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March 2016 Quick Look  
Exchanges 2016 President's Letter International Conference
Past Meetings Upcoming Meetings Southwest Conference - Austin
Birmingham Outbound Exchange Member News FFI News
Columbia Cascade Inbound Exchange Club News Shuttle Service
2017 International Exchanges Other Clubs  

President's Letter

Hello everybody,

By now, you are aware of the exchanges coming up in 2017 to and from Saskatoon, Canada and from Sydney Australia...... many thanks to Ray Enstam, International Exchange Coordinator, for coordinating them until we have EDs. Patty Niemeyer has some plans for exciting domestic exchanges for 2017.

We also have an outgoing exchange to Birmingham, Alabama this spring and an incoming exchange from Columbia-Cascade club in the autumn of this year. Much to look forward to!

Now to the not so fun news ....... with regret, I have had to step down as the President of Friendship Force Dallas because of family needs. My place has been very ably taken by our First VP, Mary Latham, until the March Board meeting when a new President will be elected.

I plan to remain a member and volunteer on the calling chain and as a shuttle driver. I also plan, family health permitting, to go on the exchange to Santiago, Chile and Peru.

All the best and see you at upcoming gatherings.
In friendship,




Meeting March 

Date: Saturday March 12th from 4-6 pm
Location: Renner-Frankford Library - 6400 Frankford Road just east of Preston Rd.
Program: Our speaker is Anne Marie Weiss-Armush, president of DFW International. She is an excellent speaker and will update us on: Friendship in Action - Refugee Families in Dallas.
Free. No reservations needed.
Members can go to dinner at nearby restaurants after the meeting.

Meeting April

Date: Saturday, April 9. 4-6 pm
Location: Renner-Frankford Library, 6400 Frankford (East of Preston Rd) Dallas 75252
Program: Photography with your Smartphone
Speaker: Kathy Keith, professor at Richland College
Free. No reservations needed.
Those wanting to go to dinner afterward have a choice of restaurants in the area.

Contact Paula Rose if you would like to speak or offer suggestions for speakers/activity for open meetings or places that can accommodate our group.


Past Meetings

January Meeting

We met at Outback Restaurant in Plano for lunch and played a game testing our knowledge of Friendship Force.


February Party

Since we did not have our scheduled inbound from Peru in February, we had a party of our own instead. The Chimneyhill clubhouse was decorated for Valentine's Day, members brought a wonderful potluck meal, and entertainer Matt Tolentino played piano and accordian for us with songs of the 30s and 40s. We showed our age by being able to sing along with most of them. Vintage dress was encouraged and a few members found a few old things to wear, while most chose some form of red for the day. We enjoyed this fun event.

                                                                Matt Tolentino >



   Marty and Diana Behannesey        Mary Williams, Brud Kisner, Paula Rose



2016 Exchanges

Santiago Outbound

Our official outbound exchange to Santiago, Chile is scheduled for April 20-27, 2016 + 7-10 days optional extension. One week homestay is $650 with the extension to Iquitos, Peru and the Tahuayo Lodge in the Amazon cost for the extension - $790 double or $950 single room. You can download the flyer with details from our website or get one from Ray Enstam. This exchange can still take one person. Contact Ray immediately if you are interested at enstam@sbcglobal.net.

2016 Domestic Exchanges

Domestic Exchanges for 2016 include both an Inbound and an Outbound:
 - Birmingham, AL Outbound: May 27–June 3, 2016
 - Columbia-Cascade (Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA) Inbound: October 15-22, 2016
       (This is a change of date to coincide with their Cuba trip and our State Fair.

Birmingham, AL Outbound

Our exchange is a GO! There are still remaining places so if you want to participate, contact Mary Williams ASAP. Other clubs in our region have also been invited; Birmingham is also inviting the Memphis club who had wanted an exchange this year. See the flyer with details.

Activities include tours of the Civil Rights Museum, the National Historic Landmark Sloss Furnace, and Arlington House (Antebellum mansion) among other activities. Cost will be about $200 total not including transportation to get there.

To apply, complete an Application Form (available from the Home page of our website) and send with a deposit check made to Friendship Force of Dallas for $100 to Mary Williams. Questions: mwilliamstxtravel@yahoo.com. Balance will be due March 27. Make this exchange part of your spring/summer plans. Though our domestic exchanges are not our primary purpose for Friendship Force, they are always a lot of fun and enhance our appreciation and understanding of our own country.

Columbia-Cascade Inbound

Great news! Columbia-Cascade FF will visit us this year on an inbound exchange. Those of you who traveled there in 2014 will want to reciprocate the wonderful hospitality they extended to us. The Board has appointed Mary Latham as Exchange Director.

We are firming up the dates for the exchange and they will probably arrive October 15 or 16 until Oct 22, 2016. The dates have moved up a week in order to coincide with their Cuba trip and the State Fair of Texas. A firm date should be coming soon.

Now is the time for us organize to make this an extra special exchange for the friends we made at that club. Volunteer now to coordinate:
   Home hosts
   Day hosts
   Gift bags
   Downtown Dallas tour
   Fort Worth stockyard tour
   Welcome party
   Farewell party
   State Fair day
   Arboretum tour

We also have a few new activities planned and need coordinators to organize those activities.
If you want to home host or day host your Columbia-Cascade home or day host, sign up early.
Please contact our Exchange Director, Mary Latham at mary_m_latham@yahoo.com and let her know how you can help with this exchange.


2017 International Exchanges

We have our International Exchanges for 2017!
• We will be hosting Sydney, Australia in February,
• Going on an outbound to Saskatoon, Canada in July or August (good time to go North) and
• We will then host Saskatoon, Canada in October.

The club is looking for Exchange Directors for all three exchanges. Look at your calendars and financial arrangements set out below. Both Sydney and Saskatoon have already appointed Exchange Directors so the Board will want to approve directors for Dallas at the next Board meeting in March. Don’t hesitate too long. Both clubs are very active and eager to participate so they should be great exchanges (and they both speak English!). To apply to be Exchange Director or for more information, please contact Ray Enstam, the International Exchange Coordinator, at enstam@sbcglobal.net.

The Board has approved that a monetary stipend be paid to our Exchange Directors to help them offset costs for a future exchange: $300 credit for an Inbound Exchange Director to be used on a future outbound exchange taken within the next 24 months. Outbound Exchange Directors may build in a fee to cover some of their travel and fee expenses for the outbound exchange that they lead. These positions of responsibility often require a lot of work over a long period of time that is over and above what a volunteer normally does for our club. We also assist home hosts on our inbound exchanges who pay out of pocket to go to events, by paying the cost of their farewell dinner. See details in another part of this newsletter.


Future Exchanges

Patty Niemeyer has arranged:
• Outbound Domestic Exchange with Southern New Jersey Club (near Philadelphia) – March, 2017.
  This is an area rich in history and sights to see!
• Inbound Domestic Exchange (return visit) from Birmingham, AL – May, 2017
Inbound Domestic Exchange with Southern New Jersey - Dates TBD in 2018.

Contact Patty Niemeyer to volunteer to be Exchange Director for either of these exchanges: peanutpatti1@gmail.com. It is not too early!


Home From the Hills

Michael and Jackie Wald returned from an exchange and extension to Panama where Michael was ED for a Global Exchange. Highlight of the trip was the extension where they visited a remote and stunningly beautiful island with white sand beaches only accessible by boat in the Gulf of Chiriqui. There they visited an ultra-high end coffee farm (in Boquete) that sells beans for $100/pound, mainly to the Japanese market. See Michael's blog - www.untroddenla.com for several articles about the trip, including a visit to El Cano archaeological site and sugar factory tour. Michael also has articles from other trips, including Baku, Azerbaijan and Rep of Georgia.

Jim Kerr has just returned from an exchange to Myanmar where he was ED for a Global Exchange. He noted that this is a good time to visit Myanmar before tourism has its impact especially since FFI has made contact with Tin Aung Moe, an excellent tour guide.


Exchanges for 2017:

Sydney, Australia to Winnipeg and Ottawa, Canada and Dallas, USA - February

Southern New Jersey Club (near Philadelphia) - March

Birmingham, AL - May

Dallas to Saskatoon, Canada - July/August

Saskatoon, Canada to Itanhaem and Ribeirao Preto, Brazil and Dallas, USA - October

Club News

Our president Felicity Sentance has resigned as president due to commitments to her husband who has been sick for some time plus other commitments. Mary Latham, vice president, has agreed to fulfill her term as president pending a vote at the March meeting. Reach her at mary_m_latham@yahoo.com.

The Board will meet next on Monday March 14 (our regular day) at 2 pm (new time) at Mary Latham's house. Our regular new time will be 1 pm, as all Board members are retired and prefer a daytime meeting. The March time was moved back to allow members to attend Jerry Bluhm’s service. Any club members are welcome.

A committee of Board members has been working on revising our by-laws and gathering policies the Board has made over the years into a usable document. They should be available to members soon.

Lou Ann King and edward perez have designed a new Expense Reimbursement Form. They ask that everyone who has expenses for reimbursement start using this form, which will work for Lou Ann’s Treasurer accounts and for edward’s Exchange account. Remember to attach the receipt to the form when requesting reimbursement. A link to the form is also available on our website Home page.

Julia Cooper thanks the new volunteer callers for the phone tree.

Who would like to volunteer to serve on the Ways and Means committee? We would like to revive this committee. Contact Mary Latham - mary_m_latham@yahoo.com.


Volunteer to be a Shuttle Driver

Want to meet and learn about your fellow club members? Want to help your club collect revenue to fund our operations? Then consider becoming a FF Dallas shuttle volunteer! We can always use more shuttle drivers who are able to drive other members to and from our airports or around town. In 2015, riders donated over $800 to our club. That's just over 20% of our club's revenue!

If you want a ride:
• Look in the back of your FF Dallas yearbook. All the details are listed there. Basically, you send an email with the place, date and time you need to go - to the Shuttle Drivers list. If someone is available, they'll contact you. When your ride is complete, make a donation to the club. Easy!
• How do you know if you have a driver? Since all of the drivers get your request, the person who can drive you will Reply to All including you so the other drivers know you have a driver. Respond (Reply to All) accepting the ride.

If you want to volunteer to drive:
• How does it work? Contact edward perez at erperez@acm.org to volunteer.
• What do you need to be a shuttle driver? Email (to receive requests and post replies) and a car (to take people places).
• How many times do you need to shuttle? As much as you're comfortable with, once a year, once every few months or whatever.
• What if you cannot do it anymore? Contact edward perez at erperez@acm.org and let him know.
• Do you need to collect any money/checks? No, the rider(s) is(are) on their honor that they will send a donation to the club's treasurer. If the rider wants to give the money/checks to you to mail/deliver, that's up to you. The rider may offer you toll fare or gas money. Again, it's up to you to accept or decline.

THANKS VERY MUCH to the 10 members who used this service over 25 times in 2015 and gave donations!! And THANKS VERY MUCH to the 5 members who shuttled them to/from airports!!


Newsletter Editor

Thanks to Dale Klosterman for his service as Newsletter Editor this past year. He will be working on getting better publicity for our club, and we need a new Newsletter Editor. Speak to Mary Williams or Mary Latham about what is required for this position.

Send your news to Mary Williams, mwilliamstxtravel@yahoo.com by the end of April for the May/June Newsletter.

Remember to use our website for your club questions, opportunities, photos, articles and much more.

Website will be updated with the Newsletter within a few days.


Contact Cathy Ignatin to let her know about members who could use a little sunshine - a call or card. cignatin@hotmail.com


Member News

Jackie Bluhm reports: I wanted to let you know that my dear husband, Jerry Bluhm, passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday afternoon. (Feb 28).Thank you for your continued prayers as we grieve his passing. The memorial service will be Monday, March 14 at 11:00 am, at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Plano (Park and Independence) with internment following at the Dallas National Cemetery. He wished to be cremated and then buried at the US military cemetery. His obituary will run in the Dallas Morning News this Friday and again on Sunday.

Jerry and Jackie Bluhm were among our founding members of the Dallas club. One of our favorite pictures of Jerry is when he dressed as a German at our Farewell Party for the Hanover exchange, and Erich Geissler, ambassador from Hanover, dressed as a Texan. Godspeed Jerry – we will miss you.

John Whaley's younger brother died Feb 15. He was a heavy smoker and had been ill for some time. Our condolences to John and his family. John and Wendy Whaley are recovering from injuries sustained from being hit by a car as pedestrians in December.

Nikki Baron has been hospitalized and has had one kidney removed. She is now recovering at home.

Hilda Klosterman is walking with her new orthopedic shoes. The sole in one of them had to be built up by about two inches. This is much better than the six inches that existed before the surgeon worked his miracles replacing bone in her femur. She is walking with a cane but expects to be on her own soon.
They will attend Hilda's 60th anniversary of her eighth grade class in Germany in June.

We welcome these returning members. Contact the webmaster for their information.

Susan Carpenter

Dale and Hilda Klosterman
daleklost@gmail.com (new)

Mary Suther

Change John and Wendy Whaley to:
John: jnoWhaley@gmail.com
Wendy: whWhaley52@gmail.com



2016 International Conference - Marrakech, Morocco

Friendship Force World Conference Registration: Now Open!
Conference website is: https://www.eiseverywhere.com//ehome/150979
Fee $375
CONFERENCE DATES: September 16th (9:00am) -19th (12:00pm), 2016
CONFERENCE HOTEL: Kenzi Farah Hotel, Avenue du Président Kennedy, Marrakesh 40000
Morocco. The conference venue/hotel is in the L'Hivernage district of Marrakesh, a 10 minute drive from Marrakesh Menara International Airport (RAK).

We invite you to extend your time in Morocco or visit Egypt and South Africa by participating in an optional pre- or post-conference homestay. The dates, type of itinerary, host fees and the length of stay vary from one host club to another. Please contact the conference homestay manager, Pallie Savoie, at pallie@friendshipforce.org if you have specific questions or require information about the homestay. Pallie will email you the details of your homestay assignment within 30 days of registration.

This will be our very first world conference in Africa, as well as our first with our new President and CEO, Jeremi Snook. We look forward to having you join us.

Please visit our conference website for information about beautiful Marrakesh, our conference venue, optional add-ons and a preliminary agenda. When you are ready, simply click on the "New Registration" button to make your selections and to confirm your presence at the 39th Friendship Force World Conference.

See the PRE & POST CONFERENCE OPTIONS tab above for more information about the homestays as well as tours. For online registration and details, please visit our conference website at http://www.etouches.com/ffconf2016

2017 International Conference
Manchester, UK - August 25-27, 2017


Southwest Regional Conference
April 1-3, 2016 - Austin, Texas

From Linda Buehlmann, Registration Chair:
“Happy Holidays! As we continue preparing for the Southwest Friendship Regional Conference, please mark your calendars for April 1 - 3, 2016. We are excited to host this conference in Austin, the heart of Texas. There will be plenty of opportunities to learn what's new from Atlanta, to network with folks from other clubs and to have fun. Our hotel is very close to downtown where can you experience why Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World. And don't forget: the bluebonnets in and around Austin should be in peak blooming season."

We have received Registration forms. If you are a Dallas club member you will receive on by e-mail.
You can access a pdf file of the Registration Form by clicking here.
You can access a pdf file for Hotel Information/Registration by clicking here.


APRIL 1-3, 2016

Come experience Texas hospitality and fun in the Live Music Capital of the World.
Expect a lot of fun and excitement at the Gala Dinner and Dance on Saturday evening!

The Conference will be in the Wyndham Garden Hotel, minutes from downtown Austin. You make your own reservations. See the following page for hotel information.

Friday: Registration in the hotel lobby starts at 3:00 before you visit our HOSPITALITY RECEPTION. There you’ll meet new friends and renew friendships from our ten Southwest Regional clubs. Enjoy browsing through the SILENT AUCTION items and begin making your bids. Winners will be announced Saturday at the close of business.

The PRESIDENTS’ MEETING will be held from 8:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday: The opening ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m. with exciting speakers followed by workshops taught by our FFI leaders. They will show us ways to really enhance our FFI experience.
After business comes pleasure! The GALA DINNER AND DANCE with live Texas music begins at 6:00 p.m. Bring your party clothes.

Sunday: Many optional activities are available. You can sign up on Friday at the Registration Desk for: Bird Watching – free for 10 people; LBJ Library Tour, $8.00-adults, $5.00-over 62; Lady Bird Wildflower Center - $8.00

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE… Stubb’s Gospel Brunch, 1-hour Boat Ride at sunset to see our Bat Colony come out to feed, downtown Austin dining, stroll our paths around Lady Bird Lake, visit the State Capitol Building.

For more time in Austin, the Wyndham agreed to the same convention price for two more days stay, should you choose.

UPDATE: There will be a Silent Auction. Mae Scheib is handling the silent auction the regional conference. If you have some things you could donate, put them aside. Mae Scheib will be sending something out to all clubs to get your donations.Time to clean out closets and purge things you no longer use. Maybe someone else would enjoy your treasure!

Please IGNORE the "non-cancellation" statement on Wyndham's online registration form. If you call the hotel for booking a room, please use this number -512/448-2444 -instead of the 800 number we listed on our first mailing. If you have trouble with your booking, ask for Bill King, Convention Mgr., or Jennifer Schlachbach, Sales Mgr., at the Austin Wyndham Hotel.
The hotel has tried to correct this problem about the cancellation policy for Friendship Force with their corporate reservation center, but it apparently takes time!

If you plan to attend, if you would like to carpool or would like a roommate for the hotel let Mary Latham know before our next club meeting - mary_m_latham@yahoo.com..  We will designate our official delegates at the March Board meeting.


Friendship Force International

Friendship Force has relocated to: 260 Peachtree St NW, Suite 402, Atlanta, GA 30303
Same phone number 404.522.9490.

I'm In Campaign

In August 2015, we asked Friendship Force clubs and membership to say "I'm In!" and help Friendship Force raise $40,000 by the end of 2015 to go toward a new website and upgraded database. With 2015 now behind us, we can definitely say that you are "In!" raising $77,273 toward our total project cost of $97,500.

Clubs and members far and wide have stepped up in a big way with 100% of these funds going directly toward developing new web and database tools for club members and leaders. These tools will go a long way to improving our communication with you as well as with people interested in joining this extraordinary organization you helped to build.

Our new goal of $100,000 by July of this year reflects our full understanding of the costs required to build the database and bring our website current with today’s technology (for more information on the project, go to FFICEO.blogspot.com). Now at 70% of our new goal, we are within arm’s reach of having this project entirely covered by the Friendship Force family.

You’ve stepped up in such a big way and we want to say “Thank You!” If you haven't said "I'm In!" yet, it isn't too late and if you’re feeling inspired to give, you can donate here today! FFI staff is already working with a company on the creation of the website and database, and Jeremi has provided a brief update for our members on his blog. If you've been thinking about donating but haven't taken the step, now is the time!


AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support FFI every time you shop, at no cost to you. With nearly 250 million shoppers annually, Amazon is likely to be a shopping site for many of our members. By simply shopping at the website www.smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase price for eligible items to FFI. If you are only of the millions of shoppers who uses Amazon, please consider adding Friendship Force International as your charity of choice. For more information about how AmazonSmile works, you can visit their information page.


Other Clubs

Join Exchanges with Other Clubs. Remember that 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.

Dallas members are leading Global Exchanges:

FFI: Discover China - April 2-14, 2016
Zia Shamsy is leading an FFI Discover China trip to Beijing, Xian, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Zhujiajiao, China. This exchange presents you with plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself 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. See Other Clubs.

See where these and other clubs are going on the Other Clubs page.


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