Now that we are all being advised to "stay at home" here is a good opportunity to travel from the comfort of your favorite chair with online videos and photos from around the USA and the world! A link to the new Travel page is available in the footer of each FFK webpage OR click here: Travel from Home
Friendship Force is a non-profit international organization that promotes cultural understanding through personal contact. The Friendship Force of Knoxville utilizes travel as a means to meet people from different cultures and places rather than emphasizing the place itself. By being a guest in other people's homes and by inviting them to be a guest in our homes, we believe we can break barriers that divide us.
Change the way you see the world!
For More Information About Friendship Force International, please visit their website at https://www.thefriendshipforce.org/
Note from the President
Ten ambassadors flew to the San Francisco airport on Sept. 8. We then took a shuttle bus to the Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa where we were warmly greeted by our Napa Sonoma Friendship Force hosts. We were driven to the nearby Welcome Dinner at a host’s home where we enjoyed great food and California wines served on the patio. Ambassadors met their hosts, four of whom visited Knoxville in October 2019, which was our last Friendship Force journey pre-pandemic.
The six of us from Friendship Force Knoxville: Leslie Badaines, Diana Lopez, Jean and Ron Mayer, Mike McDonough and Jayne Raparelli, met our fellow Friendship Force ambassadors from New York City, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Atlanta.
Our first day began with a docent-led tour of the Charles Schultz Museum in Santa Rosa. It was lots of fun to learn about the man who created the Peanuts cartoon that ran for fifty years. After lunch on the Museum patio, we drove to the Landpath’s Grove of Old Trees. We strolled along the trails, taking in the magnificent redwoods. The following day this small park was closed because of the fires. We were one of the last groups to get in! The next stop was a tasting at the Korbel winery. That evening we all went to small group dinners in the towns of Santa Rosa, Napa, and Petaluma.
The rest of the itinerary included visiting the Chateau Montelena, hearing a history talk of wine country given by one of the Napa Sonoma Friendship Force members, and observing the crushing of grapes. We visited the Napa Olive Oil Manufacturing Company in Helena, enjoyed lunch outdoors overlooking a golf course, visited a Napa art studio and gallery, and tasted wines at a Friendship Force member’s ranch where she has a vineyard. On our free day, Mike and I went on a walking tour of Petaluma. The entire group learned about Jack London at the State Historic Park named after him. Our farewell luncheon was held in a Sonoma restaurant.
I think the other ambassadors would agree that despite the significant challenges of Covid, and the Northern California drought and fires, we are glad we took the plunge and traveled to beautiful Wine Country. As one of the ambassadors said, “What we had can only be experienced with Friendship Force.”
Jayne Raparelli, President