Don and Barbara Wallace
Share Their Friendship Force Experience
Barb and Don lived in Wyandotte, Michigan for 17 years. Barbara was the Director of the Public Library. Dr. Don Wallace worked at Oakland University in Rochester, MI as a Physics college professor. He preferred teaching, but also performed research on low temperature physics. He was also Head Advisor for the Physics Department.
When they moved to MN, it was to be closer to their children and to enjoy their grandchildren as they were growing up. Now the youngest grandchildren are in college.
Barbara met two members of Friendship Force in 2002. It sounded like a good way for Barb and Don to know more about what Minneapolis and St. Paul had to offer and to make many new friends closer to their age than their son’s age. It also offered an opportunity for interesting travel to several foreign countries, as well as the chance to host guests from foreign countries and other states in the US (rated as a special treat).
THEIR ADVICE TO NEW MEMBERS:
TRY EVERYTHING! To get involved, try day-hosting first. Don’t be intimidated if your guest might be from a foreign country – most everyone coming from these countries can communicate in English well enough for you to have an enjoyable experience. Also, go to planned events, even to those being held on incoming journeys when you aren’t hosting – Friendship Force has great parties and takes you to fun places!
When on an outgoing journey, be open to all the experiences the hosting club offers, even if it may sound unappealing – you won’t be disappointed. To avoid embarrassing moments, research customs of the people you are hosting or visiting to avoid any embarrassing Faux Pas!
SOME OF BARB’S & DON’S FAVORITE FRIENDSHIP FORCE EVENT EXPERIENCES:
- Learning to use chopsticks at a Japanese Restaurant from a Japanese customer because none of the all Chinese staff working there could translate Japanese
- Going to a Twins game where our Japanese guest was circled by Burt
- Bus ride between Samara and Yogyakarta, Java through volcano ash from an erupting volcano
- Staying with a family who rented traditional Indonesian wedding clothing – gorgeous outfits filled their home
- Seeing Iguazu Falls (a fantastic site –that makes Niagara Falls look small)
- Buying a custom-made leather jacket in Buenos Aires that was ready in under 24 hours
- Acquainting themselves with the amazing Brazilian steak houses
- Surprising birding experiences in Texas and fun with a young woman motorcyclist and lovely hostess
- Staying with Don and Linda Eklund from Picture Butte, Alberta Canada on the Lethbridge journey and visiting with their nephew who talked about living in Cuba and marrying a Cuban woman
Barb and Don say they have really enjoyed being members of FFMNTC and they’ve remained very active members by attending events when they could. Throughout their membership and have been generous to our club in many ways. They always served on committees, hosted, served as ED’s for both incoming and outgoing journeys; entertained in their party room (even just recently while packing up to move); and recently even helped to recruit next year’s new officers!
Barbara and Don recently joined the Journey to Lethbridge, Canada when I had my first experience serving as a Journey Ambassador Coordinator. Barbara’s Friendship Force leadership experience and advice helped.
The Wallaces enjoyed 17 exchanges and 1 journey during their membership; all this time they lived just six months of the year in Minnesota. The outbound trips included Curitiba, Brazil; Biarritz, France; Samara and Yogyakarta and Java, Indonesia and Lethbridge, Canada. The outbound domestics were to New Smyrna Beach, FL; Ft. Myers, FL and Rio Grande Valley, TX.
They hosted foreign visitors from:
Nelson, New Zealand; Tamworth and Bundaberg, Australia; Japan; Campinas, Brazil (was ED); and Mexico City.
Domestic Visitors from:
Dayton, Ohio; Willamette Valley, Oregon; Shelby, North Carolina (was ED); Iowa; Santa Barbara (Day Host).
Friendship Force MN Twin Cities awarded Don and Barbara a lifetime membership. They don’t rule out the possibility that they may move back near their Minnesota family in a few years. We also hope they will be back to visit us here or opt to meet us on a journey!
New or Renewing Members – Click below for Member Form
2018 Renewals due 1-1-18