taking a boat across a lake made from the crater of an old volcano, Sylvia visited a magician healer in a small chapel.
Sylvia’s unique travel stories were breathtaking and awe-inspiring. We hope that they are also inspirational, and that we will have more travel stories from additional members to share in the future, once it is safe for world travel again!