The Mason Study Club held its first meeting of the new year on January 27, 2011. Diane Evans, Vice-President, introduced our speaker, Masonite Jeannette Schmidt. She spoke of the trip she and her daughter Katie embarked on in Africa to the Hlulhluwe-Umfolozi Wilderness, which is the oldest game park in Africa. It is located in South Africa off the Indian Ocean.
This writer doesn’t know if she’d call it a "vacation" or not after all the adventures Jeannette told us about! She had a wonderful slide show presentation as well as a video she took of the adventures they encountered on their 2-night, 3-day stay in the wilds of Africa. Between stampeding elephants, a pride of lions that completely surrounded their campsite one of the nights (one was so close to her and Katie’s tent, they could feel its fur though the tarp!), and crossing a river, twice, with various and sundry wild animals there drinking water, I’d have to think twice before going! Other animals they encountered on their trek through the jungle included a beautiful giraffe, water buffalo (at the river), rhinos, rock rabbits, hyenas, and wild dogs. Her presentation literally "took" us to Africa so that we felt the excitement and fear they experienced. She and Katie thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the incredible animals they encountered and the beautiful scenery they were privileged to see.
Hostesses for the meeting were Linnda Graham, Lynn Hedges, Claudia Farenthold and Judy Branch and they prepared a wonderful brunch for us. President Jean Dudney discussed our current project, "Book Buddies". Study Club members have volunteered to read with first and second graders at the Mason Elementary School once or twice a week. It has been a very rewarding program so far and we will continue this throughout the spring semester. Other activities for 2011 will include making more cards which are sold at the Mason County Library with all proceeds benefitting the library, a chili lunch on the square that will also benefit either the library or our Book Buddies project, feeding the Habitat for Humanity caravaners, and volunteering at the Mason County Library.
Our February meeting will have Judge Jerry Bearden as our program speaker with a presentation on the economic outlook for Mason County.