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   Exchanges 2013-2014   

Quick Look

2014 Exchanges
Taupo and Nelson, NZ Outbound
Columbia Cascade - Olympia WA Outbound
Gold Coast, AUS Inbound

2013 Exchanges
Tamworth, Australia and Cincinnati, OH Inbound
Gelsenkirchen/Jena, Germany Outbound
Panama Discovery Outbound


Outbound Exchange to Taupo and Nelson, New Zealand
March 3 - 19, 2014

What is this? A Kiwi tattoo?

The Dallas Club must be in New Zealand. Friendship Force members from Haliburton, Ontario; Sarasota, Florida; Mt. Laurel, N.J.; and Columbia, MO Joined our Dallas exchange for a visit to New Zealand, the land of the Kiwi bird, during this past March. Twenty members spent two weeks in the cities of Taupo, Wellington, and Nelson on the northern and southern islands.

The northern island is known for its active volcanoes and thermal vents caused by continental drift, while the south has beautiful mountains and glaciers. The mayors of both cities welcomed the FF clubs with short speeches.

Taupo is in the center of the North Island - located at the outlet of the Waikato River into Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake. Here is one of New Zealand's most spectacular waterfalls - Huka Falls (left).
The Exchange included: 
- Swim/soak in natural hot pools
- Boat trip on lake
- Excursion to Rotorua: Maori village and cultural show
- Excursions to Mt Ruapeha and surrounding volcanic geyser area 
- Walks to river/bush/lake 
- Additional activities depending on interests: picnic, museum, school visit, concerts, sports, shopping

Bus to Wellington: Free day to explore the capital 
Dinner at Fisherman's Table restaurant with FF Wellington 
Options: The Museum of NZ (Te Papa), waterfront shopping and dining, cable cars, Botanic gardens
Ferry through beautiful area to Picton, then a bus to Nelson 

The scenic Nelson region in the South Island is one of New Zealand’s major tourist destinations. Also known for its arts and crafts, Nelson has many galleries, workshops and public events that showcase this creative culture. We visited:
- Abel Tasman National Park to walk, swim or enjoy the beach
- World of Wearable Art
- Historic walk around Nelson
- Another beautiful lake in a National Park

From Dale Klosterman:

When the first two weeks were over, eight of the original travelers were joined by four members from the Cheyenne, WY Club for a week-long van ride through the South Island. Six of the members were able to take a helicopter trip up onto the Fox glacier where they could walk around and take pictures.

The helicopter ride

Taking photos on the Fox glacier

The ladies wanted to know how old the pilots were

The highlight of this third week took place when one of ladies did a bungee jump! She was 80 years old!

The Kiwi

New Zealanders like to call themselves “Kiwis.” This is a Wingless bird that is practically extinct. Mary Latham and Dale spent $30 each to see what they were told was a Kiwi in an exhibit at the Franz Joseph Glacier. The room was too dark to see anything. We could only hear something scurrying around. (Mary may wish to dispute this.)

Cathy Ignatin - Cold morning break for tea

From Cathy Ignatin:

Hello Fellow New Zealand Travelers -
Many thanks for the heart-shaped plaque with the great thought about the friends we make on our journey through life. I was beginning to think I was holding the rest of you back and your gift did so much to lift my spirits. How true that we continue to make new friends through our entire life, and I can’t think of a better place than through Friendship Force. Thanks again.


Outbound to Columbia-Cascade (OR/WA) and Olympia, WA

Nineteen Ambassadors had a wonderful, memorable Exchange July 23-August 4, 2014 hosted by Columbia Cascade FF club of Portland/Vancouver, WA and by the Olympia Club of Washington on Puget Sound.

In Portland, the highlights were an eco-tour of Mount St. Helens; a trip to the scenic Columbia River Gorge and waterfalls; and a trip to Cannon Beach, Fort Clatsop (last stop for Lewis and Clark) and the Maritime Museum and tower in Astoria.

Mary Williams at Multnomah Falls on the Columbia River >

After a short ride on the Amtrak train, we arrived in Olympia in time for a welcome lunch.

In Olympia some highlights were a day trip to Mt. Rainier, a tour of the Capitol of Washington where we participated in a mock trial, and a picnic and kayaking at Millersylvania State Park.

A few of us also got to “row crew” on a boat on Puget Sound. We learned about the local shellfish industry, coffee brewing and fruit growing. Some of also saw some Chihuly glass made in nearby Tacoma. We had great hosts and look forward to their return visit in 2016.

Columbia Cascade and Dallas clubs at Welcome Party along the Columbia River – Vancouver, WA

Elizabeth Umana with Sacajawea
- Fort Clatsop

Sandy and Roger Kaiser, Pat Andeweg at
Millersylvania SP lake, WA

Zia Shamsy with a “gooey” duck clam
- Olympia

Mock trial at Washington State Capitol in Olympia

Georgia Sigalos, Patty Niemeyer and Marguerite Morriss enjoy a cone along the Columbia River

Ruth Barrow at Mount Ranier


Inbound from Gold Coast, Australia

Our inbound exchange from Gold Coast, Australia took place from September 23-October 1, 2014. Mary Latham ably served as Exchange Director and an exciting week including visits to the State Fair of Texas and a tour of the Stetson Hat factory.

< Betty Mayeur hosted the Welcome party and Sandy Kaiser made the arrangements.

Since some people from the Gold Coast Club had to cancel, the exchange was opened to Americans as well. We also welcomed ambassadors from Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Florida.

We enjoyed:
Sep 23: Welcome party at Betty Mayeur's lovely home
Sep 24: Downtown Dallas tour - landmarks; lunch at Dallas Museum of Art
Sep 25: Day in Fort Worth – tour of Bureau of Printing and Engraving; and tour of the Stockyards
Sep 26: Stetson Hat Factory tour; Arboretum in fall with its pumpkin patch and houses
Sep 27: Sixth Floor (JFK) Museum; group dinners
Sep 28: Free day - optional activities
Sep 29: State Fair of Texas
Sep 30: Arts District Theater tour; Klyde Warren park lunch
    Farewell party at Hacienda Ranch

< Exchange Directors Geoff Malloy from Gold Coast and Mary Latham from Dallas.

Patricia Richardson at State Fair >


Outbound Exchange to Jena and Gelsenkirchen, Germany
June 27 - July 22, 2013

Our outbound exchange for 2013 was a two week exchange to Gelsenkirchen and Jena, Germany with two optional tours. Zia Shamsy was the Exchange Director for this exchange. Since there were two host clubs we spent one week with each club. This is a return exchange since those two clubs were here in Dallas for a week in September of 2011 and many of us now have friends there. After much work Zia has come up with a schedule that suited all three clubs. 

The exchange departed Dallas on June 27, arriving in Munich for an optional week’s tour of southern Bavaria's fairytale castle land, with a day trip into Austria. Next was the homestay in Gelsenkirchen (which is in western Germany) from July 5 to 12. 
The next homestay was in Jena in eastern Germany for the week of July 12 to 19.
Following was an optional four-day visit to Berlin from July 19 to 22, departing from Berlin. 

These are both small clubs and hosting was limited to 20 people.


Discover Panama
May 15-24, 2013 

This first-ever Friendship Force Discovery Trip to Panama has just concluded, opening up the frontiers of Friendship Force in this fabulous country! 

Participants enjoyed:
- a boat trip on the Panama Canal 
- a day visiting a rainforest village of the indigenous Embera tribe
- a stay in the luxurious Gamboa Rainforest Resort
- a tour of modern Panama City as well as the historic Spanish ruins of the oldest
  Spanish settlement on the Pacific
- a tour of a sugar cane processing plant and a rum factory
- a visit to the city of Santiago, the town of El Valle - famous for its artisans’ market,
  and the town of Santa Fe along the tropical coast 
And most importantly: They met and partied with two enthusiastic groups of Panamanians who are interested in learning more about Friendship Force and forming their own clubs.

Price - not including international airfare - $1,595.00
Single Supplement - $775.00 (all housing in hotels)
Deposit $500
25 spaces available

Contact Exchange Director: Michael Wald - mwald999@gmail.com

UPDATE: Michael presented an interesting program about Panama at the January 13th meeting. He announced that the exchange of 30 has been successful, with great participation from members of other clubs. 


Tamworth, Australia and Cincinnati, Ohio

April 4-12, 2013

Eight members of the Tamworth, Australia club visited us in spring. After their visit in Dallas they traveled to Xalapa, Mexico and then to West Alejuela, Costa Rica. This was our one international inbound exchange for 2013. 

They were joined by a return visit of eight members of the Cincinnati club, whom we visited last fall. This combined exchange gave members of all three clubs a change to interact and know each other.

Exchange Director was Patty Niemeyer. Home host coordinator was Betty Mayeur, Day Host coordinator was Patti Pierce, and Dinner coordinator was Henny Houston.

See more photos from the exchange.

Contact Information
Postal address: P. O. Box 551151, Dallas, TX 75355
Phone and fax: 214- 699-7574 
Electronic mail
General Information: friendshipforcedallas@yahoo.com
Webmaster: mwilliamstxtravel@yahoo.com