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Our featured club of the third quarter of 2018 is Friendship Force of Surabaya, Indonesia, for their generosity and willingness to step up and host an incoming Journey when a fellow Indonesian club was unable to – with just mere weeks’ notice!
In July, FF Las Vegas, Nevada was set to go to a three-phase Journey in Indonesia to Yogyakarta, Denpasar (Bali), and with a stopover in Jakarta. However, just 3 weeks before they were to depart, a volcano, Mount Agung, suddenly erupted in Bali, causing FF Denpasar to be unable to host due to the volatility of the volcano.
Fortunately, after sending out a request to all Indonesian clubs to host in place of Denpasar, FF Surabaya volunteered to host and put together a wonderful program for the group in just two short weeks!
Riris Winoto, Secretary of FF Surabaya, explained that their club had already arranged a tentative program for another incoming Journey later in 2018 from FF Ulan-Ude, Russia – so they decided to “test run” the same program first with FF Las Vegas! Due to the last-minute nature of the program, the ambassadors stayed in a lovely local hotel and were day-hosted by the club – to a terrific outcome!
“We were treated like movie stars!” exclaimed Judy and Kathy, Co-Ambassador Coordinators and members of FF Las Vegas.
The Journey was full of memorable moments and experiences for both the host and ambassador clubs. “Everyone enjoyed meeting the people in an artisan’s home, at the university, and at an eco village in the city,” said Judy and Kathy. “We loved the cooking class at the university, learning about their traditional foods. We had an entire day practicing batik and were given a tea tasting and food pairing in the afternoon.”
FF Surabaya members particularly enjoyed taking their ambassadors to the Nana Gallery, where Nana, a painter, demonstrated her craft, as she has to Inbound FF Journeys since 2012! The farewell party for FF Las Vegas took place in a traditional Javanese wooden house called Rumah Joglo, ornately carved with a mix of philosophical Hindu, Buddha, Islam, Javanese teachings. The 180-year-old home belongs to one of their members, Mr. Asjhar Imron, inherited from his great-great-grandparents – a remarkable venue for this remarkable Journey’s conclusion.
“Through this experience, we learned that if we were eager to help others with whatever the condition [was], so are other people [eager to help] us,” said Riris. “The whole event was marvelous!” she said.
Friendship Force is immensely grateful to FF Surabaya and all of the Indonesian clubs who made this Journey a great success!