Mary draws inspiration from the beauty of the world around her whether it’s in a cosmopolitan city like St. Petersburg, London or Cape Town, remote hiking on the Inca trail, or in the Swiss Alps or simply visiting with a fellow traveller over local cuisine.  She has travelled extensively, enjoyed hiking and has explored many UNESCO sites. She has co-led many international learning tours over the years with her husband. Mary is an educator and currently a Special Education Consultant for the Waterloo Board of Education. She chairs the Board of Directors for the organization, House of Friendship that “walks with” some of the most vulnerable in our community. Mary was married to Leonard Friesen in 1977 and has called Waterloo their home for the last 20 years.  Together, they have 3 adult children, two in-laws and 5 grandchildren.

South Africa: Safaris & Cape Town

Spend two days on escorted game drives where we hope to see Africa’s Big 5 and learn about animal conservation. Drive along South Africa’s scenic Garden Route, a coastal corridor along the southern coast lined with incredible views. Then spend seven days travelling in and around Cape Town. Tour Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. See one of Africa’s only two remaining colonies of penguins. Enjoy a cable car trip up Table Mountain and a visit to Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, and more.

Germany & Switzerland: An Alpine Adventure


Fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and your eyes with incredible views as you ascend peaks by cable car, hike mountain-top paths and wander valley trails. Also take a walking tour in Zurich and have a free day of shopping and sightseeing in the historic town of Lindau, Germany which is located on a small island connected with the mainland by bridge.

Moscow & St. Petersburg

Discover the history and culture of Russia as you explore Moscow and St. Petersburg during four days in each city. Learn about Lenin, Stalin, and the tsars. See many famous sights including the Winter Palace—once home to the Russian tsars, Peterhof Palace and Gardens, the Kremlin, Red Square, wartime cemeteries, and stunning cathedrals. Can be combined with the Mennonite History in Ukraine and Istanbul Tour.