Volunteer Muriel Horacek travels the world and brings her stories back for us!
You may know Muriel Horacek as a Christian Scientist from 3rd Church, Glendale where she is the Reading Room librarian. However, to Broadview, Muriel is known as an adventurer who has helped us acknowledge Earth Day the last seven years with several fascinating presentations.
Muriel’s interest in animals and the environment began to flourish in 1992 when she went on her first of several Earthwatch expeditions. Earthwatch is an international nonprofit organization that engages people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding necessary for a sustainable environment.
Broadview guests have experienced arm-chair adventures via Muriel that have included studying 1,000 pound leatherback turtles in Trinidad, communicating with dolphins in Hawaii, documenting hummingbird activities in Peru and studying Cheetahs in Africa. Each step of the way Muriel has felt God’s protection, starting with the day or two travels alone before meeting up with the project group and continuing into the secluded areas of environmental study. She’s felt God’s assuring presence all over the world, from the remote jungles of South America to isolated camps in caves while in China monitoring monkeys. While in Peru she was in a dormitory with five other women and she would get up at 5 AM each morning to read the Bible Lesson and pray on her own before the day’s work began. Another woman also rose at 5, but they always deliberately went off in different directions. On the last day Muriel discovered the other woman was also a Christian Scientist when she saw a Sentinel on her bed! It was also fun to find out the marine biologist on the leatherback turtle expedition was a Christian Scientist. He is currently a professor at The Principia.
These days, Muriel helps her family go on Earthwatch trips instead of going herself. Fourteen family members, including all of Muriel’s children and grandchildren, have been on at least one Earthwatch expedition. One grandchild was inspired to study marine biology after her Earthwatch experience.
For the past six years Muriels’s love of animals has inspired her to work as a docent for the LA Zoo where she volunteers at least three days a week. She especially enjoys Tuesdays when she gives talks to school children. On April 18th, she shared many interesting and amusing facts about the animals and the coordination between zoos to help secure species populations with us. We learned about one of her favorite
places to stand at the LA Zoo: by the Echidna exhibit – one of the world’s most fascinating creatures that is usually incorrectly identified by visitors as a porcupine or hedgehog. The crowds gather as she shares the unique facts about this spiny anteater, egg-laying mammal that has remained amazingly unchanged since prehistoric times. There’s many more oddities about the Echidna, but we encourage you to visit the LA Zoo to have Muriel tell you them herself!
Thank you, Muriel, for your many visits and always inspiring us with your stories!
If you have a special interest to share with our guests, please contact Tracy Colerider-Krugh.