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           (once called EXCHANGES) 

Journeys are visits between Friendship Force clubs, whether from a different country or from within the same country. Clubs are participating in an exchange of cultures. Sometimes when our club visits another club one year, that same club comes to visit us in a later year to exchange visits. Before exchanges, our club holds cultural orientation meetings to prepare us for understanding our hosts or ambassadors.

Over the years, our club has visited and been visited by clubs from many different countries and U.S. states. Listed below are many of our favorite clubs to visit on Outbound Journeys, and to welcome on Inbound Journeys, Many times it's the same club. We call these Reciprocal Journeys and they are our favorite ones!

FFSFBA ambassador Dean Batchelder with hosts Tomoko,
Hiroko, and Takeake Hamada in Matsuyama, Japan.   
Photo courtesy of Dean Batchelder.

Recent Outbound Journeys 

2023 September                      - Calgary, Canada

2022 September                        - New Zealand & Mount Gambier, Australia

2019 August                               - Moscow, Russia
2019 June                                   - Long Island, New York
2018 February                            - Nairobi, Kenya
2017 September/October           - Denver, 
Colorado and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

2017 June                                   - Sapporo, Japan
2016 June                                   - São Paulo ABC and Curitiba, Brazil
2015 November                          - Ciudad de las Flores, Costa Rica (near San José)
2014 February/March                 - Hobart, Tasmania and Murray Bridge, South Australia
2013 June/July                           - Cardiff, Wales and Bavaria-Nuernberg, Germany
2012 February/March                 - Wellington and New Plymouth, New Zealand
                                                                              (New Plymouth was our club's first international outbound in 1985.)
2011 May/June                           - Biarritz, France
2010 November                          - Tuxtla-Gutierrez, Mexico
2009 April                                   - San Antonio & Dallas, Texas
2009 September/October           - Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

Coming soon:

2024 July                                - Northeast Ohio

2024 May                                - Greater Sendai and Hiroshima, Japan

Recent Inbound Journeys 2019 October                               - Sarasota, Florida
2019 April                                    - Kiel, Germany
2018 September                         - Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
2017 November                          - Nagasaki, Japan
2016 October                              - Sapporo, Japan

2015 October                              - Recife, Brazil
2014 June                                   - How Gold and Silver Built the West (themed exchange)
2014 September                         - Biarritz, France
2013 October                              - Manitoba, Canada (reciprocal visit)
2013 May                                    - Horowhenua, New Zealand
2012 June                                   - Cape of Good Hope, South Africa (Cape Town) (reciprocal visit)
2011 July                                    - Malang, Indonesia
2011 October                              - Dallas, Texas (reciprocal visit)
2010 June                                   - 
AlajuelaCosta Rica

2009 June                                   - Australia Central Coast
2009 July                                    - Chemnitz, Germany

Coming soon:

2020 May                                    - Nairobi and Kitui, Kenya and Iringa, Tanzania - Canceled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic
2020 July                                    - Denver, Colorado - 
Canceled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Outbound Journeys 

On an outbound journeys our club travels to the host club's city where the local club provides up to seven nights of home hosting and special activities. Before or after the exchange, our club often goes on a separate week's tour or has a second exchange with a nearby club. An exchange director from our club coordinates the trip with the journeys director of the host club. (Now call Host Coordinators)

Each exchange is unique because of the culture and the people participating in it, and individual experiences will be unique. Ambassadors need to be flexible, open to experiences with a different culture, and to reflect well on themselves and our country. 

One ambassador wrote of his experience on our Manila, Philippines Exchange:

This day, November 9, promised to be another busy one since we had to leave the house by 7:00 a.m. . . . . Any thoughts of resentment at having to get up so early soon disappeared after having been greeted by four smiling faces. Bing, our hostess joined us for breakfast that featured fresh tropical fruits as well as some new and exotic dishes.

We received a very warm welcome on arrival and were given a tour of the campus visiting almost every classroom. A cheerful "Good morning Friendship Force," greeted us in every classroom that really made us feel like VIPs. This was followed by a reception where we were entertained by the JASMS Rondalla, a group playing bandurias, guitars, and octavias, a performance by the JASMS choir and songs by the music teacher, Mr. Armand.

An enjoyable dance program featuring Philippine folk dances was presented by a group of senior women. After the dance program the Friendship Force ambassadors were invited to participate in a Philippine version of line dancing.

For more outbound exchange experiences, see photo gallery and journals.

Inbound Journeys 

Our club always offers visiting ambassadors a tour of San Francisco, a Welcome Party, and a Farewell Party. In addition, for international journeys, we plant a tree typically found in the ambassadors' country in our Friendship Forest in Prusch Park, San Jose.

Welcome Parties, Tree Plantings, and Farewell Parties are opportunities for our entire membership to meet all the visiting ambassadors and entertain them with our local culture. The ambassadors usually entertain us as well. 

Our other activities may vary with each exchange.

Typical Itinerary
   Day 1: Arrival, hosts pick up ambassadors 
   at the airport in their private cars, Welcome Party.
   Day 2: Tour of San Francisco.
   Day 3: Optional activities such as additional time 
   in San Francisco or visit to the redwoods.
   Day 4: Tour of Stanford University's Rodin
   Sculpture Garden and picnic lunch, tree 
   planting in our Friendship Forest.
   Day 5: Free day with hosts, potluck dinners with 
   dinner hosts.
   Day 6: Farewell Party.
   Day 7: Free day with hosts.
   Day 8: Departure, hosts take ambassadors 
   to the airport. 

FFSFBA host Joy Hewett and Australian ambassador Carol
Sloane pose with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background
while on a tour of San Francisco. 
Photo courtesy of Joy Hewitt.

Structure of an Inbound Journey

It takes many club members to put on an inbound Journey. Those who do not fill specific major roles usually help with other needs and attend events to meet and interact with the ambassadors. 

Exchange Director (Now called Journey Coordinators manages the exchange with the help of committees. 

Home Hosts provide lodging in their homes for the ambassadors. The facilities offered by a home host are matched to the needs of the ambassador group, and typically are for one or two persons. Host families include their ambassadors in the activities of their daily lives as well as activities designed to introduce the ambassadors to life in our Bay Area.

Day Hosts provide a variety of activities for the ambassadors in cooperation with the home hosts. Day hosts escort the ambassadors for a day taking them to places or events of interest around the area such as to see redwood trees, universities, or visit sites in San Francisco or elsewhere in the Bay Area.

Dinner Hosts organize and host potlucks in their homes for several ambassadors and FFSFBA members to meet one another.

Latest Events and Journeys - Friendship Force San Francisco Bay Area.  Click NEWSLETTERS on menu.  Then Current Newsletter
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