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Welcome to the Houston, Texas chapter of the Friendship Force International. The Friendship Force is a non-profit organization sponsoring people-to-people journeys between 350 clubs in over sixty nations of the world. It brings people together through home-stays – creating unforgettable experiences that build lasting bonds of friendship. As an Ambassador, you share lifestyles in a private home in other countries for a week. In return, you may home host people from that nation or other nations in your home sharing your lifestyle. The ever-widening Friendship Force global network represents a powerful and growing force that can overcome differences between people and nations. houston_vert_web

Open and welcoming all, we have been serving the Houston area for over three decades. Our organization has members from all sections of the greater Houston metropolitan area as well as from all walks of life. Our primary goal is to increase our knowledge of other cultures and the best way to do this is to live in the homes of fellow members of other clubs. We travel to other countries and have the opportunity to spend a week living with a host family and experiencing their daily activities We also host members from other nations in our own homes who come to visit Houston to experience our way of life.

We meet regularly to engage in interesting conversation and to hear speakers on a variety of topics. You don’t have to travel to be a part of Friendship Force. By joining one can make lasting friendships with people from all parts of the globe! We pay a small yearly membership fee to be part of Friendship Force. You are also welcome to attend any of our monthly meetings or dinners as a guest. We know you will find the experience fun and interesting.

Activities

We have regular monthly potluck lunch with a guest speaker and a monthly dinner date at a Houston restaurant. The guest speakers are from a range of backgrounds and speak on a range of interesting topics. In addition there are other special outings both when hosting other clubs or just to learn new things about our area. Please check the calendar and feel free to join as a guest anytime!

See Calendar

Exchanges

Many of our members enjoy the outbound exchanges. These exchanges are organized by the Houston club or you can participate in outbound exchanges organized by other clubs.
We also host other clubs on inbound exchanges.

 

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Exchange Catalog

Welcome to the World of Friends catalog! Here you can find a variety of unique exchanges with spaces available for you...
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Newsletters

2017-03 Newsletter 2017-02 Newsletter 2017-01 Newsletter 2016-11 Newsletter 2016-10 Newsletter 2016-09 Newsletter 2016-07 Newsletter 2016-06 (no link) 2016-05 Newsletter 2016-04...
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FAQs

Why is travel with the Friendship Force called an Exchange? The word exchange comes from our organization’s early history when...
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A Brief History

The Friendship Force was founded by Wayne Smith and introduced on March 1, 1977, by President Jimmy Carter at a...
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Recent Facebook Posts

Pics from our international dining night and meeting at Chatters.  The food was great and the atmosphere was nice.  Our private room worked really well also.  And our speaker, Mike Huereca, was terrific, telling us all about the things hes learned over the years about cruising and ways to save money in the process and get upgrades along the way, etc.

Pics from our international dining night and meeting at Chatters. The food was great and the atmosphere was nice. Our private room worked really well also. And our speaker, Mike Huereca, was terrific, telling us all about the things he's learned over the years about cruising and ways to save money in the process and get upgrades along the way, etc. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago

Several current members enjoyed meeting with some former members who were instrumental in FF Houston in the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s.  They are back row, left to right: Mary Lee Lanik, Janet Davis, Elaine Ende, Sidney Formanek, Don Davis, Joy Huntington AND front row, left to right: Lila Day, Bonnie Weisman, Dolores Rieger, Elizabeth Spooner, Wayne Payne.

Several current members enjoyed meeting with some former members who were instrumental in FF Houston in the 1980's, 90's and early 2000's. They are back row, left to right: Mary Lee Lanik, Janet Davis, Elaine Ende, Sidney Formanek, Don Davis, Joy Huntington AND front row, left to right: Lila Day, Bonnie Weisman, Dolores Rieger, Elizabeth Spooner, Wayne Payne. ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

 

Comment on Facebook

I feel so priviledged to call these wonderfil folks "FRIEND".

Great time at Rudi Lechners.  Awesome food!!!

Great time at Rudi Lechner's. Awesome food!!! ... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

 

Comment on Facebook

Yeah, it's tough getting clear pictures. I'm hoping that new camera will help .... but it's got to wait till sales or specials, etc.... $$$.

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1 month ago

 

Comment on Facebook

sorry some of them are blurry.

Commentary:
I’m new to the state, but I can vouch for Texas grit

By Robert Dean - Special to the American-Statesman
Updated: 9:25 p.m. Thursday, August 31, 2017
Posted: 12:55 p.m. Thursday, August 31, 2017
________________________________________
I’m not a Texan. I don’t adore the Lone Star State. I’m a transplant who’s lived in Austin for the last four years. I can’t name the state fish, I don’t understand the thing with mums at Homecoming, and I think chicken fried steak sucks. I don’t care about Friday Night Lights.

But I married into a Texas family. A Texas family with crazy deep roots. My wife is a direct descendant from the Texas Revolution. Through my marriage, I get a front row seat to all things that filter through the Texas lens. I’ve learned a lot about bluebonnets and Whataburger. I know the difference between casual allegiance with Texas colleges, what it really means to be a Longhorn, and the difference between good salsa and crap that came out of a jar.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned as an outsider looking in, it’s that there’s a sense of purpose to these people like I’ve never seen. A central passion runs through Texans unlike any other American identity. Pride percolates here. It’s something people who aren’t from Texas just can’t grasp. We may have a docile sense of civic pride for our hometowns, but nothing like this state demands of its residents.

The Texas flag flies as high as the American flag, while the state Capitol is just a smidge taller than the U.S. Capitol, because – Texas. There are Texas flags on everything. And folks all over this huge collection of miles expect a reverential obsession from those who choose to take up this address, if only for a while.

That sense of purpose and absolute unwillingness to bend in their pride is why Texas will only become stronger in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Before Texas, I spent seven years in New Orleans, a place that knows about heartbreak and flooding. To love New Orleans is to love the city. But a New Orleanian ain’t much of a Louisianan, despite them being hand in hand. They’re two different cultures. But here, even if you’re from the Panhandle or live along the Gulf of Mexico, you still adore this state and will bond together under that flag, that symbol.

Typically, cities talk smack on one another, and the outlying country towns don’t want anything to do with the big cities and their completely different personalities. There are liberals and conservatives, cowboys and city slickers, white folks, brown folks, black folks and every shade in between wearing cowboy boots. This place has many stories, many sides to the dice.

Harvey took many lives. It dumped acres of water onto the streets of Houston, decimated Rockport, and flooded Galveston and cities and towns across southeast Texas. But Texas will lick its wounds. Texas will come back bigger and better, and brighter and with more Texas-ness than you can imagine. Texans cannot allow for their diamonds to go unpolished. The thought of a place in Texas where local culture dies just doesn’t feel right. There are no places where the roads are unfinished, or the buildings lie in ruins – that would go against everything these people have known their whole lives: This land is precious and it is our birthright.

While the business end of Texas was getting relief in order, the citizens acted. Mosques opened their doors in the face of those who’ve judged them. Black folks huddled on cots next to those who might have dropped an N word only a week prior. White folks learned that a man of color will save their bacon when it’s close to the fire. Unknown neighbors from hours away grabbed jet skis and fishing boats to form unstoppable convoys.

H-E-B and Buc-ee’s, two Texas brand giants, came to the rescue, offering shelter, food, showers, and support. Mattress Mack, a Houston mattress maven, opened his warehouses so folks could get a good night’s rest. The people here know a love that moves deeper than their sense of pride – it’s a calling of purpose.

You cannot count Texas out. There’s no other state in our union that could handle this hurricane. New York has taken its lumps. New Orleans knows what loss feels like, but this is a monster named Harvey that we’ve never seen before. Who better to challenge Harvey head-on than Texas? They’ll do it wearing an Astros cap and with a twisted smile, daring that water to take a piece of the land they love so much.

Dean is a writer and journalist living in Austin.
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3 months ago

5 hours ago

Friendship Force International

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6 hours ago

Friendship Force International

After their first Journey to Kaohsiung, Ian Wilson and his fellow travellers continued to Northern Taiwan, where they were hosted by the Friendship Force of Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. Like FF Kaohsiung, the Taipei club is also known for its excellent hospitality, as FF Ottawa discovered last year when our club was hosted here. Here are a few more snapshots of Ian's adventures with members of Taipei's Friendship Force. ... See MoreSee Less

British explorer Benedict Allen - who spoke at our 40th Anniversary World Conference in Manchester, U.K. in August - was recovered safely yesterday after being reported lost in the jungle of Papua New Guinea. Friendship Force is thankful to have him safe and sound so he can continue sharing his wisdom from his travels, adventures, and experiences with people of all walks of life. ... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

Thank goodness. I just heard him speak in Manchester, UK in August. What an intetesting man.

5 days ago

Cuqui Gamboa- Ardila

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FF_tagline_explore

We explore new countries and regions; we explore new cultures and new ways to connect across the barriers that separate us.

FF_tagline_understand

By sharing a home, meals, conversation and everyday experiences, people become friends, seeing beyond governments and borders into the heart of a country and its people. By combining home hospitality with cultural exploration, we reach a new level of understanding.

FF_tagline_serve

Exploration leads to understanding. Understanding leads to an acceptance of our common humanity and the desire to serve our global village—with words and actions.

 

 

 

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