Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Forge Worldwide Friendships; Home-Host Travellers Who Will Later Return the Favour. Join the Bundy Organisation That Has Been Doing This since 1991

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Forge Worldwide Friendships; Home-Host Travellers Who Will Later Return the Favour. Join the Bundy Organisation That Has Been Doing This since 1991

Article excerpt

Byline: VANESSA MARSH

ITCOS been just four years since Don McKewen joined the Bundaberg Friendship Force but in that time heCOs created lasting friendships with people around the world.

The international organisation gives people the chance to explore new countries from the inside out through an exchange program where people home-host travellers who later return the favour.

Mr McKewen, who is now the president of the club, said the overall program began in 1977 in America and BundabergCOs chapter followed in 1991.

C[pounds sterling]It really is about promoting world friendship,C[yen] Mr McKewen said.

In recent times, the Bundaberg group has hosted travellers from all over.

C[pounds sterling]WeCOve hosted people from New Zealand, Germany, Turkey and the USA since ICOve been involved and we have 14 coming from North Carolina on July 14,C[yen] Mr McKewen said.

C[pounds sterling]WeCOve been to the USA, Canada and New Zealand with the Friendship Force and in September we have 12 people going to two clubs in Brazil.C[yen]

C[pounds sterling]Next year we have trips to Morocco and Germany planned.C[yen]

Mr McKewen said while the hosting usually lasted for seven nights, travellers could then choose to stay on in the country and continue exploring.

C[pounds sterling]We pay for our flights but then we are only charged $100 for the seven nights staying with the hosts,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]ItCOs a different way of doing things.C[yen]

The exchange program is also a great way for people to get off the beaten track and learn more about the place theyCOre visiting behind the usual tourist attractions.

C[pounds sterling]You get that great personal interaction with people that you wouldnCOt get when staying in a hotel or motel,C[yen] Mr McKewen said.

C[pounds sterling]One family in Iowa put on a Thanksgiving dinner for us even though it wasnCOt Thanksgiving when we were there. …

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