Be more than a tourist. Take a journey into the heart of a country and its people with us. Do you have a passion for learning about other cultures and countries? Do you enjoy getting to know people from other parts of the world? Are the most memorable parts of your travels the times when you get off the beaten track and have real life encounters with locals? Would you like to contribute to intercultural understanding and a more peaceful world? If you answer "Yes!" to any of these questions, you will want to MeetUp and find out more about the Friendship Force of Western Michigan, a chapter of Friendship Force International (FFI) FFI was founded in 1977 with the mission "to promote global understanding across the barriers that separate people." There are already 375 clubs in 60 countries on six continents. Each club offers at least one travel exchange a year from 3 up to 7 days in length, during which the members host the visiting "ambassadors" from other clubs in their homes offering hospitality, meals, and organized excursions to share the hosts' local culture, history and way of life. Wouldn't you like to join us to promote intercultural understanding and friendship? Members of FF of Western Michigan can also take part in exchanges offered by other clubs all over the world. Check out the many travel offerings at the FFI website (www.friendshipforce.org). Opportunities to meet and learn about others are vast and the prices are reasonable because of our signature home hosting that is a fundamental part of many FFI travel programs. When we are not traveling our club meets and enjoys the camaraderie of others who enjoy this same type friendship. We meet 10-12 times a year (days and times vary). These meetings may be for a meal at an ethnic restaurant, a potluck when we have others from another country provide a presentation, or we may report on a recent “exchange” (Friendship Force trip) which our members have experienced. Our club has members from Grand Rapids in the north to Schoolcraft in the south, and Holland to the west. Anyone within that triangle would find themselves welcome to join us. Our current membership is made up primarily of retired individuals, though this is by happenstance because of the availability of time for travel. The organization is open to all ages and we would love to have younger folks in our midst. We are from all walks of life: farmers, teachers, engineers, lawyers, ministers, nurses etc. All you need to be comfortable with us is an open mind and a desire to experience the world on a personal level. Please consider coming to our next MeetUp to find out more.