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Six members of the Lincoln Friendship Force attended the FF World Conference in Boulder, Colorado July 23-27. They were joined by Friendship Force members from Japan, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, New Zealand and other countries. Also attending were guests from Mongolia, Nepal, Uganda and Bhutan where new Friendship Force clubs are being established.

Jeremi Snook, president and CEO of FFI, emphasized the need to work for world peace, one of the founding precepts of Friendship Force. Other speakers echoed this theme.

A variety of workshops were available to participants on membership, fundraising, language differences and other topics. Barbecue and bluegrass music was the theme of one evening. Optional tours, including canoeing and nature, were available after the conference.

Locally, a few places are still available for Lincoln Friendship Force’s upcoming journey to Georgia and Azerbaijan. Home stays in Tblisi and Baku are included.

A highlight in Georgia will be a visit to the sixth century Jvari Monestery and 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral where the Robe of Christ is buried. Both are UNISCO World Heritage Sites.

The Uplistsike Cave Town where a theater, temple and ancient market have been carved into the soft sandstone, and the Stalin Museum and house where Joseph Stalin was born are both scheduled.

In Azerbaijan, the group will take a boat tour on the Caspian Sea, see a baking demonstration of Tendir Chorek, Azerbaijan’s National bread, and have a chance to see a ballet or opera. Members will have an opportunity to reconnect with Friendship Force members who came to Lincoln last year for Open World.

The dates of the journey are Sept. 30-Oct. 15. The cost is $2,194 plus airfare. Price includes ground transportation, fees, entrance tickets, parties and two nights in Sheki. A partial scholarship based on financial need is possible. For additional information, contact Wendy Horacek, 402-327-9656, whoracek@yahoo.com.

Friendship Force is a cultural and home hospitality program to promote international understanding, friendships and world peace. For information on the Lincoln Friendship Force, contact Mary Bryant, ab62359@windstream.net.

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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