Archive for April, 2011

We Plan Our Itinerary – April 25, 2011

April 28, 2011

Overview:  Here is some information for those following the delegation planning.  It is in bullet point format.  Be sure and look at the CIA Factbook links at the end of this post to learn more about Paraguay and Brazil.  If you would like to be involved, please join the next meeting.  Visit the Virtual Chapter 2 Page at for more information.  


 Tentative Delegation Outline for October, 2011:

October 14,15 Pre Trip: Iguazu Falls, Brazil


  October 16-20 – Asuncion, Paraguay (5 hour bus trip)

  October 21-28 – Brazil  (possibly Brazilia)

Post Trip: October 29-31-  Rio de Janeiro

Other areas under consideration: Visit to Tri-Country Area – Paraguay,   Southern Brazil, Northern Argentina.

 Contributors to Delegation:

Cynthia Bendlin –   

2008 U.S. State Department’s International Woman of Courage , Paraguay – with special interest in trafficking of persons.

Anne Tonks          – Coordinator. Contact with Cynthia Bendlin

Kathleen Huston –  Communicating with contacts in Western Brazil

Marilyn Kinney    – Exploring tour operators

Robin Winter Odem -Contacting Friendship Force

Jane Wetzel          –  Contact with resource who is daughter ofa former member

Suggested Agenda

Meet with local women’s groups

Visit Ambassadors and Embassies

Meet with significant NGOs

Focus: Women                                   Education

             Trafficking                              Economic Situation

              In Politics                               Environment

              Medical Care


Next Meeting:

May 11,  (Wed) Noon PDT

Robin Winter Odem will present an overview of Brazil

Cynthia Bendlin will be invited to attend

Web Links:

CIA Fact Book











April 3, 2011

Today was the first meeting of Virtual Chapter 2 which is a chapter forming.  Six AWIU members and approval of the Board are needed before we will become a formal chapter.

This chapter has two audiences

1.  AWIU members in the Western and Mountain Time Zones who do not have easy access to a physical chapter.

2.  Any AWIU member who would like to do a course of study with the chapter.  They can join this chapter or just visit as a guest.  Non Member may visit and learn along with others to be come familiar with AWIU programs.

The Chapter has an agenda for the next seven months to plan and execute an AWIU Delegation to Paraguay and Southern Brazil.  The nature of the trip will be refined over the next several months.  Preliminary planning including itinerary will be completed by the end of May.  Then the study phase would begin to plan a meaningful and educational experience in country.

The primary interest in Paraguay is the study of trafficking of Persons with the assistance of Cynthia Bendlin a Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage awardee in 2008.

The Brazil portion of the trip is more open.  Today we explored four cities–Curitiba, Brazilia, Sao Paolo and Rio as the centerpoints to learn more about all or some of the following 1.  Trafficking, or 2. the political status of women in Brazil. In Brazil this is particularly interesting since their new President, Dilma Rousseff, is first woman President of Brazil.

Other interests in Brazil are 3. the economic situation and 4. eco initiatives.

In both countries a focus will be the relationship between the country and the United States.

The Next Meeting will be April 25 at 12 PM Pacific Time.

Call in number 1 605 715 4900  password 988993#

Several of those at today’s meeting will report on cities and distances and potential contacts in Brazil.

Overview on both Paraguay and Brazil will be found at the following links

A good place to start our study are two reliable sources–we won’t have time to go into depth here–this is just for “thinking” purposes.
The CIA Fact Book  Our government spends millions and millions on the research behind this–let’s get some of our money back.
And on the lighter side Wiki Travel

We are looking for interesting contacts in either country.  Please post a comment if you have ideas to make this Delegation a meaningful contributor to improved understanding among and with those we meet on our trip.