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  November, 2020  
  Quick Look  
Journeys 2020-2021 President's Notes Membership News
Festival at Sea Upcoming Meetings Shuttle Service
FFI-Virtual Experiences Past Meetings Club News
3rd Thursdays FFI Video and News Travel Book Club

President's Notes

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe it’s already November and the start of the holiday season. This month also marks the end of my tenure as President. I’ve enjoyed my time as President and look forward to contributing to FFD in other ways in the future. Isabella Iverson and Sandy Kaiser were unanimously elected to be our new President and Vice President at our last club meeting. They are enthusiastically looking forward to 2021 with club activities and anticipating the time when we can resume journeys.

I hope you’ve had a chance to check out the FFI virtual journeys on the FFI website, our ‘3rd Thursday’ gatherings hosted by Edward Perez and the 4th Tuesday Book Club hosted by Barbara Taylor. Don’t forget to ‘Zoom’ into our next meeting on November 14th. These are all great ways to keep us together and to keep spirits up until we can meet in person again.
Even though this has been a very unusual and difficult year, we all have much to be grateful for and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and a very happy Holiday Season.

In Friendship,

Carolyn McMurray, President


'Let us rise up and be thankful for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little,
and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die;
so let us all be thankful.


Past Meetings

Meetings coordinator – Paula Rose: paularose2000@hotmail.com

September - England

Our September meeting featured Art Cooper who told us about the journey he and Julia trip took, with the Oklahoma club two years ago, to Somerset England and their ensuing independent trip to Cornwall. Their hosts Malcolm and Sharon Lake lived in a stately house, Stratton House, with prehistoric stones in the pasture and some interesting old furnishings inside.

They explored the historic towns of Bath, Wells and Glastonbury before moving on to the sights in Cornwall.

If you would like to see Art's presentation, check out our YouTube video (it's about 37 minutes in length) - https://tinyurl.com/FFD-SWEngland-2020-09-12a

October - Bhutan

Our October presentation was given by Gerry Arens and featured the adventurous trip he and Isabella took to Bhutan - a small, rugged, landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It measures only 190 miles east to west and 90 miles from south to north and in that 90 miles rises from 1,000 feet altitude to 24,000 feet. Travelling from place to place requires driving on mostly dirt roads and crossing dicey-looking bridges. Not a country for the faint of heart!

If you would like to view Gerry's presentation, check out the video on our YouTube channel (it's about 1 hour long) - https://tinyurl.com/FFD-Bhutan-2020-10-10

Recordings of other past meetings are on the Meetings page.


Upcoming Meetings

Meetings coordinator – Paula Rose paularose2000@hotmail.com
A full calendar of the revised meeting schedule for 2020 can be seen  on the Meetings.page.

November Meeting – Petra and Wadi Rum, Jordan and Baha’i Gardens, Israel

Presented by Mary Williams
Date/time: At 3 - 5pm on Saturday, November 14th
Location: Zoom online

The Zoom link will be sent to members several times before the meeting.
Guests: please contact edward perez for the link. erperez54@gmail.org.


December Meeting – Arboretum

Presentation by a speaker from the Dallas Arboretum
Date/time: At 1-3 pm on Saturday, December, 13th
Location: Zoom online

The Zoom link will be sent to members several times before the meeting.
Guests: please contact edward perez for the link. erperez54@gmail.org

There will also be Member Connections get-togethers on Third Thursday and Book Club on Fourth Tuesday. See Member Connections.

Journeys 2020-2021

Because of the pandemic, all journeys, both international and domestic, are cancelled for this year. However, the ones below, for 2021, remain in place, pending more clarification of the trends of Covid-19.

International Journeys
Coordinator  Kaiser, coachsandykaiser@gmail.com

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

Domestic Journeys
Coordinator – Julia Cooper acjc1804@hotmail.com

Inbound – May, 2021 - Wisconsin-Madison to Dallas

Outbound  May, 2021 – Dallas to Charleston SC

FFI Tours

Remember, we won’t be stuck here forever (although it feels like it at times) so, looking to 2021, Friendship Force International has several Journeys on their website for which you can express interest with the caveat that we have no idea if we’ll be able to go on them. The Journey Coordinator for each Journey is ‘testing the waters’ to check interest.

Grand Tour of Italy
April 10 to April 24, 2021
Helcio Lanzoni, FF Ribeirao Preto, Journey Coordinator
Click for Details > https://www.friendshipforce.org/journeys/grand-tour-of-italy/?utm_source=Friendship+Force+Members+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=3d0a58ecd9-MARCH_JOURNEY_CATALOG_2020_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5feca96946-3d0a58ecd9-86901893

Croatia & Slovenia: The Old-World Adriatic
July 10 to July 21, 2021
Click for Details > https://www.friendshipforce.org/journeys/croatia-slovenia-the-old-world-adriatic/?utm_source=Friendship+Force+Members+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=3d0a58ecd9-MARCH_JOURNEY_CATALOG_2020_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5feca96946-3d0a58ecd9-86901893

Best of Scotland
August 29 to September 8, 2021
Click for Details > https://www.friendshipforce.org/journeys/best-of-scotland-2/?utm_source=Friendship+Force+Members+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=3d0a58ecd9-MARCH_JOURNEY_CATALOG_2020_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5feca96946-3d0a58ecd9-86901893

Festival at Sea Cruise: Northern Europe
August 28 to September 12, 2021

More details on the Journey page.

Click FFI website for complete information and registration:


Virtual Experiences

FFI – Virtual Journeys

And if actually traveling is still in the future for you, try a Virtual Experience – a class, a part of the world, a lecture. Here’s a direct link to the Virtual Experiences page:

Let’s Paint Party – Floral Watercolor Doodles
Saturday, November 7, 2020, 11:00 a.m. PST
Host: Kathy Hart, FF Sacramento

FF Sacramento - Infection & Immunity
Sunday, November 8 at 3:30 p.m. PST
Host: Linda D. Caren, Ph.D.

Trivia Quiz
Monday, November 9, 2020, 8:30 p.m. CET
Host: Kerstin Hogan, FF Staff

Faces and Places: Sibiu, Romania

Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 9:00 p.m. EET
Host: Camelia Grigore, FF Sibiu

Fulfilling Our Mission While Minimizing Our Climate Impact (Session 1)
Thursday, November 12 at 8:00 p.m. CET
Hosts: Valerie Malfara, FFI Staff, Kurt Haefeli, FF Solothurn, Gaya Vanstraelen, FF Leuven & Belgian Coast, and Lyn Hargreave, FF Western Michigan & FFI Board

Fulfilling Our Mission While Minimizing Our Climate Impact (Session 2)

Tuesday, November 17 at 11:00 a.m. CET
Hosts: Valerie Malfara, FFI Staff, Kurt Haefeli, FF Solothurn, and Gaya Vanstraelen, FF Leuven & Belgian Coast

Let’s Paint Party – Christmas Cards
Saturday, December 5, 2020, 11:00 a.m. PST
Host: Kathy Hart, FF Sacramento

PLUS recordings of many past Virtual Offerings – see: https://blog.friendshipforce.org/virtual-experiences/?utm_source=Friendship+Force+Members+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=89723ca37d-COVID-19_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5feca96946-89723ca37d-86901893

Access Virtual Experiences Catalog Here!



Club News


Dues are due by December 15th
. Because of the Pandemic and our reduction in Journeys and programs, dues have been reduced to $20. Download a FFD Membership Renewal Form 2021-1.pdf or if you are a new member, download: Membership Form 2021-1.pdf. Complete and mail to edward perez.


Board meetings are being held via Zoom. All members are welcome to attend. Please contact our president, Carolyn McMurray for dates, times and a link to Zoom if you wish to attend.

We welcome our new Board members for 2021:
   President: Isabella Iverson
   Vice President: Sandy Kaiser
   Vice President Membership: edward perez
   Secretary: Barbara Taylor
   Treasurer: Lou Ann King


Newsletter Apprentice Wanted


Then you might like to apprentice with Felicity as editor of this newsletter sent to members every other month. The role of editor involves:

- Attend the board meeting each month via Zoom
- Keep up to date with club activities
- Obtain email updates for the upcoming newsletter
- Transfer this information to the newsletter template

If you’re interested in learning more please contact Felicity Sentance at fsentance@gmail.com.


The Travel Book Club
Chair: Barbara Taylor - be_taylor@verizon.net

I can only speak for myself, but the discussions at book club seem to keep getting better. There were so many interesting insights into Petra from our members who have been there [reading the book: Married to a Bedoiun, by Marguerite van Geldermalsen]. And Pat Andeweg talked about her early days as a nurse in Iran where she ran a clinic which treated a variety of people, including a Bedouin tribe from that area. Seems like a fascinating place, one which has moved up higher on my bucket list. Looking forward to our November 14 FFD meeting when Mary presents her excellent photography on Petra and Wadi Rum.

Oh, the book! Everyone who read it really liked it. A few of the attendees hadn't read the book yet, but they asked to borrow copies from those who had as we also had a good conversation about what remarkable people both Marguerite and Mohammed were, especially together. Talk about flexibility in your relationships. And all the side notes about living in the caves of Petra - amazing, not to mention the tents, true Bedouin life. And then there was all the people she got to know as extended family....

So for November, we will have our meeting on the usual last Tuesday which is the 24th. Our book is A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. Felicity will lead our discussion and the Zoom link will be distributed prior to the meeting.

If you are interested in joining or dropping in to see what's going on, please send me an email and I'll make sure you're included on the zoom email with the call information. If you have any questions, please email me at be_taylor@verizon.net.

See you in Petra on November 14!!



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.

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.


Membership News and Updates

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

Based on conversations I've had and heard, it sounds like folks are staying healthy, safe, and upbeat as we continue to navigate this pandemic. My opinion - keep at it and encourage others to be safe so we have a fighting chance of reducing the effects! Hopefully, next year we will be able to travel and go on journeys!

I know I am looking forward to a journey to Surrey BC, Canada (suburb of Vancouver). During the 2019 FFI World Conference, Paula and I successfully bid on a 5-night stay with a FF couple. That region is one of our favorites. I'm sure that Joanne and Norm Smyrski will share some of their favorite places and experiences. Where are you hoping to journey to?? Wishing you a safe and healthy autumn!
edward perez vice president, membership


Membership Renewal

At the October board meeting, your board of directors voted to reduce club dues from $40 per person per year to $20 (for 2021 only). THANKS to the 13 members who have renewed as of Oct 28 !!!

For everyone else, please fill out the membership renewal form and send it along with your check to edward perez by December 15. Get a FFD Membership Renewal Form 2021-1.pdf right here.

If you have moved or changed any of your contact information (phone number, email address(es), etc.), indicate that on the form. And let us know how you would like to help your club in it various activities and/or leadership positions.


Membership Connections

Our September "3RD THURSDAY" meeting was about things or memories you obtained while on a journey, FF or not. Our October "3RD THURSDAY" meeting was held IN-PERSON at Haggard Park in Downtown Plano. 13 members attended and caught up on happenings.

Those attending got to say "Farewell" to Jackie Wald as she and Michael prepare to move to Albuquerque. We will miss them! Afterwards, several of us went to a local restaurant for pizza, desserts, beverages, and more conversations. Keep an eye open for upcoming 3rd Thursday announcements. All are welcome!

Read elsewhere in this newsletter about the new TRAVEL BOOK DISCUSSION group being organized by Barb Taylor.

If you have an idea for a topic or a meeting -or- if you want to organize and/or host any sort of gathering, field trip, outing, etc., please let me know.

And if you know of a group that might be interested in learning about FF, please contact me. 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/


Membership Updates

As a result of a presentation about Friendship Force and the Dallas club that I gave to the Casa Linda AARP Chapter (Al Currie of our club is their President), we have a new member. A BIG FRIENDLY WELCOME to Philip Mendershausen !!! (email is bayRumVanilla@gmail.com)

Please continue to share with your friends about Friendship Force and invite them to our meetings and events. LET PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT FF OF 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.


Gatherings with Friends

As decided by the board, we won't be having any in-person gatherings for the foreseeable future. Keep thinking about options for future gatherings when we can meet again.

- Meals with Friends - enjoy visiting with your friends while enjoying a delicious meal.
- Tastings with Friends - enjoy sampling wines, beer, or beverages along with savory and sweet appetizers/snacks.
- Exploring with Friends - check out a new small business, visit nature preserves/gardens, learn some local history.

If you would like to host or organize a "Gathering with Friends," please get in touch with me! Let people know about FF Dallas!


Changes and Updates

If you move or change your contact information (phone number, email address(es), etc.), let me know.

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



I've helped several members get Zoom installed on their computer, get Zoom running, and learn how to share their desktop or a program. If you would like some assistance in anything Zoom, please contact me. I hope that everyone is staying healthy, safe, and upbeat in your physical distancing! It’s been good seeing folks during our online meetings.



Friendship Force International

A note from edward about our virtual information from FFI.

FRIENDSHIP CONNECTION - if folks are not receiving it or other emails from FFI, they can go to the FFI home page https://www.thefriendshipforce.org/ then go to the bottom, put their email address in the "email address" box under "Newsletter", then click Subscribe. I can’t remember if they get a confirmation page or another form to fill out.

Go to the FFI home page https://www.thefriendshipforce.org/ and click on "News & Updates" for the Blog page and "Virtual Experiences" for the Virtual Experiences page.

Here's a direct link to the FFI Blog which has links to the Friendship Connection newsletters.


Looking to 2021, Friendship Force International has several Journeys on their website for which you can express interest with the caveat that we have no idea if we’ll be able to go on them.
Anticipate that we will travel again!

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/

Our new mailing address is:
Friendship Force International
279 West Crogan Street
Lawrenceville, GA 30046