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  March, 2020  
  Quick Look  
Journeys 2020 President's Letter Membership News
Journeys 2021 Upcoming Meetings Shuttle Service
Festival at Sea Past Meetings FFI Video
  Club News  

President's Notes

Dear Friends,

Hello Friendship Force, We are on schedule for the inbound ambassadors from Taiwan who will be with us August 20 through August 26. As you may know, the visit from Western Michigan, tentatively planned for June, has been cancelled because they did not have enough participation from their club members.

We have now scheduled an outbound journey to visit the Dayton, Ohio club and join them along with their Russian ambassadors June 28 through July 5. More information is below.

This autumn our region will join with others in mid-America for a super conference in Minneapolis. Dates are September 18-20, with a pre-trip available from Sept 14-17. Registration is open and you can apply on line.

Our next meeting will be a potluck lunch at the Chimney Hill Clubhouse on March 14th from 1-3 pm. Aurora Madrigal will tell us about her FF trip to Russia. It should be a great presentation and I hope to see you all there.

Participating in Friendship Force is much more than just a way great way to travel. To understand the lasting impact the club can have on members, ambassadors and hosts, see the following letter from former member Peggy Benton who says that Friendship Force was one of the best experiences of her life. In friendship and with hope that Friendship Force is one of your ‘best experiences’ too,

In Friendship,

Carolyn McMurray, President


This is a letter to Mary Williams from Peggy Benton who, along with her husband Ken Walker, was a Friendship Force member for many years.

I so miss Friendship Force. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

We are giving a presentation on Romania to residents of Good Samaritan Denton Village in March. We were so very fortunate to stay with two pediatricians [in Sibiu, Romania] and hear how women suffered because of Ceausescu's rule - women needed to be examined every month, if not pregnant, and the sad results of that and his many destructions of Romanian resources.

We gave a presentation of a 7 week trip to Eastern Europe (a lot of emphasis on Poland) Ken and I did on our own in in 2004. We have a lot of professors from University of North Texas that live here so they are an appreciative audience. We have given Morocco, Jordan and Tarapoto, Peru presentations and it’s been suggested we start over again. We enjoyed doing it because it is a reliving of the memories so very important now.

...Perhaps one of the best outcomes for us from Friendship Force was being at the meeting of the refugee program about 4 years ago and "adopting" a family from Afghanistan as mentors. Oh, what a joy they have been in our life. They are now really examples of refugee successes. So very proud of them.

We still enjoy the "grandson" we adopted from an FFI trip to Tarapoto, Peru. Another major success story of what starting as "lifting up" a person ended up lifting a family. As well as some help to a young Moroccan man who was son of our host, who was our translator. Got a message from him yesterday.

So, in a way, Friendship Force still lives for us. I would love to see you but don't travel to Dallas except middle hours of day.

PEGGY - Thanks again

Past Meetings

Meetings coordinator – Paula Rose: paularose2000@hotmail.com


Many thanks to Beth and Randy Tetzlaff for this presentation of a Journey they took to the Utah Canyonlands. Living in a city we have a tendency to forget how expansive and varied the West is – this presentation, with the wonderful photos this had taken, drove it home. It was very clear how much Beth and Randy had enjoyed their time there.


This presentation was on the Journey Felicity Sentance participated in with the Florida Suncoast club, led by Betty and Chuck Oldanie. There were 11 ladies and one man - sparking some speculation on how much work a group of older ladies might accomplish in a week building a house. But they came through with great success - with evidence in before and after photos of the 4-plex building under construction in the village of Comanesti.

There are several other Habitat homes in this village and surrounding area, with many people in need of affordable, but modest, housing. These two-bedroom homes help address the housing need in this area, with the recipients participating in the building project.

This partnership with FFI and Habitat was two years in the making, with arrangements made for FF participants' housing and meals and brief sight-seeing in the Bucharest area and some of the famous castles.


Upcoming Meetings

A full calendar of the revised meeting schedule for 2020 can be seen at Meetings.

March Meeting

Date/time: Saturday, March 14, 1-3pm
Location: Chimney Hill Clubhouse, 9223 Emberglow Lane, Dallas 75243
Programme – FF to Russia presented by Aurora Madrigal
Cost: Free with no reservation needed. Please bring a lunch dish to share. Club will provide drinks.
Info: Paula Rose - paularose2000@hotmail.com

April Meeting

Date/Time: Saturday, 3/11, 3-5pm
Location: Renner-Frankford Library, 6400 Frankford Road, Dallas, 75252
Programme: How to Deepen Friendships presented by Sandy Kaiser
Cost: Free. Dinner afterwards on your own at Banana Leaf (Thai)
Reservation: None needed
Info: Paula Rose - paularose2000@hotmail.com


Our program on Japan has cancelled due to cancellation of the Japan Journey. This is the new info:

May Meeting - Preservation
Date/Time: Saturday May 2, 3-5 pm
Place: Renner-Frankford Library, 6400 Frankford Rd, Dallas, TX 75252
(just east of Preston Rd.)
Program: Frankford Preservation Foundation...an historic chapel, restored Blackland Prairie and historic graveyard in the Renner-Frankford area. We will be invited to the actual site for a celebration the following weekend.
Presenter: Kathy Wells Power
Cost: Free / Dinner afterwards on your own at Banana Leaf (Thai)
No reservation needed.


Journeys 2020
International Journey Coordinator Sandy Kaiser - coachsandykaiser@gmail.com

2020 International Journeys
Kaohsiung, Taiwan Inbound

Patty Niemeyer will be Journey Coordinator for the International Inbound visit by Kaohsiung,Taiwan in Late August/early September, 2020. There have been several date changes as Kaohsiung is working with a total of 4 hosting clubs (Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Salvador-Bahia and Fortaleza, Brazil as well as our club) together with juggling flights. Also, of note, they will host the FFI International Conference in 2021.

Please contact Patty at peanutpatti1@gmail.com to volunteer to help with this Journey

2020 Festival at Sea Cruise
September 27, 2020 – October 12, 2020
There will be another cruise in 2020 to Japan from Vancouver. Look here for information:

2020 Domestic Journeys

Domestic Journey Coordinator – Julia Cooper, acjc1804@hotmail.com

Dayton, Ohio - June 28 – July 5  joining 3-5 Ambassadors from Russia.
This Journey has been cancelled by the Dayton Club due to virus shutdowns and cancellations by the Russian ambassadors.

Opportunities with Other Clubs

When you travel with another club you help fill their seats and make new friends in another club as well as your destination club. See the FFI openings: https://www.friendshipforce.org/journeys/
They are also listed on our website at http://www.friendshipforcedallas.org
If you are interested in any of these journeys, contact the Coordinator ASAP. The decision for a journey to go or to cancel occurs at least 90 days preceding a scheduled date. Notice of remaining seats can be out of date as journeys fill and there are cancellations. Contact the coordinator concerned for the most current information.

International Journeys

We’ve just received our assignments from Friendship Force International for international Journeys in 2021 as follows:

Inbound – May, 2021 – Central Israel, Israel to Dallas, TX and San Antonio TX

Outbound – October, 2021 - Dallas TX to Coatepec, Mexico

These dates seem a long way off but Sandy will soon be soliciting Journey Coordinators for both Journeys so she’d welcome volunteers. You can read more about this on P. 38 – 39 in your 2020 FFD Yearbook.

Domestic Journeys

Julia Cooper: As the new Domestic Journey coordinator, I am very pleased to announce that our Friendship Force club has been invited to Dayton, Ohio for a Journey June 28th – July 5th, joining 3-5 Ambassadors from Russia. The Russian Ambassadors are having difficulty obtaining their visas, so the Dayton club has proposed that they have a 3 party journey with Dallas, Russia and themselves. The Dayton club can handle 10-12 Ambassadors from Dallas.

Friendship Force Dallas needs to select a journey coordinator for this Journey ASAP. This would be a great opportunity for some of our new members to take this position. Experience is not required. The JC will be compensated for their time in accordance with the number of Dallas Ambassadors on the journey (see P 38 – 39 in yearbook). I assure you that much support will be available. Applications can be emailed to Julia Cooper acjc1804@hotmail.com.

The application deadline is Noon on March16th, in order to be presented at the next Board meeting at 1:30pm on March 16th. Details on the itinerary and cost will be sent out when available.


Friendship Force International has assigned our club the following domestic Journeys – no dates were provided:

Inbound - Wisconsin-Madison, USA to Dallas, USA

Outbound - Dallas, USA to Charleston, USA


Super Regional Conference

Super Regional Conference for the Midwest,Southwest and Great Lakes Regions
September 18 - 20, 2020
Cost:$175 for early registration
Embassy Suites by Hilton Minneapolis Downtown,
12 Sixth Street South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55412

(Watch for details on how to register and link to make hotel reservations at reduced conference rates )
Host Club: Minnesota-Twin Cities
125 spaces
Journey # 20307
Contact: Rita Mays - ritamnffi@yahoo.com

Tentative Schedule:
Friday, September 18th Delegates arrive and register 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
President’s Leadership Meeting 1:00 - 4:00 PM.
Welcome Reception for all Delegates 5:00 – 7:00 PM.
Dinner on your own. Sign up for optional Dinner Groups at local restaurants.

Saturday, September 19th
Opening Ceremony at 9:00 AM.
Plenary Sessions until 12:30 PM.
Keynote speaker Jeremi Snook, CEO and President of Friendship Force International, Allison Lindsey FF VP- Member Engagement and others.
Lunch in Hotel included.
Workshops 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM offer hands-on learning and sharing how to improve our clubs, journeys and program operations, and discussions on challenging issues.
Dinner on your own. Sign up for optional Dinner Groups at local restaurants.

Sunday, September 20th
Plenary sessions 9:00 AM – 12:30 AM.
Speakers on Global Consciousness and Cultural Awareness.
Closing Ceremony by FF MN Twin Cities.

Pre-Conference Tour – The North Shore of Lake Superior
(September 14-17, $525) and other pre-conference activities arranged by the FF of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Download info flyers in a pdf file on the http://www.friendshipforcedallas.org/SW%20Conference/2020/2020%20Flyer%20UPDATE%2001-21-20.jsb.pdf
and/or the http://www.friendshipforcedallas.org/SW%20Conference/2020/MN%20Tour%2001-28-20%20final.jsb-1.pdf

More details to come. Registration opens March 1, 2020


Club News

Business Cards
Remember - you can order your own FFD business cards from Mary Williams. Give them to people who ask about Friendship Force. This service is free.


You can also let your friends and family know about Friendship Force by sharing yours experiences on your social media account(s). Invite them to attend an upcoming monthly meeting, an event or an inbound or outbound journey. FF of Dallas has a Facebook page that you can like and follow as well as share with your other FB friends. https://www.facebook.com/FriendshipForceDallas/

However, remember Facebook rules: Anyone may post comments or photos on our page, but only posts about FF are acceptable. The club can get in trouble with the IRS for posts that advertise or endorse commercial products or businesses, so please do not do that.

Board Meetings

The next Board meeting will be Monday, Mar. 16th at 1:30 pm in the library at Carolyn McMurray’s home. All members are welcome to attend. Phone Carolyn for further details should you need them.

Sunshine News
Chair Cathy Ignatin cignatin@hotmail.com

Donations of $25.00 each were made to the American Cancer Society in memory of Lee Latham and Nancy Hicks. Every donation is needed to fight this dreadful disease. Jim Bourn Is back in rehab. I know he would appreciate a call or visit. It cheers my heart to see Galen King, Martha Durst, and Ruth Barrow at our meetiings after a really bad year.

Shuttle Rides
Shuttle Coordinator Aurora Madrigal - aurora487@sbcglobal.net

For those of you still doing some traveling, remember, use our volunteer shuttle service (see page 45 in your yearbook). Make a new friend or learn about a friend's journey/trip during that ride to/from the airport. Send an email to ffdallas-shuttle@googlegroups.com with info on date, time, and place for pickup and/or drop-off. Want to become a shuttle driver? Send an email to Aurora Madrigal aurora487@sbcglobal.net for more info.

Travel Insurance
by Sandy Kaiser

When you go on a journey (or a personal trip), you might want to consider buying a medical & travel insurance policy. In my opinion, it's a good idea, especially for medical and evacuation coverage.

Medicare does not cover any medical expensive outside the U.S. And most Medicare supplement policies do not cover as well. Other types of medical insurance should also be checked to see if the policy will cover outside the U.S.

FFI recommends a policy which is underwritten by Nationwide® and is a non-published, custom policy created specifically for Friendship Force members.

I have purchased policies for international journeys and domestic journeys, for both FFI journeys and personal trips. I have collected several times on all of the above. Actually, our motto is, “Never leave home without it.”
Go to this FFI page - https://www.thefriendshipforce.org/insurance/ to find out about the policy and read their FAQs. Go to the "Friendship Force Travel Protection Plan" item to apply (as you select age range and enter trip costs, premium will display at bottom of page). For example: 61-75 years of age, $2000 total trip costs = $160 premium.

A few items of note:
* Can be purchased for FF Journeys as well as for personal travel!
* Premiums based on age and total trip cost (include all pre-paid, non-refundable items per person); not based on destination.
* If the total cost of your trip increases after you buy the policy, you can buy more coverage.
* If you purchase your policy within 15 days of initial trip deposit or payment, the policy covers pre-existing medical condition. otherwise, it will NOT cover those conditions.
* You can pay by credit card or bank automatic draft.
* See the FAQ for contact names and info.

It is probably a good idea to compare with other travel & medical insurance policies - some have more coverage, some have less.

We have also used policies which provide coverage for a full 365 days on all travel. Different rules and premiums apply. There are also policies which cover only evacuation coverage. Medical evacuation can be very expensive. It can reach $75,000 to $100,000 for just one evacuation. There are many options. It is usually worth the effort to do the research.


Friendship Force International (FFI)

Need information about Friendship Force International (FFI)?
Go to their website at https://www.thefriendshipforce.org/

Additional address for FFI In an effort to expedite mailed checks, letters, and other items to FFI Headquarters, we have acquired a P.O. box designated for immediate receipt of mail. Please use this mailing address for any and all payments or other mailings that you need us to receive immediately: Friendship Force International Attn: Finance Department P.O. Box 570 Asheville, NC 28802.

U.S.A. Please note that our current mailing address is still active and open for use; this new P.O. box is just to supplement that. Be sure to have both addresses in your address book! Our current mailing address is still: Friendship Force International 400 West Peachtree Street NW Suite #4-980, Atlanta, GA 30308 U.S.A.


As an alternative form of payment, FFI has introduced e-checks for payment for travel insurance, Journeys and club dues. This will be a form of payment directly from your bank to theirs. Unlike credit card payment, which are immediate, the process will take up to 7 days to process but, like credit card payments, are secure. For more information look for the ‘Payments’ tab under the member resources section of their website here https://www.thefriendshipforce.org/resources/ If you have any questions, please contact finance@friendshipforce.org.


Membership News and Updates
by Vice-President Membership - edward perez, erperez54@gmail.com

Although it's early March, seems that Spring has Sprung here in the Dallas area! Keep an eye out for upcoming "FRIENDSHIP GATHERINGS"!

Membership Updates

With recent new members, we now have 80 members in our club (including 3 Emeritus and 2 Associates). Regardless of when we joined (there are a few who joined in 1994!), we all have interesting and unique experiences, history, and stories to share. Meet your fellow members - especially newer members - and learn from and share with them. They just might have grown up near where you did, have explored or are going to explore a city or country that you've been to or want to go to, have had a similar career, or have a similar hobby or interest. Friendships begin with simple conversations!

New and Anniversary Members

I recently hosted a new member meeting - five new members attend as well as eight current members. We watched an FFI video ("It was just a week..."), enjoyed a nice lunch (including Delicious Baklava hand-made by Leyla Akgerman [she joined in Dec 2009]), and learned about Friendship Force, inbounds, outbounds, and more. I will hold another one later this year. In you'd like to participate, let me know.

Remember to extend your hand of friendship to this member who joined this year! Terri Shepard (friends of Gerry Arens & Isabella Iverson and Beth & Randy Tetzlaff) -  tShepard06@hotmail.com

Also, meet or re-introduce yourself to these special anniversary members! I'm sure they have great stories to share.
15 years Ruth Barrow
                Gerda Kreyer

24 years (joined 1996)
                Ray Enstam
                Mary Williams

25 years (joined 1995)
                Elizabeth Umana

26 years (joined 1994)
                Ana-Marie Grundner Lee

Let People Know about FF Dallas !

THANKS to those members who have invited your friends and family to meetings and events. Word of mouth is one of our best ways to attract new members! So, invite your friends and family to attend an upcoming monthly meeting, an event, or an inbound or outbound journey. Just forward our emails to them about an upcoming meeting and/or our newsletters. Or share your experiences on your social media account(s).

FF of Dallas has a Facebook page that you can like and follow as well as share with your other FB friends. https://www.facebook.com/FriendshipForceDallas/

And let me know (see contact info below) if you know of a group or organization to which we can present info about Friendship Force of Dallas or if you know of any advertising media where we can get out the word on Friendship Force.

Gathering with Friends

Gatherings are smaller group meetings that allow more time to visit & catch up with other FFD members as well as an opportunity to introduce your friends to FF. Dates, times, and costs to be announced.

+ Meals with Friends
Enjoy visiting with your friends while enjoying a delicious meal? Throughout the year, we will meet at a local restaurant for a weekday or weekend lunch (each pays at the restaurant).
==> We will be planning a "meal with friends" for a weekend in April

+ Tastings with Friends
Enjoy sampling wines, beer, or beverages along with savory and sweet appetizers/snacks? Throughout the year, we will meet in a member's home or a local business (cost will be split among attendees). First one of the year will be in late February. ==> We will be planning a "tastings with friends" for a weekend soon!

+ Exploring with Friends

Want to check out a new small business, visit nature preserves/gardents, learn some local history? Let's explore our local area (either in Dallas or an easy day-trip to and from). We have some good ideas for this spring.

We will be planning several "explorations with friends" for a weekend soon! Some possibilities:
>> Poston Gardens - Tuplip Farm in Waxahachie ($15 + $5 parking/car - you get 5 tulips!!; <1hr drive; plenty of restaurants nearby) https://postongardens.com/

 >> Bonton Farms - urban organic farm, market, restaurant & coffee shop (off I-45 & US 175 in S.E. Dallas) https://bontonfarms.org/

>> British Flying Training School Museum - in Terrell (free; <1hr drive; plenty of restaurants nearby) https://www.bftsmuseum.org/

 If you would like to host or organize a "Gathering with Friends," please get in touch with me! Also, contact me if you know of
>> a restaurant that has a separate space or room, can accomodate 10-30 folks, and has reasonable prices >> a place that we can visit and has reasonable prices

"How Can I Help?"

> Let us know about a restaurant or meeting place large enough for 40 (meetings) or 20 (smaller groups).
> Host a GATHERING WITH FRIENDS (food tasting, arts event, festival, etc.).
> Coordinate a meeting, gathering, smaller group.
> Start a book club or service project.
> Contribute/serve on a committee or on our board

Changes and Updates

If you move or change your contact information (phone number, email address(es), etc.), let me know I'll distribute a directory update in March.

Replacement Badges

Need to replace a lost or damaged badge? Need a replacement magnet? If so, please contact edward perez who will order a new one. Replacement badges are $14 (mailed to your home) or $11 (pickup in Richardson). Magnets are free.
So, Where Are We??

As you can see in the map below (arcs are distance from downtown Dallas), we are ALL OVER Dallas, Denton, and Collin County. 74 of our members live in 58 homes as shown on the map. One member lives in Columbia, Missouri (bonus points if you can name that person). 1/3rd are within LBJ and 2/3rds are outside LBJ !
* 19 homes (33%) are within LBJ/I-635 most within 3 miles of Central Expwy; one 11 miles south of downtown!
* 14 homes (24%) are between LBJ and Bush Turnpike most in Richardson, Addison, & Far North Dallas, with a few near Richland College and one in Rowlett.
* 11 homes (19%) are between Bush Turnpike and 20 miles most in Plano, with a few in Carrollton and a few in Rowlett area.
* 14 homes (24%) are between 20 and 27 miles from downtown most in Fairview, with two in Lewisville, one in Allen, and one by Lake Lavon.

The little black dots indicate our meeting places, kind of "centrally" located : Chimneyhill Club House (near LBJ & Central), Dallas Public Library (near Bush & DNT), and Outback Steakhouse (near Bush & Central). I'll leave it as an exercise for you to find out who are your closest neighbor friends!

edward perez - vice president, membership erperez54@gmail.com


Stories of Friendship

Send stories of your FF experiences that have helped eliminate barriers that separate us and bring us closer together. Send to: http://storiesoffriendship.org/



FFI Video

Check out the new video. This one is in English, but there are links to other languages on the video.

Link to Video

Need information about Friendship Force International (FFI)?
Go to their website at https://www.thefriendshipforce.org/