Virtual Journeys are a great concept!
The Friendship Force of Perth, Western Australia, jumped at the chance to reconnect with members of the Western Tokyo club who visited Perth last year.
We “Zoomed in” for our first meeting in August for a meet and greet and it was so nice to see some familiar faces. After about one hour and twenty minutes, we decided to get together again.
In mid-September, 32 members from Perth and Western Tokyo participated in round two of our Virtual Journey experience. Western Tokyo shared their special part of the world with us, with commentary from several of their members.
We really did appreciate the amount of preparation our Japanese friends had done putting their presentation together. We learned much about the history of the region, the significance of their many important buildings and structures, and the beautiful landscape. After another hour and a half, our Japanese experience came to an end amongst much laughter and chatter, having very much enjoyed reconnecting.
As state borders are still closed in Australia we, like everyone else, are unable to travel very far. However, on October, 29, FF Perth members will travel on a Domestic Journey and will be hosted by members of FF Albany in Western Australia, some 400 km south of Perth. This Journey will focus on the region’s biodiversity and indigenous culture, and as we explained to our Japanese friends during our Zoom meeting, this will be a new experience for many of us.
We have promised the members of the Western Tokyo club that we would put together a pictorial diary of our experiences in Albany. Many of their club members have already been to Perth so we thought it would be interesting for them to see a little more of our huge state.
Round three of our Virtual Journey with Western Tokyo will, I am sure, be another interesting experience for both clubs.
For other clubs thinking about setting up a Virtual Journey, I can highly recommend it. It is not difficult to set up with the assistance from your FFI Regional Support Manager.
Choosing to “Zoom in” with another club in a similar time zone does indeed make things a lot easier (Tokyo is only one hour ahead of Perth). This avoids having to get up in the middle of the night for an online chat!!
Sue Brannen, Club President
Friendship Force of Perth, Western Australia