Hi. My name is Len Tufo. At the last annual meeting I was chosen President of FIC.
Many thanks to Edwina Curtis, my predecessor, for her contribution to our organization. She led a number of trips. We are very grateful for her service.
I’ve been a member of FIC since the 1970s. My first cultural exchange was with France and Italy. FIC coordinated this trip with La Vie Nouvelle, a Socialist group. We spent two weeks in France, and a week in Italy. Almost all of the lodging was home stays, which could be in a mansion or a home with an outhouse and pump in back. Some hosts spoke English; some did not. The only member of our group who spoke fluent French was Anne Canapary so she was our spokesperson whenever we entered a new town. American capitalist visitors had lively after-dinner conversations with our French socialist hosts. We toured Paris, the Loire Valley, the Massif Central and the Cote d’ Azure. In Italy we visited Florence and Rome, where we stayed in a hostel called Domus Pacis, where the only showers were cold showers. I learned a lot. People all over the world have a lot in common, but they have differences too. As the French say, “Vive la difference.” Friendships were formed that last a lifetime.
Everybody likes a good story. We who have traveled with FIC have many good stories to tell. Let’s hear from you about some of your FIC experiences. Send them to Irene Horst, Executive Director. We shall publish them in subsequent newsletters
Fast forward to today. About a dozen FICers are planning to cruise the Danube from Bucharest, Romania to Budapest, Hungary in August, 2015. Bon voyage. In closing, thank you members who have made generous contributions to FIC. A plea to members who have not paid their 2015 dues to do so as soon as possible. We need them. Thank you.