to Friendship Force Dallas!
Friendship Force Dallas experienced an active
year. Our first major activity, an Inbound Exchange from Ashville, North
Carolina, occurred from April 3-7.
Old friendships were renewed as FFD had just visited Ashville in 2003.
Visitors were introduced to major Dallas-Fort Worth landmarks and were
entertained with western music and dancing and Tex-Mex cuisine.
The only Outbound Exchange took place in June when 14 FF members flew into Kiel, Germany, where they were taken to
several cities in northern Germany to mingle with the locals and see the
sights. The group then ventured on to Ooudenarte, (Flanders) Belgium for a week's
stay which included train trips into 5 Belgian cities, tours of local landmarks, and festive meals.
In October, 12 FF members from Cleveland County,
England, arrived for a week of activities, including a visit to the Fort
Worth Stockyards and museums, a tour of downtown Dallas, and a day at
the State Fair of Texas.
Bridge Builders has been an ongoing project for
FFD. This year, FFD donated funds for 6 computers to be installed with
synthesized voice programs, including screen-reader demos and
computer-training tutorials. FFD has shipped such computers to schools
for the blind in Romania, Peru, Chile, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Honduras,
and Nicaragua. Due to their computer skills, two high school graduates
from the school for the blind in Romania were offered jobs this year.
They are the first graduates to ever get jobs directly out of high school!
Seventy-eight members and guests celebrated FFD's
10th Anniversary on November
14. Several charter and early members were recognized during the B-B-Q
dinner / program. Memorabilia and scrapbooks from each year's activities
were displayed for the members who wore costumes from their favorite FF
This year, FFD has held most of its general
meetings in ethnic restaurants, such as Asian, Italian, German, British,
Mexican, and Texan, especially before and during Exchanges to acquaint
members with different customs and cuisine. A special meeting occurred
at the Baha'i Faith Center where a member introduced us to this religion
during a tour of the facility. Other speakers have prepared the club for
the 3 Exchanges throughout the year so that everyone can learn valuable
information about these countries, not just the Ambassadors who actually
participate on the trips.
As for the members, FFD sent 5 representatives to
the FFI Conference in Los Angeles in November, and Mary Williams
Club Member at the Southwest Regional Conference. FFD members do
make a difference.