Monday, December 26, 2016

Airlines Ambassadors International Launches into Jordan

Airlines Ambassadors introduced to SOS Orphanages in Aqaba.                                                                                                By Sandy Dhuyvetter

Costume creator Sandy Dhuyvetter, Academy Award Winning Model Maker Lorne Peterson and
Photographer George Powell visit SOS Orphanage with US And Jordanian Team.

Taking Jordan by Storm was an amazing tour of Jordan lasting 8 days as myself and another Lucas/Star Wars designer Lorne Peterson spread the good word of film and travel. We did this with our US Team and friends and fans, Hector Cruz and Rich Appendzeller who brought their Storm Troopers 501st costumes. We were also joined by our official photographer, George Powell. 

Our partnership with Jordanian company, Monaco Business Development undoubtedly gave us the support we needed in Jordan. Mona Naffa and our Jordanian Team were amazing. After we landed into Amman everything was handled, from our expediting process at the airport, to our guide and drivers and including touring, accommodations and the organizing of our autograph signing, presentations and meeting government officials like the US Ambassador, Alice Wells and Princess Dana Firas. We are very grateful to Mona, Eva and Sami for their kindness and diligence on his important project.

The sign outside the SOS Orphanage in Aqaba

We were able to hit the road running each day making new friends and honoring Jordan for the exquisite backdrops it has provided for world class films. In the end, we have a message. We want travelers to know that Jordan is safe, welcoming and vibrant with new and innovative companies emerging in every industry. Known as the Switzerland of the Middle East, it is unique and it continues to woe even the most timid of travelers.

Sandy being escorted into the Orphanage with 2 members the 501st 

Perhaps the most memorable stop on our voyage across Jordan was to the SOS Orphanage Village in Aqaba were we autographed photos of costumes and models that both Lorne and I had worked on for George Lucas.

I was particularly interested in the SOS model because as a board member of Airline Ambassadors International, I was curious to see if we could help with a visit to the orphanages in Jordan and in some small way make their tasks easier.

Storm Troopers along with Mona Naffa (second row on right) Sandy Dhuyvetter (bottom row middle) George Powell (bottom row 5th from right) and Lorne Peterson (bottom row right)

The SOS model is to create a family home for each child. Children who grow up at a SOS orphanage do so with an SOS mother or SOS parents, and sisters and brothers. The SOS aunts (directors), who are part of the village, support SOS mothers in caring for their children. In turn, SOS families are part of supportive communities. These communities are called SOS Children's Villages. The one in Aqaba had 9 houses in the village.

Storm Troopers saying hello to the Mom's.

We had fun playing and visiting with the children. Watching their excitement as they met the Storm Troopers was worth the trip to Jordan. I seriously wanted to take each one home.  However, seeing the SOS operation, we were certain the children's high success rate into the society was due to a real understanding and implementation of an effective and thriving social and business model. SOS is a worldwide organization and I hope that 2017 will bring much success and happiness to every house in all the SOS villages. 

Sandy and Lorne visiting one of the homes in the SOS Village! 

Airline Ambassadors International will be offering the Taking Jordan by Storm Tour this coming May to all of it's members. The May date is beloved by all Star Wars fans as May the 4th. You can be sure the tour will be doing something very special on that date. During the tour guests will be visiting film locations in Jordan and also the SOS orphanage.

If you are interested in this trip, please contact us regarding: AAI Jordan 2017 Taking Jordan by Storm Tour at 
Airline Ambassadors International at: or Monaco Business Development is our partner in Jordan.

Special thanks to Ferial Nabas, Assistant Village Director - SOS Childrend's Village Aqaba.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sadness in Jordan after attack at Karak

My name is Sandy Dhuyvetter, I am a Travel writer, Artist and Musician who lives in Northern Michigan in one of the more desirable places in the world, Leelanau County. Mona Naffa is the Director of Monaco Business Development in Aman, Jordan. Together we designed the Taking Jordan by Storm Tour.
Mona Naffa and Sandy Dhuyvetter, Designers
of the Taking Jordan by Storm Tour
The news came to us as we were departing Jordan after a perfect 8 day tour. Karak had been the site of a drive by shooting where cowardly killers decided to take the lives of innocent officers and a tourist from Canada. There is a deep sadness in us especially knowing that we came to Jordan to help promote tourism and shout the joys of knowing Jordan. 
George Powell, Sandy Dhuyvetter, Lorne Peterson, our guide
Mohammad Qamhiya, Rich Appenzeller and Hector Cruz
If there was ever an appropriate name for our tour, Taking Jordan by Storm was it. We arrived after hours of travel and accommodations with Royal Jordanian to be greeted at the airport by perhaps Jordan's best tour guide, Mohammad Qamhiya. We were then rushed to our first event, the tasting of the Jordan River wines which immediately brought the group together with lovely conversation and delicious sipping of the grape beverage. At that point, the journey began with 8 days of touring, signing autographs and meeting hundreds of Jordanians.
Me and Lorne Peterson
Our team consisted of five members from the US. We left Dec 9 with academy award winning master model maker, Lorne Peterson, my self, known as Momma Fett, our photographer George Powell and two storm troopers who are great fans of the star wars franchise, Hector Cruz and Rich Appenzeller. Four of the visitors were taking their maiden voyage to Jordan, I was the one who was blessed with 5 trips to Jordan in the past 10 years. I knew how exciting and life changing it would be for my companions, but stopped at vocalizing or pontificating about Jordan so that each could discover this land on their own. I wanted it to be a pure discovery without prompting from me in a way that might bias their experience. It didn't take long for their experiences to be shared. Each were over come with the hospitality, the warm welcoming and the richness of their experiences. Stories were emerging of experiences that would seem to leave one or more of the group in awe of their discovery. The wondering and anticipation of the group was quickly turning to pure awe. We were witnessing our companions, as we had ourselves transformed during our first visitgone through on our first visit a life changing experience redefining the stereotypical definition of what life is like in Jordan. 

From the first site of Jordan at the moment of our arrival until we said our emotional good byes, we were captivate and entranced with the welcoming and the abundant care shown by our host, Mona Naffa and her team Sami Kattan and Eva Al-Sunna.

This brings us back to facing daily facts that bad things can and do happen in good places. We must mourn our loss and bury our dead as heroes and then we must carry on and continue to discover this beautiful world in places like Jordan who are so deserving and offer the traveler riches only a visit can deliver.

Visit Jordan soon!

This is the start of my story of Taking Jordan by Storm....please join me on our journey with Academy Award winning Model Maker, Lorne Peterson, Sandy Dhuyvetter along with our US and Jordanian Team.

Sandy Dhuyvetter,
Artist, Musician and Travel Journalist.
Sandy Dhuyvetter AKA Momma Fett

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Airline Ambassadors International Joins Growing Number of Supporters by Offering Resources for the Taking Jordan by Storm Tour

Airline Ambassadors International members at Sabre Holdings
Training on Human Trafficking Awareness
This week Sandy Dhuyvetter, co- organizer of the December 2016 campaign called Taking Jordan by Storm Tour announced that Airline Ambassadors International, a non-profit organization based in Washington DC, would be supporting the celebrity tour. The upcoming Tour will also be bringing signed autographs and art supplies to the orphanages.

President and founder of Airline Ambassadors, Nancy Rivard remarked, “We are delighted to support this positive message about Jordan. How very exciting to discover and visit film locations in this remarkable country. In addition, we are exceptionally pleased to see that the tour will end with a wonderful visit to local orphanages”. Sandy Dhuyvetter, co-organizer of the Tour said, “It is gratifying to have a partners like Airline Ambassadors International who are focused on making a difference in the lives of children. Airline Ambassadors International membership is primarily flight attendants and they thrive on lending a hand by giving resources and hope to the many regions in the world who have worked tirelessly for the good of children and world peace. Jordan is such a country”.

Following the Dec 10 – 16 Taking Jordan by Storm Tour, Monaco Business Development and Sandy Dhuyvetter Consulting will be moving forward with the 2nd celebrity tour in May. Fans and travelers will be invited to re-trace the film locations visited by this first tour this upcoming December with master model maker Lorne Peterson and costume creator, Sandy Dhuyvetter. The dates planned in 2017 will be coinciding with events around the 4thof May. May the 4th has long been known as a festive day celebrated by Star War fans around the world.

Taking Jordan by Storm Dec 10 – 16, 2016:
The tour will coincide with the Premier of the new film, Rogue One opening in the US, this upcoming December 16th. Fans in Jordan will be celebrating the event by welcoming two US artists at the local premiere Dec 15. Lorne Peterson and Sandy Dhuyvetter will be presenting to the Star Wars Fans before the premiere and in the days following while on tour across Jordan.

For more information go to:

For more information on Airline Ambassadors go to:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Star Wars Academy Award Winning Model Maker, Lorne Peterson
and Sandy Dhuyvetter, AKA Momma Fett
join Celebrity Tour in Jordan this December
Sandy Dhuyvetter and Lorne Petersen

San Francisco – This week TravelTalkMEDIA announced final preparation plans were in the works for the Taking Jordan by Storm Campaign. The tour will coincide with the Premier of the new film, Rogue One opening in the US, this upcoming December 16th. Fans in Jordan will be celebrating the event by welcoming two US artists at the local premiere Dec 15. Lorne Peterson and Sandy Dhuyvetter will be presenting to the Star Wars Fans before the premiere and in the days following while on tour across Jordan.

TravelTalkMEDIA and Monaco Business Development from Jordan are working to create campaigns that attract tourism. Monaco Business Development president, Mona Naffa said, “Our teams are delighted to have brought this project to fruition. Clearly the world is excited about the Star War films and their super heroes. We are delighted to share with the Star Wars fans here in Jordan, these two gifted artists who will join us to share interesting and behind the scenes stories of creating some of the most iconic images for the Star Wars franchise.

Lorne Peterson is one of the original members of Industrial Light & Magic having been hired in 1975 to create the models for Star Wars. Since that time, he has worked on most of George Lucas’ films as well as many of Steven Spielberg’s productions. Mr. Petersen will be sharing his many years of working in the industry and will fascinate the audiences with his wonderful photographs and stories that are humorous and most interesting.

Sandy Dhuyvetter will be presenting her story starting with working on More American Graffiti and then later on BobaFett’s costume. Ms. Dhuyvetter said, “Jordan is a very special country and we are thrilled to be coming to Amman for the premiere of Rogue On. We also want to share with the world that Jordan is an amazing country to visit. It is beautiful and exciting and has served as a backdrop for International films for decades.”

While in Jordan, Mr. Petersen and Ms. Dhuyvetter will be accompanied by 2 Storm Troopers from the 501st. The Storm Troopers costumes will be worn by US based fans Hector Cruz and Rich Appenzeller. The US tour includes their official US photographer, George Powell and the Monaco Team who will be touring the country making visits and signing autographs.

For more information go to:

About Monaco Business Development:
Monaco Business Development is made up of energetic and talented women with diverse backgrounds. The Americans, Jordanians, and European ladies bring a fresh vibrant look into the story of Jordan with a fun and attractive twist— Follow Monaco Business Development on Facebook at

About Lorne Petersen:
In 1978, Lorne was asked by George Lucas to move to northern California to head the production of models for Empire Strikes Back. He has since then been the recipient of an Academy Award and the British Academy Award for the special effect work he did for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Lorne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art from California State University at Long Beach. Aside from the work he has done for Industrial Light & Magic, he has done industrial design modelmaking for McDonaldLand, JBL Speakers, Kikkoman, Yamaha Snowmobiles and the feature movie China Syndrome.

About Sandy Dhuyvetter:
Most people know Joe Johnston, either through his work on Star Wars or his later work as a director of his own movies.  In comparison, few people know Sandy Dhuyvetter’s relationship to Boba Fett, but her contributions to the iconic bounty hunter are just as significant and perhaps even more well-known!  If Joe Johnston is Boba Fett’s “dad” (No Jango Fett jokes, please), then Sandy is surely “Momma Fett”. (Taken from the Dented Hemet Website).
Sandy was responsible for painting 3 of the original 6 Boba Fett costumes, including the one seen on the original Kenner Boba Fett figure packaging as well as the Return of the Jedi Boba Fett helmet! 
Sandy has a degree in Art from Arizona State University. She taught Art at Rivera Jr High  in Pico Rivera, CA before heading to San Francisco to work with Lucas. Sandy also headed a successful Multi Media Company in the Bay area for many years. She is widely known for her radio and reporting on International travel on TravelTalkRADIO and TravelTalkMEDIA and her humanitarian work to help bring awareness to the world wide crimes involving Human Trafficking.


US Press
Sandy Dhuyvetter:
Phone: 415 806 5740
Jordan Mona Naffa
Phone: +962796600962

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Monaco Business Development Team Continues to Highlight Life in Jordan with Award Winning Events and a New Exciting Celebrity Tour.

Celebrating 2 Breaking World Records, the Unveiling of the First Green Park in Amman, 
and Now May We Present, Monaco’s Celebrity Tours.

November 01, 2016 – Amman, Jordan – Monaco Business Development announced this week that the company is extremely pleased with its outreach and successful results of the past 2 years. Breaking two world records and receiving a world award within a years’ time affirms that indeed the company is on the track to continue its successful bid to project Jordan as a world class family destination. These events are glimpses into the gracious spirit of Jordan, all the while welcoming travelers to one of the most beloved countries in the world, Jordan.

The Guinness World Records organization awarded two Monaco’s events; one for creating the ‘Largest Human Floating Image in a Sea’ which was portrayed by Jordanian communities coming together to create a peace sign on the Dead Sea. The second world record came from Guinness World Records for the ‘Longest Slip and Slide’ built in Jordan by Jordanians to showcase Jordan as a family fun destination.
Another success came this past year when Monaco successfully kicked off its ‘Dream Green Campaign’ with festivities surrounding the inauguration of the National Gallery of Fine Arts Park in Amman. The ‘model’ park is ideal for others to follow”, said organizer and president of Monaco Business Development, Mona Naffa. ”The guidelines designed and used for Jordanian public spaces and the sustainable use of solar panels, water conservation plants, recycle bins and management, embraces the environmental theme of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. The Dream Green Event won the International award of World Wide Green Award October 2016.

In the pipeline for fourth quarter of 2016 is the launch of the Taking Jordan by Storm Tour. Two of George Lucas’s model and costume makers will come to Jordan along with 501st Storm Troopers to introduce the premiere and tour the country to promote tourism. In 2017 the Monaco Team plans to expand the Star Wars tours to the many fans of the story and movies and will welcome them to the star studded film locations in Jordan.
Monaco Business Development is made up of energetic and talented women with diverse backgrounds. The Americans, Jordanians, and European ladies bring a fresh vibrant look into the story of Jordan with a fun and attractive twist—

The Monaco Team
Mona Naffa is at the helm of the organization and oversees the operation.

At the heart of each project is Barbara Kamal. Barbara left behind her career as a Real Estate Broker with Coldwell Banker of Southern California when she switched gears in 2007 and relocated to Amman, Jordan. Today Barbara is a partner at MONACO. Barbara shares her knowledge of marketing, merchandising and finance and is a driving force in attracting new projects.

Eva Al-Sunna, a project manager, concentrates on Social Media at MONACO where she uses the online tools to attract attention to all the projects at MONACO.

Sandy Dhuyvetter, well known journalist and artist in the US also serves with MONACO team in the capacity as writer, media producer and US distribution manager.

Follow Monaco Business Development on Facebook at

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Weather Channel Photo Contest 2016

Contestant Weather Channel Photo Contest 2016

George Powell of Northport, Michigan is much more than a photographer, a bender of wood and a musician. In fact, he seems more like an Artist who happens to work in multiple mediums. The common denominator in his work is how he blends and highlights the perfections of mother nature, whether it is designing and building boats, carving replicas of a butterfly chrysalis, or taking photographs.

This is my favorite photo and is George Powell's (Plankster) other entry in this year’s Weather Channel Photo Contest. It is called 'Iceman'. Please look closely at it, it is an amazing looking creature made of mother natures spinning wind and ice.
In his day job, George restores historic wooden boats in Suttons Bay, Michigan. Recently one of his restored Coast Guard Boats appeared as the star in Disney’s film, The Finest Hours. 
On the set of The Finest Hours

After Staring in Disney's The finest Hours, a well used and tired boat
returned to the Suttons Bay boatyard for another refurbishing by George Powell and his team. 
In July of 2016, it was brought into its new home in South Haven Michigan
at the Michigan Maritime Museum

If you like George's photo of the 'Iceman',  Please visit the link and vote for the photo, you can search his photos by entering “Plankster”). I’m the one who encouraged him to enter the photos, so I’d appreciate your support. He’s not one to boast or show off so help me out if you can. You can vote once a day, which seems a bit odd but still appreciate your votes, as many as you can cast.

.... Sandy Dhuyvetter

Author, Mark D. Van Ells introduces us to his new book, America and WWI: A Travelers Guide.

Mark D. Van Ells is Professor of History at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York.

He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1999, and is a native of the Badger State.  Prior to his position at Queensborough, he taught for Mt. Senario College and the University of Wisconsin – Platteville.

Dr. Van Ells also served as Archivist/Historian at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison from 1994 to 1998.  Among his duties at the museum was the conduct of the Wisconsin Veterans Oral History Program, in which he interviewed nearly 200 veterans who served in conflicts ranging from World War I to Somalia.

His research specialties include the cultural history of U.S. military, immigration and ethnicity, World War II, and popular culture.

America and WWI: A Travelers Guide