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2016 Exchanges
International Exchanges

We had two exchanges scheduled for 2016. We were assigned an inbound from the Nor Peru club (located in Trujillo, Peru) and an outbound to Santiago, Chile.

NorPeru Inbound Exchange

The inbound exchange from Nor Peru scheduled for Feb 3 to 10, 2016 has been CANCELED due to lack of enough participants.
There is a possibility that we may be assigned another exchange.


Santiago, Chile

An outbound exchange to Santiago, Chile was held April 20-27, 2016 + 7-10 days optional extension. Ray Enstam was the Exchange Director.

There was a second week extension to the Amazon leaving from Iquitos, Peru. Iquitos - the largest city in the world with no road access. It is traditionally accessed by boat on the Amazon River, although today there is now limited air access. Upon arrival, we spent 2 nights in Iquitos. We had a full day guided tour of the city and surrounding areas. The next day we took a 4 hour boat ride 50 miles up the Amazon River and then exit into the Tahuayo tributary river for another 40 miles to the Tahuayo Lodge. We spent 3 nights at the lodge and returned to Iquitos by boat the afternoon of the fourth day. The area is famous for its wildlife.

Tahuayo Lodge and activities

The lodge is operated by Amazonia Expeditions of Miami. For more information see http://www.perujungle.com and on the Exchange flyer.

This exchange is completed. See the report on the May 2016 Newsletter.


Additional Exchanges

Michael Wald created a new outbound for FFI - Discover Panama 2016 with an interesting extension. Dates are January 17-27 (11 days) with optional extension to January 31 (15 days total).

Download the Discover Panama 2016 flyer in this pdf file.

Michael has already led two outbounds to Panama and has many contacts there. These exchanges involve working with the people in Panama to establish a new club in Santiago. There were 5 nights homestay in Santiago, 5 nights in Panama City in a hotel, and an extension to a beautiful beach area in Western Panama - Boquete. This exchange is completed.


Discover Myanmar from FFI - February 13-25, 2016 with 5-day optional extension to Cambodia

A small group toured Myanmar with Tin Aung Moe - our speaker at a recent meeting,  and Jim Kerr, ED. Optional 5 day extension to Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Included were sights you saw in Moe's presentation: Yangon city tour, Pindaya, Taunggyi, Inle Lake, Bagan, Mandalay, Mingon and Maymyo.

There are no clubs in Myanmar at this time, so all accommodation were in 3-star hotels with all breakfasts and some other meals.
 This exchange has concluded.
See the flyer for Discover Myanmar


China – April 2 to 14, 2016. Zia Shamsy led an FFI Discover China trip to Beijing, Xian, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Zhujiajiao, China  This exchange presented plenty of opportunities for immersion in the rich culture of China: the historic Great Wall, a traditional Peking duck dinner, an introduction to the silk spinning industry, a boat ride on Hangzhou’s West Lake, a visit to a pearl factory, dinner and show at Circus World Shanghai (optional), and much more.

Although no home hospitality was provided on this exchange, there were opportunities for people-to-people interaction with locals.

Sightseeing Highlights:
Beijing: Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Great Wall of China, Beijing Zoo
Xian: Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum
Suzhou: San Tang Street, the Lingering Garden, UNESCO World Heritage Site
Hangzhou: Boat ride on the West Lake, Green Tea Village
Shanghai: Nanjing Road, Shanghai Museum, The Bund, China’s financial center
Zhujiajiao: Fangsheng Bridge, Baoguo Temple, Zhuxi Garden

See the complete China Itinerary in pdf file:
This exchange is completed. See the report in the July 2016 Newsletter.


Birmingham, AL
May 27-June 3, 2016

An outbound exchange from May 27-June 3, 2016 to the Birmingham, AL club has concluded. Vicki Smith, Exchange Director for Birmingham,arranged tours of the Civil War Musueum, the National Historic Landmark Sloss Furnace, the Arlington Hydrangea Garden and Arlington House (Antebellum mansion) among other activities. The group also visited the Vulcan statue, Arboretum, Pepper Place Market, Crossplex Sports Complex, Railroad Park, Tuscaloosa stadium of Univ of Alabama and Sports Hall of Fame. A visit to the capitol in Montgomery was canceled because of Memorial Day closure.

Mary Williams was Dallas Exchange Director for this exchange.

Schedule Birmingham:

Friday, May 27, 2016
6:00 Barbeque and Welcome Party at Vicki Smith's house.

Saturday, May 28
10:30 -12 Pepper Place Market
12:30 lunch at Whistlestop Cafe, 1906 First Ave N, Irondale
Afternoon with hosts

Sunday, May 29
Morning with host family
3:30 Civil Rights Museum, see 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, Railroad Park
6:00 Box dinner at Vulcan, 1701 Valley View Dr, 35209

Monday, May 30
10:00 Tour of Birmingham Botanical Gardens
11:30 Walking tour of theatr district downtown
12:30 Lunch on your own.
5:00 Dinner at Ann Taylor's house

Tuesday, May 31
10:00 Tour of Crossplex, 2337 Bessemer Rd, 35208
11:30 Tour of Arlington Antebellum Home, 331 Cotton SW, 35211
12:45 Lunch at Niki's West, 233 Finley Ave W, 35204
6:00 Dinner on your own at Regions Park
7:05 Baron’s Baseball game

Wednesday, June 1
9:30 Tour of Aldridge Gardens, 3530 Lorna Rd, 35216
11:00 Tour of Sloss Furnace
1:00 Tour of The Alabama Theater, 1017 Third Ave N, 35203
2:15 Lunch at The Garage Café, 2309 10th Terrace S.
3:30 Tour of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, 2150 Richard Arrington Blvd 35202

Thursday, June 2
8:00 Leave Birmingham
9:00 Parking deck 601 23rd Ave, Tuscaloosa where we catch city bus to campus, disembarking just past UA Stadium
10:00 Tour of Univ of Al stadium
10:45 Walking tour by Woods Hall, Quad, Sorority Row
11:30 Tour Bear Bryant Museum, 300 Bryant Drive, Tuscaloosa
12:45 Catch city bus back to Parking Deck
1:15 Farewell Lunch at Cypress Inn

Friday, June 3


                                      Download the pdf Flyer here.

The November, 2016 meeting featured a slide presentation on the exchange.

Welcome party - Charles and Betty Morgan Gerda Kreyer, Fran Jackson. Rick Thomas         Pepper Place

       16th St. Baptist Church                    Kelly Ingram Park                                           Civil Rights Museum

   Oak Leaf Hydrangea    Aldridge Garden hydrangeas     Botannical Garden: Linda Burrell, Paula Rose, Sandy and Roger Kaiser

                                                                   Some of group at Botannical Garden

                                  Arlington House and guide                                                                       Sloss Furnace

 Gerda Kreyer, Fran Jackson, Paula Rose           Vulcan Statue                   Galen and LouAnn King, RosemaryTenney ? ?

Linda Burrell, Sandy Kaiser, Paula Rose, Vicki Smith, Roger Kaiser, Mary Williams /
                                                                                                        Vicki Smith, Karen Mersmann, Elizabeth Umana

           Roger Kaiser and Ann Taylor at U of A                                            Wall of Tuscaloosa glory

     Mary Williams, Galen and LouAnn King, Elizabeth Umana, Paula Rose, Sandy and Roger Kaiser, Gerda Kreyer


Columbia-Cascade Inbound
October 15-22, 2016

The Columbia-Cascade Club made a return visit to Big D October 15-22, 2016. We were excited to be able to reciprocate the wonderful hospitality they extended to us in2014.

Exchange Director Mary Latham thanks everyone in the club who participated in some way in this exchange including home and day hosts, dinner hosts and committee members who organized events, put together gift bags, handled money and printed the booklet/reservation form/flyers.

Some of the group arrived the morning of October 16 and some on Sunday morning, October 17th from Cuban. So our Welcome party was lunch at 1 pm on Sunday October 16 at Chimneyhill Clubhouse. The club furnished fried chicken and dessert; members brought side dishes.

Download a pdf format Exchange Flyer.

Schedule for the week:
Sat Oct 15

Arrival of ambassadors at various times from Portland OR/Vancouver WA, pickup by hosts

Sun Oct 16 Arrival of ambassadors from Miami/Cuba at DFW – pickup by hosts.

1:30 pm - Welcome brunch at Chimneyhill Clubhouse, 9223 Emberglow, Dallas
Bring a generous dish; no charge.

Mon Oct 17

10 am - Top of the Hill tour - 3001 Division St, Arlington - $10.
Step back in time to revisit Dallas' wilder days. From Tea room to Casino to Speakeasy with an escape tunnel to avoid the law.
  Lunch in Fort Worth at Riscky’s BBQ - east end of Stockyards - $15 for select menu.
2 pm - Fort Worth stockyards tour - $6 seniors/$7 adults.

Evening - dinner on your own in Fort Worth or home for dinner.

Tues Oct 18 10 am - Sixth Floor Museum, 411 Elm St, Dallas - $14/seniors, $16 adults.

12:30 pm - Lunch at Calle Doce, 1925 Skillman near Live Oak - $15 or $16 for shrimp
 2 pm - Arboretum (passes get everyone in free).

Wed Oct 19
10 am - Downtown Dallas tour on DART; meet at Union Station. Includes stops at Pioneer Plaza (cattle drive statues), Thanksgiving Square, Crow Collection, Arts District.
  1 pm - Lunch DMA - $15 - followed by docent-led tour of DMA; Klyde Warren Park.

Evening – Small group dinners in homes - TBA; sign up and be assigned to a dinner.

Thurs Oct 20

10 am - State Fair (take DART to State Fair station.) Seniors get free Fair admission; $16 adults (but discounts available). Purchase/obtain own ticket at the gate. Be sure to check out the art deco buildings and food varieties including fried jello and corny dogs.
Lunch at food courts.
Fri Oct 21
10 am - Bush Library, 2943 SMU Boulevard, Dallas - $10 group rate tickets; reserve with Mary Latham. Parking $5 per car for the first hour and $0.75 for each additional 30 minutes; paid by credit card upon exiting the parking lot. Cash is not accepted.
  Lunch - Northpark  or Mockingbird Station – lunch on your own/shop; free afternoon.

4:00 pm - Reception at home of Sandy and Roger Kaiser in Fairview (dressy). Tell guard at gate you are guests of Kaisers - he will have your name. After entering the gate, follow the signs to the clubhouse. People can be dropped off at Kaiser's house first, but park at the clubhouse. Walk to Kaiser's home around the corner from the club. The walk is about three blocks.

5:30 pm - Farewell dinner at Heritage Ranch Golf and Country Club.
Cost: $22 including water/tea. You may purchase wine or other drinks.
Sat Oct 22

Photos in November 2016 Newsletter


Dallas to Georgetown Outbound (mini-exchange )
edward perez, Exchange Director

In early November, 12 Dallas ambassadors went on a weekend exchange to FF of Georgetown, TX club (formed in 2015).

We began the exchange with a very informative walking tour of the Georgetown square and a visit around town, including Southwestern University, the oldest university in Texas (chartered in 1840).

Saturday evening, we enjoyed dinner and conversations with many of their members and learned about their recent outbound exchanges (even celebrated Paula Rose's birthday).

edward perez, Paula Rose, Alice Gardiner, Patty Niemeyer

On Sunday, we visited the German community of Walburg, TX, settled in the early 1880s, and enjoyed a delicious buffet at the Walburg German Restaurant.



Afterward, we visited the home and studio of Carol Light, an incredible artist. We ended the exchange on Monday with a farewell brunch at the home of Alice Gardner, one of the co-founders of the Georgetown club.

Brief history of Southwestern University [chartered in 1875 as successor to four universities initially started in 1835]: http://www.southwestern.edu/about/history.php


2015 Exchanges

Inbound from Georgetown, TX

November 13 - 15, 2015

Our inbound exchange with Georgetown, TX club has concluded. It was their first exchange. This club had its “official beginning” May 30, 2015 with visits from Mary Mwambay from FFI, and representatives of the Houston and Dallas clubs. They have signed up 50 members so far. We enjoyed their company with a weekend mini-inbound exchange Nov 13-15, 2015. Paula Rose was the Exchange Director.

Friday Nov 13
- Meet ambassadors
Welcome Dinner for hosts and ambassadors at home of Paula Rose/edward perez - 6:30 pm

Saturday Nov 14 - Arboretum
10 am - 1 pm - Visit Arboretum
1:00 pm - Lunch at Dixie Lakewood
2:30 Free - Swiss Ave, SMU, Bush Library, etc
Evening ambassadors take hosts to dinner

Sunday Nov 15 - Downtown Dallas
10 am to 1 pm - Visit downtown sites in cars: Meet at Pioneer Plaza at 10, visit Arts District, Crow Museum, DMA.
1 pm. - Lunch at DMA
2-6 - Free time for Sixth Floor Museum Dallas World Aquarium, Klyde Warren Park, etc.
6:30 pm - Farewell dinner / Dallas Nov club meeting - El Fenix Restaurant, 9090 Skillman Ave (just S of LBJ)
Food: Fajita Buffet
Send reservation and check to Paula Rose - paularose2000@hotmail.com by Nov.7.
See Georgetown reservation form and November meetings.
Program: Report on International Conference in Vancouver: edward perez

Monday Nov 16 - Ambassadors depart

     Betty Brindle, Marilyn Wakefield, Evelyn Barringer                   Georgia Sigalos, Roselyn Hughes, Carol Authement

edward perez, Alice Gardiner, Patty Niemeyer, Carol Authement, Paula Rose         Carol Authement, Paula Rose-  EDs

           Alice Gardiner,Patty Niemeyer, Carol Figioli                        Betty Brindle, Carol Chapuis, Marilyn Wakefield

  Diana Behannesey, Kathy Herring, Marty Behannesey                  Isabella Iverson, Bettie Clapper, Gerry Arens

                     Evelyn Barringer, Mary Williams                            Mary Latham, Lois Hammelman, Lee Latham

                                                                 The Georgetown Ladies


Inbound from Metro Vancouver, BC Canada

We welcomed Inbound Metro Vancouver on October 17-24, 2015.

Exchange Director was Pat Andeweg, assisted by Mary Lathm. We enjoyed hosting 13 Ambassadors from the Metro Vancouver area.


Sat Oct 17 -. Hosts meet Ambassadors at DFW late afternoon/evening time TBD.
Home Host Coordinator: Mary Latham

Sun Oct 18 - Welcome
Free day. Hosts take Ambassadors to places of interest (list of places will be given to hosts).5 pm - Welcome dinner at .Chimneyhill Clubhouse, 9223 Emberglow Dr. (off Abrams/ n of LBJ)
Club will provide ham and turkey, wine/beverages. Please bring appetizers, side dishes, desserts to serve 10. Free to members.
Coordinator: Felicity Sentance

Mon Oct 19 – Bishop/Kennedy
10 am - drive Ambassadors to Bishops Art District and /or Trinity Grove area.
Lunch on own.
1 pm - Meet at Sixth Floor Museum.
3:30 pm - Meet at Chase Tower, 2200 Ross Ave for a guided tour from the Observation deck, 55 stories high. If there is time before or after, Ambassadors may want to visit the Cathedral.
Coordinators: Lou Ann and Galen King
Evening free.

Tues Oct 20 – Downtown Dallas
10 am - meet at Union Station downtown. DART bus tour - Pioneer Plaza / Cemetery; Thanksgiving
Square; Arts District: Crow Asian museum; Dallas Museum of Art.
1 pm: Lunch at DMA - Quiche, salad, tea. Fee.
Afternoon free for Klyde Warren Park; DMA, McKinney Ave trolley, Dallas World Aquarium
Coordinator: Paula Rose
Evening free.

Wed Oct 21 – Arboretum Day (exchanged with Friday - showers)
10 am – Meet at Arboretum entrance (3rd entrance coming from North) to tour garden in small
groups. Free; bring membership passes.
12 noon: Meet Patty at picnic area by restaurant for lunch. Fee.
  Choice of Italian Combo (salami, beef, greens on ciabatta); Mediterranean Veggie (sweet
  Peppdew peppers, cucumbers, LTO) on tomato basil; Sierra Turkey (smoked turkey w/chipotle
  mayo & LTO) on focaccia. Lunches include chips, cookie, water, diet or regular Pepsi.
Coordinator: Patty Niemeyer
Afternoon free. Continue to explore Arboretum, White Rock lake drive, Bathhouse.
Evening - Small dinners in homes. Reserve with Martha Durst - marleo9039@tx.rr.com

Thurs Oct 22 - Fort Worth Day
10 am – Meet at Visitor Center – Exchange Ave, FW for Stockyard tour. Fee.
11:30 am - Cattle Drive in front of Visitor Center
12 noon - lunch at Riscky’s Stockyard BB restaurant (east end of Stockyards) Fee.
   Choice of BBQ beef sandwich and side, 1/2 smoked chicken and side or loaded baked potato and side.
Afternoon - Sid Richardson Museum, Amon Carter Museum, or other museum
4 pm - tour Bass Performance Hall
Evening - suggest dinner on your own in Fort Worth with host or day host to avoid rush hour traffic.
Coordinator: Paula Rose

Fri Oct 23 – Bush Library
10 am – Meet at Bush Library for tour Group admission price.
Coordinator: .Julia Cooper.
Lunch on your own at Northpark Mall or other restaurant
Free afternoon: Shopping, Biblical Museum of Art; Meadows Museum (all close to Northpark)
6 pm: Farewell Dinner at Sonny Bryan’s BBQ – 1251 W Campbell Rd, Richardson (east of Coit. Rd)
  Buffet: BBQ, sides, peach cobbler. Fee. Cash for beer, wine by the bottle - none by glass.
Entertainment - Lorenzo Gonzalez. harp
Coordinators: Kathy/Richard Jacobs; edward perez.

Sat Oct 24 - Ambassadors depart from Love Field for San Antonio. Time TDB.

Pat Andeweg -  pja72@sbcglobal.net

                                                              Some of group in McKinney


Inbound from Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Tashkent Uzbekistan exchange was held April  25-May 1, 2015 to follow their week in Birmingham, AL.

Daily Schedule

Saturday April 25 - Arrivals
    -  Arrival from Birmingham

Sunday April 26 - Welcome Party

    - 1:30 pm - Welcome lunch at Chimneyhill Clubhouse,
       9223 Emberglow, N of LBJ, west of Abrams Rd - Felicity
       Sentance, chair
       $5 and finger foods pot luck dish - Felicity Sentance chair
    -  Free afternoon
    -  Evening: Small group dinners in homes, times TBA -
       Patty Niemeyer coordinator

Monday April 27 - Arboretum Day

    - 10:30 am - meet at Northpark for shopping (change due to rainy day)
    - 1:00 pm - lunch at Dixie House Lakewood
       $12 (many choices) order from menu - Paula Rose chair
    -  Free afternoon (Swiss Ave, Sixth Floor Museum,
       Dallas World Aquarium, Klyde Warren Park, Perot
       Science Museum)
    -  Free evening

Tuesday April 28 - Fort Worth Day

    - 11:00 am - meet near Visitor’s Center in stockyards for 11 am
       cattle drive
    -  Explore Stockyards
    -  1:15 pm - lunch at Riscky’s BBQ - east end of Stockyards; choices
       from a special menu - $15
    -  Free afternoon and evening to explore Fort Worth (art museums,
       Water Garden, Japanese Garden, etc)

Wednesday April 29 - State Fairgrounds

    -  Tour of art deco Hall of State and Esplanade - Paula Rose chair
    -  Picnic box lunch from Panera’s - $10; choice of turkey, tuna, veggies
       with chips, cookie and tea
    -  1:30 pm - Arboretum; meet at entrance (free)

Thursday April 30 - Downtown Dallas day

    -  9:45 am - meet at Union Station (ride DART or park
       $5 pay there) - Paula Rose chair
    - 10 - 1 tour Dallas by DART bus (free)
    - 1:30 lunch at Dallas Museum of Art Atrium $15
    -  Late afternoon free (shopping, trolley)  
    -  6:30 pm - Farewell party at El Fenix, 9090 Skillman; $15 fajita buffet,
       vegetarian also - edward perez chair

Friday May 1 - Ambassadors depart

Paula Rose was Exchange Director - paularose2000@hotmail.com .
Thanks to all hosts, day hosts, dinner hosts and members who assisted with this exchange.

See photos from this exchange in the May 2015 Newsletter.


Outbound to Azerbaijan / Republic of Georgia


Zia Shamsy was Exchange Director for Azerbaijan/Georgia and had a full four weeks planned, with a tour and a homestay in each country. 

Dallas, TX, USA to Baku and Tbilisi May 11 - June 8, 2015
• Departing DFW May 9, arriving in Baku, Azerbaijan May 10
• Sight-seeing of Azerbaijan, including Caspian Sea - May 12 - 18
• Homestay in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, hosted by FF Baku, May 18 -25
• Transfer by air - Baku to Tbilisi, Georgia (capital); homestay hosted by FF Tbilisi, May 25 - June 1
• Sight-seeing of Georgia - June 1 – 8, departing Georgia on June 8

One roundtrip air ticket (not included) covered flight from USA to both countries. Air transfer between the counties was included. Sight-seeing tours were optional.

This Exchange was moderately challenging with walks every day to explore historic city centers and places of interest. We walked on cobblestone streets and trails as well as used public transportation in urban areas.

Contact Zia for information: zia_shamsy@yahoo.com.

Azerbaijan photos:

Baku Airport

Baku - Heydar Aliev Center

Baku - Bulvar Park

Baku - Maiden Tower

Baku - Flame Towers

Old City - Baku

Mary Williams, Azelma Mirzayeva, Elizabeth Umana - Baku
ED's: Solmaz Kazimova and Zia Shamsy
Baku - walls of Old City

Sheki - Kahn Palace

Atashgah - Zoroastrian Temple

Masalli - Eli Baron, Bonnie Evans, Charlene Clements, Niki Baron, Alice Hamel

Georgia Photos:

Tbilisi - Sameba Orthodox center

Tbilisi - National Museum

Tbilisi - city view


Zia Shamsy

Uplistsikhe Cave Dwellings

Tbilisi - Ethnographic Museum

Sighnaghi - town view

Prometheus Cave

Gori - Stalin's Museum

Georgian dancers

Tbilisi annniversary dinner - Zia Shamsy, Kate Maisashvili, Natali Gogichachvili

A few more photos are on the July 2015 Newsletter page.

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