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January 2014 Quick Look  
Exchanges President's Letter International Conference 2013
Dallas Club News Upcoming Meetings Post-conference Homestay
Member News Past Meetings Bob Langford Award
Sunshine Shuttle Service International Conferences
Officers/Chairs Volunteering SW Conferences

Happy holidays everyone. And best wishes for the New Year!

I sure hope lots of you will come to the January meeting as we who went to the World Conference in New Orleans want to give you a taste of our experience (as well as a taste of the great food).

The new yearbooks with everyone's information and the calendar for monthly meetings will be given to you at the January meeting as well. BE SURE TO GET YOUR DUES IN BY DEC 30 IN ORDER TO BE LISTED IN THE YEARBOOK.

One highlight of the New Orleans conference was the award for Volunteer of the Year given to our own Bob Langford. No one deserves such an award more. Be sure to read about Bob and the award elsewhere in this newsletter. Thanks to Ed Edgren for spearheading Bob's nomination and for writing the article.

Our REGIONAL conference is scheduled for March 21-23 in Albuquerque New Mexico. Regional conferences are open to all FF members who wish to attend. While not as huge as the World Conferences, regionals are just as fun and informative. There is information about registering and programs elsewhere in this newsletter and on our website www.friendshipforcedallas.org.

Also a big FF shout out to Mary Williams who has been hard at work getting the website revised and upgraded.

After the conference FF Dallas members hosted 5 FF ambassadors from Brazil and Canada. See the article about this mini-exchange in this newsletter!! Also, Felicity Sentance hosted two friends from Japan who she met last year at the Hiroshima Conference. These ladies were on their way to the New Orleans conference.

In Friendship,
Paula Rose, President

to Bob Langford - by Ed Edgren

On December 18th the Friendship Force International 2013 Outstanding Volunteer Explorer plaque was presented to Bob Langford by President Paula Rose. Shown here are Raymond Enstam, Paula Rose, Bob Langford and Ed Edgren.

As President of the Texas Center for the Physically Impaired, Bob has provided the leadership to obtain and rebuild PC's and adds Microsoft Eyes to permit the visually handicapped throughout the world to communicate and be trained for jobs. The Eyes program speaks the written word to the user in English and the size of print and speed of the scrolling is controlled by the user.

With well over 4000 computers sent initially in the USA the program was expanded in the mid-nineties to Latin American through the efforts of Ray Enstam to assist a school for the blind in Trujillo, Peru and later Lima, Peru. The international effort was expanded 2004-2007 into 3 cities in Romania by Ed Edgren with over 24 PC's delivered by Dallas, Sacramento, CA. and Richmond, VA. Two PC's were also delivered to Bethlehem in 2008. Bob's efforts to support Brasov, Romania were extremely important as it led to the construction of a school building dedicated to blind students and international recognition in 2013 for their efforts. We have also taken computers to Izmir, Turkey.

Bob's nomination for the annual award was submitted by Paula Rose and supported by the Dallas FF Board. Joe Phelan of the Sacramento FF club was instrumental in contacting over 15 FF clubs throughout the world to review and support Bob's nomination. All of this effort was caused by Bob Langford's taking the FF International slogan to mean "Changing the Way THEY See the World".

Text for Bob’s award:

We often talk about how the Friendship Force shows us how similar we all are as human beings. But equally important, the Friendship Force helps us truly understand our differences, in cultures, lifestyles, talents, experiences and abilities. One volunteer, more than any other, has shown a willingness to understand another person’s experience. In 1996 he met an ambassador from Chile whose grandson was going blind. From that moment on, he worked with his own club of FF Dallas and many other clubs to refurbish computers to be used by the blind and people with other disabilities. Through his efforts, Friendship Force clubs have delivered these computers to Chile, Peru, Colombia, Paraguay, Romania and Turkey. For his sensitivity to understand, Friendship Force International recognizes Bob Langford.

Paula Rose accepted the award for Bob at the 2013 Conference. [Note: Bob Langford has been blind since his teens.]


Date and time: Sunday, January 12th, 2014 at 2 pm
Location: Aboca’s Italian Grill, 10455 N Central Expy #118, Dallas, TX 75231 (Note the address - NW corner Meadow Rd/Central)
Menu: New Orleans Theme
   Buffet with Fish Creole, Blackened Chicken and Vegetable Jambalaya
   Cajun Style Red Beans and Rice
   Salad with choice of dressings
   Bread with dip & butter
   Chocolate Cake
   Wine will be provided by the club
Cost: $18.00 includes food, drink (coffee, tea, soft drink) and tip if received by Thursday, 1/9/14. Any member bookings or walk-ins received after this date cost $23.00.
Program: Presentation on FFI Conference in New Orleans - Mary Williams
Reserve: Send check made to Friendship Force of Dallas to Henny Houston.
Info at hennyjack@att.net



Date and time: Sunday, February 9, 2014
Since it is so difficult to find a restaurant that can accommodate as many people as we have attending our meetings, the February 9, 2014 meetings will be held at two ethnic restaurants. Discussions will be held at each venue; notify edward perez by Feb 5 with your choice. More information will be sent to members regarding these meetings at a later date.

1. Cedars Mediterranean Mezzo & Grill - 1-3 pm
Mediterranean buffet - $10 Vegetarian Feast or $13 Cedars Special (plus one meat entrée)
Other menu items available
Drinks, tax, gratuity extra
Everyone pays their own check.
8141 Walnut Hill Ln, Dallas, TX 75231 [east of US 75 Central Expwy]
214-373-8141 http://www.cedarsMezza.com/
2. Mon-Ami Café - 2-4 pm
Italian-Moroccan - menu items range from $10-$20
Drinks, tax, gratuity extra
Everyone pays their own check.
13378 Preston Rd, Dallas, TX 75240 [north of I-635 LBJ]

3. If needed, we will have another location as backup.

Felicity Sentance is trying to find a speaker for the April meeting for the topic 'All you want to know about Tuxtla-Gutierrez and the State of Chiapas, Mexico.' If you know someone with knowledge of that area and is a good speaker, please contact Felicity.

The complete schedule for the year will be in your yearbook, available at the January meeting or mailed to you.


December Holiday Party

The Holiday Party happened to be scheduled during our December ice storm and was rescheduled for December 22. A good crowd attended the pot-luck celebration from 2-5 pm at the Chimneyhill Clubhouse.

    Isabella Iverson and Pat Andeweg       Zia Shamsy, Carolyn Harris, Edna and AD Hudgens


1 - Edna and AD Hudgens, Darlene Anyzeski, Diana Behannesey
2 - Bill Pierce, Joan Mirabal, Patti Pierce
3 - Bob Langford and Ed Edgren


November Meeting

Michael and Jackie Wald presented a program on the exchange they led to Panama May 15-May 24, 2013 

This first-ever Friendship Force Discovery Trip to Panama opened up the frontiers of Friendship Force in this fabulous country, with a possible club forming in Santiago. 

The Wald's interesting photos gave the group a picture of their boat trip on the Panama Canal and the locks; the rainforest village of the indigenous Embera tribe and their tromp through the mud to get to it in dugout canoes; their tour of modern Panama City and the historic Spanish ruins of the oldest Spanish settlement on the Pacific; their meeting with Panamanians in Santiago, and stops at towns and markets in Panama.
Stories from the presenters and ambassadors in the audience gave the club a good look at a rather difficult but satisfying exchange. Thanks to the Walds for their leadership in organizing the trip and presenting this program.


Taupo and Nelson, New Zealand

Paula Rose, ED for the outbound to New Zealand in March 2014, announced that the exchange filled immediately after FFI’s monthly e-mail listed it. Participants are paid up and ready to experience fall down under. She is no longer maintaining a waiting list and suggests that those wanting to go to New Zealand this year look at other clubs going or plan to go to the International Conference there in fall.


Tuxla/Guttierez, Mexico

Michael and Jackie Wald are still working with Tuxla-Guttierez to set up an exchange for May of 2014. They will also invite four members from the newly forming Panama Club to the same exchange. Tuxla will also visit the Pike’s Peak Club after visiting us. Contact Michael or Jackie if you would like to chair a committee or help with the exchange in any way: mwald999@gmail.com or jwald999@yahoo.com.

2015 International Exchanges

By late January or early February, we will have the FFI proposal regarding our 2015 exchange destinations. Our club requested Azerbaijan and Georgia [both or neither], Mexico or Peru for 2015.


Domestic Exchanges 2014-2015

Patty Niemeyer has arranged a two week outbound domestic exchange with the Columbia Cascade Club (Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA) for July 23-29; and the Olympia, WA club July 29-August 3 (departing on the 4th of August)! Each club can host 20 Ambassadors. Patty Niemeyer is the Exchange Director for this exchange. We will host these same clubs in 2015. She is also working on finding a domestic outbound for us in the fall of 2014. See details. (Great! Go Patty)


Dallas Club News

The 2014 officers for Friendship Force Dallas include the following:

Paula Rose

Felicity Sentance
VP - Program Coordinator

Isabella Iverson
VP - Membership

Ruth Barrow

Lou Ann King

Volunteer Positions Filled

Dale Klosterman
Newsletter Editor

Patty Niemeyer
Domestic Exchange Coordinator

If you would like to volunteer to help organize meetings, contact Felicity Sentance at fsentance@gmail.com. Helpers are always needed and appreciated. Ideas regarding locations are also very welcome - remembering the criteria mentioned on the questionnaire. We need a space that is sufficiently large and has a separate room (or at least well away from distractions), easy access to electrical outlets, good free parking, on the first floor, and preferably closed on Sundays. It would be great to keep the meal price (including drink and tip) less than about $15.00, but realistically we are frequently going to have to go over that amount.


Shuttle Service

Remember to support our airport shuttle service. The passenger(s) make a donation to the club of $30 per ride ($40 north of Plano), helping our club. Directions are on page 42 in your yearbook to request a ride or to be a driver. Thanks to the shuttle drivers who have donated their time and the riders who have donated their money to FFD this year.


If I missed your news, it’s because I didn’t know what you were up to. Let your newsletter editor know – daleklosterman@sbcglobal.net.

And let Henny Houston know about anyone who needs a little “Sunshine” – hennyjack@att.net.


Southwest Conferences

The 2013 SW Conference was a social event held on Friday evening at the beginning of the International Conference. The Baton Rouge club hosted the event, with Bob Duncan, Conference Chairman, as host. We were able to socialize and meet members of our fellow clubs. Thanks to the Baton Rouge club!

Dates are set for March 21-23, 2014 in Albuquerque. This will be fun and informative – put it on your calendar! See the flyer and application in this separate pdf file. If you are not able to access or print this flyer and want to attend the SW Conference, request the flyer/application from Paula Rose - paularose2000@hotmail.com.


Friendship Force International Conference - New Orleans
By Mary Williams

The 36th International Friendship Force Conference just concluded in New Orleans. It was attended by almost 700 people from 33 countries – the largest ever. The conference was hosted by the Baton Rouge club, with our Southwest field rep Bob Duncan, as chairman. The club did an excellent job in securing an accommodating hotel at the edge of the French Quarter and finding local speakers and entertainers that gave us a real flavor of the city.

The Friendship Force International Staff

The conference locations are chosen to give us an opportunity to experience the culture of that place – a large draw for a conference.

Some local color included  a performance of the Heritage Choral Society who entertained us with acapella Negro spirituals they are dedicated to preserve.

A jazz duo of Don Vappie and Ed Petersen serenaded us with Creole and blues and spoke about the Creole and Cajun cultures.

Workshops featured Creole cooking, Cajun dancing and international dancing.

A dinner cruise on a paddle wheeler with jazz combo entertainment was also a New Orleans specialty.

Our final cultural experience was participating in a parade through the French Quarter, led by stilt walkers, a jazz band and our own King and Queen. We were supplied with masks and beads to throw to onlookers who wondered what was going on – our opportunity to tell them about Friendship Force.

King Osa Meekins from NJ and Queen Ann Errington from Devon, England led the parade out the hotel and into the French Quarter.

The purpose of the conference was to share best practices and new ideas from speakers and workshop leaders and participants; to hear what is going on in FFI overall – meeting the staff, hearing about the state of the organization and catching up on what is new; to honor those with outstanding accomplishments – including our own Bob Langford; to meet our new FFI president, Joy DiBenedetto; and to provide interaction and networking among members (old friends and new) from all over the world - the best part!

Thirteen people from the Dallas club (Bill and Patti Pierce, Isabella Iverson, Ray Enstam, Zia Shamsy, Cathy Ignatin, edward perez, Paula Rose, Henny Houston, Jacki Kiether, Caryl Madison, Teresa Wilkin, Mary Williams plus Dallas members Stan and Taylor Parker who represented the Fort Worth club) gave Dallas a big presence there.

We met the Tuxla club president and his wife (Luis Marin Marin and Myrna Marin) who will be here on our inbound exchange in May. We found people who might want to do some domestic exchanges with us.  We made some contacts with delegates from Azerbaijan (one of our requested countries for 2015) and met new friends from all over the world.

While not everything in every workshop was a new idea for us, we all picked up some ideas and some contacts we can share as we carry our own club forward.

At the January meeting Mary Williams will share some photos and specifics about the conference. The meal and decorations will be New Orleans style – so plan to attend!


For some good music from New Orleans, go to http://youtube/ALGInrRevH8

Edward perez exclaimed, “WOW!! This is a pretty amazing conference.“ He talked with Joy DiBenedetto, the new FF President and made her an honorary FF Dallas member by giving her a Dallas club pin. While she has only been on the job for a couple of months, edward said he was sure she would bring many ideas and a great deal of energy to the Club.

< Isabella Iverson and Cuqui Ardila from Bogota

Edward spoke with members from Vancouver; Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mex; Alajuela, Costa Rica; Villa Maria, Argentina; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Seoul, South Korea.

He gave each person a business card as well as a link to a video produced by our FF Dallas member Ken Walker that shows some of the things that can occur on exchanges.


If you have not seen the Dallas Exchanges video, make a point to see it.
http://tinyurl.com/ffDallas-exchanges or

In-home hosting after International Conference
By Paula Rose

Several members of Friendship Force Dallas were involved in a 5-day homestay mini exchange after the New Orleans World Conference. Joan Mirabal home hosted two ladies from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, Dolores Tukaluk and Norma Warecki. She was ably assisted by day hosts, Dale Klosterman, Mary Williams and Al Mirabal. Diana and Marty Behannesey hosted Eva deSilva and Tecca Moura from Belem, Brazil, and Paula Rose and edward perez hosted Clea Borges from Bela Horizonte, Brazil.

We all got together for a fine chili supper cooked by Joan so that all guests could get to know each other. We also treated our guests to traditional Thanksgiving dinners. Trips to the Arboretum, 6th Floor Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, McKinney galleries, Pioneer Plaza (the cattle drive sculptures) and Thanksgiving Square rounded out our activities.

Of course, the ladies wanted to go shopping, so we braved the discount malls and Northpark to show them what a real Dallas traffic jam could look like on Black Friday!!

A highlight was for all of us to get together at San Miguel Grill in McKinney for great Mexican food and to hear Lorenzo Gonzalez play the harp. The Brazilian ladies knew many of the songs he played and we all sang a lot!!

We had great time just getting to know each other. I particularly enjoyed taking long walks and singing with Clea. We all had fun with differences in climate, language etc. The Brazilians thought it way too cold to go to the Arboretum, while the Canadians asked if it was going to reach - 30 degrees.
< Marty and Diana Behannesey, Tecca, Lorenzo, Eva, Norma

Hilda and Dale Klosterman, edward perez, and Paula Rose, missing from this photo, were elsewhere explaining to customers why we were so noisy.

Our visitors from Winnipeg – Dolly and Norma at Northpark >

In all, 21 clubs in the US opened their doors for post-conference homestays over the Thanksgiving holiday.


2014 International Conference

Planning is already underway for next year’s World Conference in Auckland, New Zealand. The conference will be held from October 14 to 16, 2014 at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel in Auckland. Registration will begin in early 2014. Click here for a conference flyer.


2015 International Conference

FFI is thrilled to announce that the 2015 World Conference will be held in Vancouver, Canada. The conference will take place September 11 to 14, 2015. More details will be available as the time approaches.


The FFI Board of Directors met in New Orleans prior to the FFI World Conference, November 23-25, 2013. At this meeting, four new board members were elected to a four-year term that begins January 2014:
  • Kurt Hafaeli, FF Solothurn, Switzerland
  • Fred Opondo, FF Nairobi, Kenya
  • Robert Duncan, FF Baton Rouge, USA
  • Ivan Ng, FF Nanyang, Singapore
The 14 Board members represent 11 countries.

They also selected a member of the year, a club of the year and other award recipients who were honored during the convention. Awards presented for 2013 included:

Outstanding volunteers: Bobbie Mulholland from Adelaide, Australia who has been an ED, developing and mentoring clubs in Greece and in Tirana Albania;

and Peter Pfeiffer from Central NC who has been active in Open World exchanges – bringing professional people from Russia and Russian block countries to the US for learning and exchange of ideas.
Vivian Caulfield of the Board accepting for Peter Pfeiffer. >


Outstanding club awards:  Sunshine Coast AUS who brought Japanese teenagers who were displaced or orphaned by the Japanese tsunami for a spring break exchange (the group was initially terrified of the water – but got better by week's end)

and the Omaha, Lincoln, Kansas and Oklahoma clubs who jointly sponsored a themed exchange around the early frontier - each club having a different focus: pioneers, cowboys, native Americans and oil boom.

Outstanding individuals who were a shining representation of Friendship Force's dedication to Explore, Understand, and Serve:

The Explore Award went to Dave and Pat Meyer of FF Northern Illinois - a husband and wife team who helped establish clubs in Vladivostock, Mongolia, Ullan Udea, and Ulaan Baatar.

The Understand Award went to Bob Langford of FF Dallas for his long term project of supplying computers for the blind - see article above. 


The Serve Award was presented to Yasushi Kinugasa of FF Koriyama and Tom and Jean Ledwidge of FF Sunshine Coast who raised over $5000 for youth left orphaned by the Tsunami in Japan and arranged the spring break exchange.

< Yasushi Inugasa and Vivian Caulfield accepting awards

An additional award was given to Mac and Gaby Mackenzie for their service and philanthrophy to Friendship Force through personal donations and matching contributions from Mac's former employer Exxon Mobil of over $26,000. Mac has also served on the Board and was president of the FFI Board; he also served on the Search Committee for a new CEO.

Mac and Gaby Mackenzie >
Paula Rose accepting award for Bob Langford

FFI announced that the goal to establish 45 new clubs through the Global Expansion plan started two years ago has 23 already. New clubs were started this year in Canada, Africa (Kenya), W Europe (France, Belgium, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Albania, Slovakia), New Caledonia (French speaking), Guadaloupe (French speaking) and Malaysia.

FFI has established bank accounts in several countries – Australia, Japan, UK and Germany and can now transfer exchange funds through the Atlanta office.

Policies approved earlier this year were updated to be more readable and are available at www.thefriendshipforce.org.


Exchanges with Other Clubs

Remember you are welcome to join other clubs on their exchanges if there is room. Please contact clubs well in advance, as an exchange may cancel if the Exchange Director doesn’t know about your interest. Among the many members who have done this was Hilda Klosterman who was able to go to Australia with the San Antonio Club. When Dallas went to Romania in 2005, there were six members from the Dallas club and sixteen from around the country.

See http://www2.thefriendshipforce.org/exchanges/ for more details, or go to the World of Friends Catalog that has a listing of all exchanges.

See more exchanges on our Other Clubs page including some new ones to the California Gold and Silver mines, the Freedom Trail in Cincinnati, a Spanish Language Exchange in Mexico and a December Tropics Cruise.


The new Newsletter Editor is Dale Klosterman. He and his wife, Hilda, have been members of FF Dallas since 2005. Both will tell you that membership in FF has been one of the many highlights of their 50 year marriage. Between the two of them they have visited Romania; Costa Rica; Columbia; Haliburton Highlands, Canada; San Francisco; Sacramento; Australia; and Cincinnati. This spring Dale is planning to go to New Zealand. They both have been exchange directors; Dale was the Domestic Exchange Coordinator before he took the job as editor of this newsletter.

Hilda was born in the part of Germany which in 1949 became the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). She managed to escape two weeks before they built the wall. Most people know her as a neonatal nurse (RN) who worked for Presbyterian Hospital for 26 years. What they do not know is that before her career in nursing she was a high school teacher and college instructor (University of Cincinnati & Oklahoma State).

Dale is a retired psychologist who split his career between school psychology (DISD) and the Federal Prison System (psychologist, not an inmate). And, yes, he saw many more fights in the schools than in the prisons. He also retired from the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve after 28 year’s service. He became a second class petty officer after his first enlistment and went on to retire as a Commander (Lt. Colonel).

Hilda and Dale have two daughters and two grandchildren, with one on the way in June. Dale is originally from Cincinnati and still cheers for the Reds and Bengals. His hero is Pete Rose. As a kid, he saw Jackie Robinson play many times. He is very excited about being the Newsletter Editor.


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