In this issue we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Irving Penn, one of our most famous AFS ambulance drivers, who sadly passed away this past October. For our feature article honoring Penn, we asked his fellow AFS drivers to share their memories and experiences of him.

We want to convey to our readers a number of the great strides that the AFS Network has made in what proved to be a very challenging year. AFS in the Dominican Republic and AFS International signed a landmark agreement this past December, a foundation in tha tcountry will provide many opportunities for growth and the funding of top-level priorities for the AFS Network. Please see the article on page 5 for more information on this exciting development.

The AFS International headquarters in New York City was humming with activity this past November when more than sixty guests gathered to honor the recipients of the second annual AFS President’s Award. Turn to page 6 to read about the 2009 honorees and about who was behind AFS’s remarkable progress, in its early decades, according to our distinguished guest Stephen Galatti, Jr.

Francisco “Tachi” Cazal, the president of AFS International, gives us an update on some of the accomplishments of the AFS Network in 2009 on page 8.  He remarks on the wonderful ability of AFS to move forward with its ambitious agenda, even in challenging economic times.

And in Hiroshima, AFS once again renewed its ties of friendship with that city and its AFS Returnee mayor at a Forum for World Peace, where AFS ambulance driver David Ford was the keynote speaker.

We hope that you enjoy this issue!

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