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Gisele Fowle, Florida, USA (English)

Dear Friend,

Gisele Fowle (left) with her friend of 40 years, Dr. Lee Norton. Photo taken in Alaska at a cooking class, May 2015.

I have been friends with Lee Norton since high school, which is more than 40 years! Our friendship is very important to me, and we continually learn from each other. Our personalities and experiences are different, so we complement each other well. She introduced me to your wonderful organization and invited me to be part of the International [Training for Peace] Conference in January. I am very excited about joining your growing peace community.

My father was a minister who worked for the American Red Cross, and I grew up with my parents and sister. We moved around a lot when I was young, and I spent my early years in Germany and Spain. Later we moved to Florida, in the United States, and I have been there ever since. I am married, and my husband, Ken and I have a blended family of six amazing grown children.


Gisele standing on the rim of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.

My husband recently retired, and we made a commitment to see as much of the world as we can. Besides in the United States, we have made friends in Turkey, Nepal, Bolivia, Italy, and many other places. I am very outgoing and love people. I enjoy learning about the lives of others. My husband and I are involved in our local community and enjoy participating in fundraisers for different causes. We contribute our time and skills to a group called the Boy Scouts, which helps boys from all walks of life learn skills and values that will help them in all their endeavors, and teaches the importance and the joy of always giving back to others and to the community. We also love animals and volunteer at our local zoo, where we join with others to teach and learn about the importance of caring for and respecting animals.

Gisele being silly at the "A-maze-ing Laughter sculpture" by Chinese artist Yue Minjun, in Vancouver. May 2015

The things that I value most in friendships are the qualities that I most want to develop in myself. Above all, I value honesty, forthrightness, empathy, compassion and acceptance.

The thing that makes my life meaningful and makes me feel most hopeful is seeing that no matter where I go people are fundamentally the same, no matter what their background. Wherever I have traveled, people seem to appreciate kindness, a cheerful word, a smile, and a helping hand. They want to be recognized and accepted for who they are, and they want to contribute in their own special way.

I look forward to meeting the people of Indonesia and learning all about the culture and how I can be a good friend in your country.


Gisele Fowle

September 2015