This FTF Tour Thing: An Explanation from the Director

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Hello and thank you for being a part of the FTF network. You may have been hearing some things about a tour to Cuba, sponsored by FTF. Well, this is a two paragraph explanation of just what the heck is going on. Tours? What say you FTF? (Also, you can click on Reilly's cool pic of Havanna if you want to see a Prezi on the tour idea). First, we are into poverty alleviation, as you know. But more than that we are into human health born of beautiful relationships. We believe love for our brothers is akin to blood in our veins. No love for others equals no blood in our veins which is, in the end, a recipe for suffering and death. A metaphor? Not really. We think that human suffering is the direct result of a failure to love others. It's the cause of The Fall, if you are into that vocabulary (which I am).

So, our foundation aims to reclaim health by putting men and women on the ground, alongside the suffering poor, sharing in their lives and advocating on their behalf. Love. We do this as a way to get healthy. We think you should help us do this and click "in a relationship" with FTF on Facebook (or wherever people click these days). We want to make "having a relationship" a phrase that does not denote sex. Rather, it denotes health. It is the pill we pick up that doesn't come in a plastic child proof package. It comes with time spent on task, listening to others, asking questions about others, rebuilding broken lives with others. We think the First Things are always the things that make us relate to others. And so, in Guatemala and Sierra Leone and soon right here at home, we start by listening to the poor. We are gentle. We don't leave after a three day visit.

And so... what the heck does all of this have to do with a Cuba tour?

We want you to come on a special trip with us to visit people we've gotten to know in the places where we work. Cuba is a place we have gotten to know. Guatemala is a place we know well. West Africa is surely next on the tour. Soon, Appalachia. The Georgian Republic. The Bronx. Wherever we place an FTF Field Worker, there we will create a tour. You'll see these places from the ground up, as we see them. But you'll also get a chance to relax, share a drink with our friends, sit under the sun and offer a toast about life and hope and the ultimate meaning of it all. Our trips are for you to begin again the journey to your very own soul. You won't stay in posh hotels and have servants. I mean, you can if you want, but we won't employ servants... mostly we just toast, laugh, and cry with them. Join us!

Come experience something beautiful. These tours are our way of supporting ourselves. FTF Tours is our project, our entrepreneurial endeavor. We've  designed this project to support others and their entrepreneurial endeavors. Every penny we make goes to supporting the dreams of those with whom we work. When you vacation with us you create support systems and investments for impoverished impresarios. You help them on their quest for a better life. At Harvard they call this shared value. We call it cool.

And, when it's all over, you have also begun your own quest. The one that leads back to your very own soul. Let's go! 

Write one of us (see our emails below) and we'll be in touch about your trip. You will work directly with us to get your visa and the things you need for your trip. And the good news is we are a recognized American 501c3. This allows us to take you to Cuba without a hitch. Write and make sure the subject line says "Cuba could be cool." We can't wait!

johnheers@first-things.org

reillydooris@first-things.org

andrewschwark@first-things.org

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