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                         The Handshake
                         The Newsletter of the Friendship Force of Ottawa
 Volume 111 Issue 3                                       May 2008
 Friendship Force Ottawa                                  Friendship Force International                   
 President: Jaap Schouten             Editor: Bonnie Hudon

Next General Meeting:         Tuesday, August 19, 2008, at the Tom Brown Arena Hall,
                              141 Bayview Road Socialize 7:00 pm Meeting 7:30 pm

General Meeting dates:      August 19, November 18 (AGM), 2008

Board: President: Jaap Schouten; VP, Exchanges: John Knobel; VP, Membership: Janet Sterling;
Treasurer: Al Kennedy; Secretary: Merv Sullivan; Directors: Adele Blair, Kathy Hatherill, Ulysse
Nevraumont, Marie Thompson, Pierrette Benoit, Joanne Williams; Past-President: Andrew Stirling.

Here is an update on our Club’s continuous improvements – Jaap Schouten
I am pleased to let you know that we are making progress on several fronts. Here are a few examples:
More active participation by new members: for a variety of reasons, our new (usually younger)
members have become involved in exchanges as never before. Many of them have become committee
members, night hosts, day hosts, or dinner hosts for this summer‟s exchanges. By contributing in this
manner, our newer members are thus eligible to participate in over-subscribed exchanges, thanks to the
new rules adopted at our GM in May. This bodes well for the future of our Club.
Improved club communications: in addition to our traditional means of communication, in particular
The Handshake and the phone, our much improved FFO website (take a look at our pictures and text;
the new FFI logo; mark the date of our next Christmas party in your agenda) and regular news flashes by
email ensure that members are kept fully up to date about club activities. As with most organizations,
print information is going out of style fast, making it essential for our members to own a good computer
and know how to use it.
More cross-cultural content in exchanges: the improved lead time for FFI assignments now makes it
possible for us to be more pro-active in „searching for new horizons‟ for our exchanges. In 2009, we will
be involved with 4 non-western countries (Japan, Mexico, India, as well as Turkey) and an additional 3
western countries (Australia, Germany, USA). Now we have to start putting together another specific
request to FFI for an equally, or even more, exciting program of exchanges for 2010. At our GM on
August 19, we will address this question and your input will be actively sought.
A wider range of social activities: thanks to your efforts, our menu of social activities keeps growing.
In addition to Bridge, Art Appreciation, Golf, Summer Concerts, and Group Dinners, Table Tennis was
added last winter, and recently a new Walking Club was formed. Other possible activities (Tennis,
Skiing, Scrabble, Skating, Belly-dancing, anyone?) are limited only by our imagination.
These improvements are the result of the hard work and enthusiasm of our members. They make our
Club the exciting, dynamic Friendship Force it is today. Many thanks to all. Keep up the good work!

Membership Report - Jan Sterling
As of July 18, our Club has 187 members. Our newest members are: Shayla Mindell, 15 Wilton Cres.,
Ottawa, (613-594-4556),; Anna and Paul Rochon, 10 Rideau Lane RR#4,
Kemptville, ON, K0G 1J0, (613-258-2706),; and Grace Strachan and Peter
Turner, 34 Ashgrove Cres, Ottawa, K2G 0S3,(613-721-1421),
Please note these email address changes: Kathy Hatherill:; Dave Douglas:; Una Allen:; Joyce/Phil Hodgins:

Exchanges Report for 2008 and 2009 - John Knobel
Another inbound exchange season has been successfully completed. This success is, of course, due to
the wonderful management of the exchange directors and the multitude of members without whom these
programs would not get off the ground. To Kathy and Richard Hatherill, Marie and Mel Thompson,
Claudette Tougas, Andrew Stirling and Eileen Howell and to the strong supporting committees, our
sincere thanks. The outbound exchange to Australia and New Zealand was a huge success – thanks to
EDs Rheo and Dorothy Brunet! Our best wishes to Ruth Kirk and John Taylor, the EDs for Moscow,
and their committee, in going through the labyrinthine bureaucracies; to our last outbound of the year,
the group headed by Pam and George Byrtus as they wend their way to Houston and the Rio Grande
Valley in November.
In 2009, our first outbound will be to Fukuoka, Japan ( in
early 2009 – Glen and Diane Robinson are the able EDs for this exchange and will be holding their first
planning session very soon to decide on dates, places to visit etc. There are still a number of spots
available on this exchange as our selection process allows the members at large to go prior to those
already booked on other over-subscribed exchanges. Contact John Knobel a.s.a.p., if interested. Utah
and San Diego: this exchange will take place in April – Tom and Beth Patterson will be assembling
their team and are looking forward to planning this exchange. A number of places are still available so,
if interested, please contact John Knobel a.s.a.p. Turkey – All-Canadian Exchange under the leadership
of Andrew Stirling and Eileen Howell is solidly booked for April – nine Ottawa members will be in tow
on this exchange. Nashik, India ( this fully subscribed exchange
for November, will be lead by Merv and Jessica Sullivan. Preliminary planning is underway – a stand-
by list is in place so should you be interested, your name could be added to the existing group of waiters
(more than a year to go so chances could be good to get on the assured list).
We will, of course, be hosting a number of groups as well: Mt. Gambier, Australia is currently
negotiating a date in May with EDs Helen McDonnell and Pierrette Benoit. Mundo Maya, Mexico will
be coming some time in June 2009. The EDs for this exchange will be Pauline Delorme and Margaret
Bott. The South Oregon/Lower Columbia clubs will be visiting sometime in September. We are
currently attempting to confirm the EDs for this exchange. The Herne, Germany club has a tentative
arrival in October. Doug McGregor and Huguette St. Pierre will lead this inbound exchange.
Niagara Conference 2009: there will be an opportunity for members to attend an all-Canadian
Conference in Niagara in October 2009. Members may also be invited to host, back in Ottawa, fellow
Canadian club members who might wish to extend their stay in the East. More particulars will follow
relating to these opportunities.
Lastly, all successful exchanges have been due to the fantastic willingness of our membership to
contribute. In particular, our new members have stood out in this past season. All are to be
congratulated and thanked for their service to these exchanges – these could not and would not happen
without your contributions! Many thanks!

Queanbeyan-Canberra Exchange – June 21-28, 2008 - Marie and Mel Thompson
On Saturday evening, June 21st we welcomed 10 ambassadors from Queanbeyan-Canberra. From the
moment we saw them coming down the escalator with big smiles on their faces we felt we were going to
enjoy a wonderful week with new friends. The activities started on Sunday afternoon with a tour of
Rideau Hall followed by the Welcome dinner that evening. After enjoying a delicious buffet, the night

hosts introduced their guests and they, in turn, provided us with personal information. Maureen
Sly, Lorna McKenzie and Marion Dunning did a wonderful job of organizing the dinner and if the noise
level in the room was any indication, it was a huge success.
Monday morning the group met at the NCC info centre to view the exhibits and NCC film. Following
this they moved on to the Parliament buildings for a tour and from there a walk along the Rideau Canal
to the National Gallery for lunch and a short tour. Monday evening was the Friendship Force dinners
and a chance for our visitors to meet more of our members while sharing the hospitality of their homes.
Tuesday, the day hosts drove the ambassadors to Rockport where they enjoyed a 1000 island boat
cruise followed by a BBQ at the Maydas‟ and Thompsons‟ cottages. The weather was warm and sunny,
perfect for spending a great day outdoors. Wednesday was free during the day with the ambassadors
choosing various activities from a suggested list. That evening they attended the RCMP Musical Ride
which proved to be a highlight. A visit to the Museum of Civilization, on Thursday, with a very
informative guide, was a huge success. Friday we visited the Cumberland Museum and there again, as
on Thursday, Margie Bott arranged for us to have a very informative guided tour. The Farewell Dinner
followed at Bearbrook Farm, where many people took time to stroll through the animal park. Our
Australian friends treated us to a comic skit of The Three Little Pigs and Hart Steeves shared his
wonderful musical talent before dinner and after for a sing-a-long.
All too soon it was time to say goodbye to our new friends but we know from the feedback that we have
received that they enjoyed the week as much as we did. Our heartfelt thanks to the night, day and dinner
hosts and our committee of Shirley and Al Eriksen (Assistant EDs and Treasurer); Gail Nevraumont and
Mary Mayda (Hosting); Margie Bott and Maureen Sly (Activities); Merv and Jessica Sullivan
(Communication and information bags) Frank Mayda (Ticket Sales) - you all helped make the week a
wonderful success.

West Kentucky Exchange – July 9–14, 2008 - Claudette Tougas
Nineteen ambassadors from West Kentucky arrived on July 9 for a five day exchange. The Friendship
Force of Ottawa club hosted them to a welcome breakfast followed by a three-hour city bus tour. The
following day, ambassadors were treated to the Changing of the Guard and a tour of the Parliament
buildings. Saturday had them picking a highlight as an activity of their choice. Sunday was open with
the Farewell dinner in the evening. Eating featured prominently with Friendship dinners, a BBQ and
tasting of such delicacies as Beaver Tails and Poutine. The exchange ran smoothly and was enjoyable.
Thanks to all who participated and gave generously of their time and resources. Particular thanks to my
committee who worked hard to make this exchange a classy event.
Bogota, Colombia Exchange – August 3-10, 2008 – Eileen Howell and Andrew Stirling
The first week of August saw 33 happy Colombians arrive and 33 even happier Colombians leave.
Twice as many Canadians as Colombians helped make this exchange one of the more memorable ever,
and not only for its size. There was a deliberate attempt to try new ideas, some out of necessity, due to
the size of the group, and some because it was a good opportunity to experiment with FFI research on
the interests of a younger demographic of both ambassadors and hosts. These included:
a) Welcome brunch in which 14 day hosts each served a table of 6. This established a bond between day
hosts and ambassadors early and proved an elegant, efficient and calm way of serving the large group.
The day hosts also did us proud with the beautiful selection of foods on the tables. Day hosts were
nicely integrated into the whole week with participation in dinners, cottages and other outings.
b) Many first-time hosts, including members from Pembroke who night-hosted half the week, new
members from Kemptville, and non-members joined in to provide the extra beds needed.
c) The extensive use of non-members as translators. They are all keen on Friendship Force now and are
potential new members.
d) More unstructured time, during which hosts took ambassadors to the places they had chosen from a
list of 18 things to do (which we had sent them before they arrived) and hosts had time to follow their
own spontaneous and personal preferences.
e) Bus trip to Montréal. Ottawa members joined Colombians for a day of sightseeing and shopping.

As „necessity is the mother of invention‟, the lack of sufficient dinner hosts meant day and night hosts
pooled resources to provide the food for an elegant sit-down dinner for 24 at our very small home.
Other hosts formed teams for joint meals during the week in what is a return to the way things were
done in earlier times. A highlight of the exchange was the music of Colombia at the welcome (by Jairo
Nieves, who is a professional accordion player), and the hour of dancing at the farewell party in which
ambassadors wore national costumes in a formal presentation and then danced with us. The Bogotá club
has a membership of 40-50 families. They host 4 or 5 inbound groups each year and then take a group of
30-40 on their outbound exchange. They are clearly one of the most hospitable clubs and we were
pleased we appeared to equal the effort they put out so regularly. Thanks to all who participated from
Ottawa. It was a Herculean effort but worth every ounce we put into it. Thanks to Diane and Glen
Robinson, Huguette St. Pierre and Douglas McGregor, Jean d‟Arc Lachapelle and George Neilson who
took lead roles in key events.

Moscow, Russia Exchange - September 12-19, 2008 - John Taylor and Ruth Kirk
The time is fast approaching for the departure of 33 ambassadors for our September 12-19 Moscow
exchange. We have begun to hear from our Moscow hosts, thus beginning our friendships with them.
Our visa support “invitations” arrived from Moscow the last week of June, and most ambassadors have
applied for, and received, their visas by now –a triumph of patience and perseverance over the
complications and complexity of the Russian bureaucratic process. In addition to the Moscow exchange,
4 ambassadors are taking the St. Petersburg-Moscow river cruise, and 29 will visit St. Petersburg
following the exchange.
Houston/Rio Grande Valley, Texas Exchange, November 6 -20, 2008 - Pam and George Byrtus
The Texas Outbound Exchange is well on its way with what promises to be a truly BIG Texas
experience. Our ambassadors are off to Houston for the first week - the fourth largest city in the U.S.
We're looking forward to seeing the Houston downtown and learning some of the Texan history and
culture. Included is a trip to Galveston and, as well, a Texas Ranch. TexMex food and BBQs will be on
the menu. We are also currently negotiating a trip to San Antonio. We then move on to our second
week in Rio Grande Valley, 350 miles from Houston, encompassing a large area in the south of Texas.
Our ambassadors will stay with their hosts in small towns inland from Brownsville. The program looks
exciting with an excursion to Mexico, out to Padre Island and the Dolphin Watch, and then to an elite
Marine Military Academy. We're very much looking forward to this great exchange.
Social Activities Report – Pierrette Benoit and Activity Coordinators
Table Tennis: the Canterbury Community Centre has advised that space will again be available in
September, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Friday night. Everyone is encouraged to join in,
there‟s plenty of space and fun available! If interested, contact Garry Bowes,
Dinners: Lucy Nelms ( invites members to join the Dinner Club. It is a fun
activity and a great way to meet fellow Ottawa members in each others‟ homes, make new friends, and
enjoy delicious food. Each dinner club group has 8 members (singles welcome); there are 4 dinners in
each round with each member providing either the main course, appetizer(s), salad, or dessert in turn.
The host provides the main course, and drinks; also they arrange the date, time, and theme (if any).
Round #6 will be set up in September. To sign up, please contact Lucy.
Bridge Club: the FFO Bridge Club has completed the 2007-2008 season. The dinner at Kanata Golf
and Country Club on June 3rd was quite successful; prizes were awarded to top score winners, and then
there was an evening of social bridge. The new season will begin in September. Anyone interested in
joining the bridge club for next year should contact Frank Mayda for more information (613) 224-7594
or by the last week of August. Player teams are normally couples, however, any
pair of two members can form a player team.
Summer Concerts: Heather Pettipas has again suggested free summer concerts: 1) Orchestra in the
Park at Le Breton Flats – July 17, 18, 19, 20; 2) Mackenzie King Estate – July 19, 20; 3) Ottawa Turkish
Festival – July 26, 27. A number of members joined in and fun was had by all.

FFO Walking Club: we are launching the FFO Walking Club on August 15th with a first walk at
10:00 am starting from Pierrette Benoit‟s home, 2706 Violet Street. We have a group of 17 members
ready to hit the pavement! If you haven‟t signed up yet but are interested in joining, please contact
Pierrette at

    The Friendship Force of Ottawa – Minutes of General Meeting of March 18, 2008
                                Tom Brown Hall, 141 Bayview Rd, Ottawa

   President Jaap Schouten called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM. 100 members and 7 guests were present.

   1) Introduction of New Members and Guests
      New members Carolyn Masleck, Jean Farrell, Carol Kerfoot, David Douglas, Don Urquhart and
      Joanne Lahey were welcomed. They were each given their badges and introduced themselves briefly.
      New member Ian Wilson was also welcomed and introduced himself. He will be given his badge when
      available. Guests Peter Turner, Grace Strachan, Anna Maria Tavara, Claudia Tavara (FF of Recife,
      Brazil), Joy Hudson, Shayla Mindell and Lisa Zaslavsky briefly introduced themselves.

   2) Approval of Agenda
      The agenda was adopted as printed.

   3) Approval of Minutes of GM of March 18
      Moved by Andrew Stirling and seconded by Maureen Sly that the minutes of the March 18, 2008 General
      Meeting be approved. CARRIED

   4) Membership Report Janet Sterling
      Vice-President Membership Jan Sterling presented the membership report (attachment 1) in which she
      indicated that we currently have 181 members. She thanked members who had been involved with the
      booth at the Ottawa Travel show and the information sessions following it. Further information sessions
      will be held in June.

   5)    Treasurer’s Report Alan Kennedy
         Treasurer Al Kennedy presented a financial report on the FFO General Account (attachment 2). He
         indicated that the true cash balance is actually about $1000 higher than the closing balance of $3,716.65
         since $500 has been advanced for the Colombia exchange and $500 has been advanced for the Christmas
         party. There are a few expenses yet to be paid including $800 for insurance in August. He mentioned that
         expenses are now broken down by administrative activity rather than by officer responsible to provide
         better visibility of where funds are being spent. In response to a question on the 50/50 draw, Al explained
         that the amount shown (50%) is FFO‟s portion of the draw and will be donated to the food bank this year.

   6)    Exchanges 2008 John Knobel
         (see Handshake May 2008 for full report)
         Vice President Exchanges, John Knobel provided an introduction to the report on exchanges.

         Incoming Exchanges

    a)  Dubuque Iowa – May Incoming (completed) ED Kathy & Richard Hatherill
        Kathy Hatherill reported on a very successful exchange which included amongst other things, a fly past
       by Michael Potter in one of his planes at the Gatineau airport. Kathy thanked all those involved including
       day, night and dinner hosts and members of the committee.
    b) Queanbeyan-Canberra – June ED Marie & Mel Thompson
        Marie Thompson reported that we are expecting 10 ambassadors and outlined the program for the week.
       She indicated that tickets are on sale for the welcome & farewell parties in addition to the thousand
       islands boat cruise.
    c) West Kentucky – July ED Claudette Tougas
       ClaudetteTougas reported that 19 ambassadors are expected to arrive on July 9 th for a 5 day exchange. She
       mentioned that tickets for both the Welcome breakfast on July 10 th and Farewell dinner on the 13th are


 d) Bogota, Colombia – August ED Andrew Stirling/Eileen Howell
     Andrew Stirling reported that offers of help are still needed particularly cottage hosts and day hosts for
     the large incoming exchange beginning Aug 3rd. Tickets are available for the farewell luncheon at
     Stonebridge Golf course on Sunday August 10th.

     Outbound Exchanges

 e) Australia/N. Zealand – March/April (completed) ED Rheo & Dorothy Brunet
    Rheo and Dorothy Brunet reported on the triple exchange to Adelaide and Bundaberg Australia and
    Levin, Horowhenua NZ. A number of ambassadors reported on their experiences including a customized
    tour for a week on the South Island of New Zealand.
 f) Knoxville/SC Tennessee – October John Knobel
    John Knobel indicated that due to low numbers, this exchange would be cancelled.
 g) Moscow, Russia - September 2008 ED Ruth Kirk/John Taylor
    Ruth and John reported on the current status of the exchange. The exchange is fully subscribed with 33
    ambassadors. We are currently waiting for the invitations required to start the visa process.
 h) Rio Grande Valley/Houston – November 2008. ED Pam & George Byrtus
    Pam and George reported that this double exchange to Texas promises to be a great one with visits to the
    Houston minute maid park, a Galveston cruise and an excursion into Mexico.

7)   Exchanges 2009 John Knobel
     John Knobel reported on the 2009 exchanges. He mentioned that we are currently developing a list of
     potential EDs for incoming exchanges in 2009. All exchanges require volunteers but particularly the last
     exchange in each year. A training session would be provided to all volunteers wishing to help out as EDs.
     The inbound exchanges include Mount Gambier, Australia in May 2009, Mundo Maya, Mexico in June
     2009, S.Oregon/L. Columbia in September 2009 and Herne, Germany in October 2009.

     John reported that the 2009 outbound exchanges include Fukuoka, Japan in February with 24 applications
     to date, Utah/San Diego in April 2009 with 11 signed to date and Nashik, India in November with 20
     signed up. Applications are being accepted at the GM.

8)   Proposed Ambassador Selection Rules Jaap Schouten
     Jaap Schouten presented a board proposal for rules for outbound FFO Exchanges (attachment 3). He
     explained the reasons for modifying rules laid down 7-8 years ago and explained the rules, one at a time,
     answered questions on each and took a vote on each rule. The proposed rules are as follows:

     1) The first priority for selection (by random draw) for an Oversubscribed Exchange shall go to
     those members who have made a “significant contribution” in any one of the current and two
     previous years;
     One member questioned how can “significant contribution“ be monitored. Jaap responded that in general
     we use self-reporting but that involvement in exchanges etc. can be reviewed as necessary. On another
     question of a member not being needed after volunteering, Jaap responded that this should be reported
     and it will be taken into account. On a question of why we are limited to three outgoing exchanges per
     year, Jaap responded that if a group is interested, we can usually find another (FFI) exchange for them.
     Replying to another question, Jaap indicated that being an outgoing ED was certainly considered a
     significant contribution.

     The rule was put to a vote and was approved by an overwhelming majority.

     2) Members who have drawn Assured Space on an Oversubscribed Exchange may apply for
     selection on one or more subsequent exchanges However, they cannot accept an Assured Space on
     a subsequent oversubscribed exchange unless they relinquish their assured space on the earlier
     exchange and it is accepted by someone on its Standby List;

     After an explanation, the rule was put to a vote and was approved by an overwhelming majority.

     3) Members who have already traveled, or are guaranteed space on an exchange outside the USA
     and Canada, may not be guaranteed Assured Space on another Exchange in the same calendar year
     earlier than 180 days prior to the other exchange on which they wish to travel;

            After an explanation, a brief discussion ensued about the time period involved and Jaap confirmed that
            we are looking at calendar years. The rule was put to a vote and was approved by an overwhelming

            4) Recognizing that there will be circumstances that occur from time to time which are not covered
            by the rules, there is a Notwithstanding Clause which permits the Board to make a final decision on
            Ambassador selection in the best interests of the club.

            Following a brief explanation, the rule was put to a vote and again received overwhelming approval.

      9) Registration Deadlines and Timing of Draws for Oversubscribed Exchanges
         John Knobel explained that with the rules for oversubscribed exchanges in place, the timing of the draws
         becomes important. Two of the outgoing exchanges in 2009 are likely to be oversubscribed. The options
         are to have individual closing dates and draws for each exchange or to have one common closing date for
         all exchanges and hold all draws on the same date. John indicated that the board was proposing the latter
         with a closing date for applications in June and the draws to take place toward the end of July. A
         discussion followed with comments indicating members would prefer to have the closing date and draw
         earlier. With regard to a question on timing of deposits, it was explained that the $300 deposit on
         oversubscribed exchanges had to be made within 7 days of being notified of holding a guaranteed place
         on the exchange. In reply to a question of length of exchanges, it was indicated that all outgoing 2009
         exchanges were one week although each group may add something else if it wished.

            The proposal was therefore amended to have a common closing date for 2009 outgoing exchanges to be
            June 15th 2008 with a draw for any oversubscribed exchanges taking place on June 22 nd 2008. The
            amended proposal was put to a vote and was APPROVED by a large majority.

      10)    FFI Update: New FFI Image and All-Canada Exchange to Turkey
            Andrew Stirling showed a sketch of the new FFI logo and provided a short explanation of its purpose. He
            also reviewed the All-Canadian Exchange to Turkey and mentioned that the closing date for applications
            is May 31st. Andrew also mentioned the International Conference in Okinawa which will be held in
            October – November 2009 and will also include a week‟s home stay.

  11)       Other Business
            Jaap Schouten announced that the Canadian Conference in 2009 will be held Oct 19-22 in Niagara Falls.
            The organizers are asking for volunteers to house people for a few days.

            Pierrette Benoit indicated that she had put an article in the Handshake seeking members interested in a
            Walking Club. She should be contacted as early as possible by interested members.

12)         50-50 Draw
            The 50/50 draw amounted to $55.00. A guest with ticket 22185 won $27.50

13)         Adjournment
            The meeting adjourned at 9:43 PM

                                                                          Merv Sullivan
                                                                          Recording Secretary


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