Official club name: The Friendship Force of Greater Omaha (formerly The Friendship Force of Eastern Nebraska)
Closest major airport: Omaha Airport at Eppley Airfield, which is inside the city limits and only minutes from downtown. Omaha is served by all major airline, with connections to major hub airports. FFGO will pick up and drop off Ambassadors from the airport.
Cost of transportation between the airport and our city (based on 20 people): by private car, if Hosts meet the Ambassadors at the airport: $0
The maximum number of Ambassadors our club can host: 20
About the club: Friendship Force of Greater Omaha, established in 1989, has about 60 active members. The club serves not only the Omaha metropolitan area in Nebraska, but also includes the Council Bluffs metro across the river in Iowa. Our members are from diverse educational and sociological backgrounds. Along with the exchanges, we schedule local events throughout the year for club members and any guests that they care to invite.
About the region:
Omaha is situated on rolling wooded hills on the
western bank of the Missouri River, famous for the Lewis and Clark expedition
of 1803 that opened up the West to the eastern half of the United States. Pioneer landmarks and history abound in this
region, along with the cultural richness of Native American nations such as the
Ponca, Omaha, Winnebago. Council Bluffs
lies just across the river, nestled in the wooded and picturesque Loess Hills
area. Collectively, the Omaha/Council
Bluffs metropolitan area is the 60th largest metropolitan area in
the U.S. with a population of about 865,000 according to the 2010 census.
Omaha blends the best of the maturity of the eastern U.S. with the more rough
and ready western culture. A flourishing
arts environment, including symphony, ballet and opera coexist well with a
growing indie music scene. Theaters such
as the Orpheum and Rose have been restored to their earlier elegance thrive
next to a state-of-the-art performance center.
The nations largest community playhouse serves up live theater
throughout the year. Other venues
include the weekly Jazz on the Green program during the summer, and Shakespeare
on the Green on the University of Nebraska Omaha campus. Omaha has played host, for the last 50 years,
and the next 25, to the College World Series each June, a two-to-three week
feast for lovers of college baseball in a brand new $125 million dollar
stadium. Our major event venue, the
CenturyLink Center has hosted events from Olympic swim trials to the nation's
second biggest rodeo, as well as major concerts and events from rodeos to
Omaha is home to
one of the top five zoos in the U.S., the Henry Doorly Zoo. This long time fan favorite includes the
nation's largest indoor rain forest and display of five desert ecosystems under
a magnificent dome, and a just-reinvented aquarium. Just a bit north of the zoo is the beautiful
Lauritzen Gardens botanical gardens, 100 acres of beauty overlooking the Missouri River. Omaha boasts many museums, including two Art
Deco beauties, the Durham Western Heritage Museum in the old Union Station, and
the pink marble Joslyn Art Museum.
We are a
cultural melting pot with just about any ethnic group you could think of
represented. We find ways of celebrating
our combined heritage whenever possible, with a Santa Lucia festival, Greek
festival, Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
Join us, perhaps during one of these festivals, or perhaps the Omaha
Nations or Winnebago Powwow, memorable showcases of Plains Native American
dress, songs and dances. And don't miss
world-famous Boys Town.
We enjoy all
four seasons. Summers are warm and
sometimes humid averaging 78-87° (F) / 25-32° (C), leading to crisp Autumn days
around 65-45° (F) / 18-8° (C); Winters which can be chilly with snow averaging
33-38° (F) / 0-3° (C); and finally Spring with its showers and temperatures averaging 51-74° (F) / 10-23°
About the exchange:
We strive to have at least one outbound exchange
per year and at least one or two inbound exchanges, including exchanges with
Open World groups.
Typically for an
inbound exchange we meet our visitors at a pre-arranged location such as the
airport and escort them to our homes. We
like to assign our visitors to home hosts based upon any biographical
information provided. We believe that
this enhances the home stays and the visit by matching personalities and
personal backgrounds. Our guests are
treated planned activities to allow them to get a feel for the great Central
Plains and to feel the warmth of the people of Omaha. We include tours and arrange visits according
to the theme of the exchange, or an event that is occurring during their
stay. At the same time, we make sure
that there is plenty of time, governed by each guest's desires, for shopping,
and maybe just some relaxing "down" time.
We want each guest to feel welcome and have the chance to get to know their
hosts. And most of all, we want them to experience
the very unique atmosphere of a place that has been characterized as a "very
large small town." There are friendly
faces wherever you go.