What The Sun Can Do, at WVRC on October 26th
CURT SMITH started us off with the Pledge. Next up were LENNY FRIEDMAN and RICK CULLEN with America, although, truth be told, there was some uncertainty about the key. With our known lack of talent as vocalists, this probably didn’t matter, anyway.And again, thank you, Sue Young, for your foresight and determination to preserve our Los Angeles Veterans Park
But while he was up there anyway, LENNY was singled out as the recipient of a major Jeweler’s award, which cost him a mere sixty dollars. DAN PRICE provided another Irish Blessing “We should be in love with life, in love with God, in love with the earth a journey never ending. May we be filled with peace and beauty, with wisdom and hope, and love and friendship may you be blessed for all time”. Thanks, DAN all good thoughts.
Prexy MIKE reminded us that DAN has a new responsibility, arranging for greeters at the front door. So, when he asks you to step up, please be available. Guests were introduced.
NICK KAHRILAS brought Mark Shmagin, a business associate, and we were assured that he was also a true Bruin. PP DON NELSON came with his wife, ROZ. I was with Jim Cross he and his wife are our houseguests, and we stayed with the Crosses when we visited them in Norfolk, England in August. PP STEVE SCHERER had a bunch of guests his wife, DEBBIE son BEN, and Marc Schuhl, Assistant Headmaster and Academic Dean at Marymount High School. ED GAULD introduced the three students accompanying Marc Kamerria Listenbee, a senior who also is an expert WAPI assembler, and two tenth graders, C.C. O’Conner, and Madison Stewart, who chair the Environment Committee at Marymount. For those who don’t know, DEBBIE SCHERER teaches at Marymount, and without her encouragement and support, their program devoted to WAPI simply wouldn’t have occurred. And in addition to everything else that was going on, today is DEBBY’S birthday! PDG John Colville was with us, in support of the Rotaract presentation, along with TORI HETTINGER, whom we remember as President of UCLA Rotaract. TORI is now staffing the Rotary District Office, and accompanying her was Steve Johnson and Megan Cotugno. SEEMA PATEL, current President of Rotaract, was also with us. And we had a Visiting Rotarian, in addition to PDG John Colville he was Mitchell Krause, from Santa Monica, in Investments.
PP MIKE NEWMAN, speaking for PP STEVE DAY, reminded us that the Paul Harris Celebration Dinner is next Saturday, and your tickets are being mailed. For those who donate to the Auction, half of what their gift sells for can be directed to your Paul Harris Membership. NICK KAHRILAS donated two tickets to the UCLA-Washington State football game this Saturday, and they were snapped up by SALLY BRANT for the bargain price of fifty bucks!
Two future dates, please:
November 30th, Spouses Day speaker will be Tom Hudnut, of Harvard Westlake School, plus a presentation from the Westwood Farmers Market.
December 7th, Christmas Shopping Spree MIKE YOUSEM is the contact.
TORI HETTINGER came forward to report on the recent USCC Rotaract World Convention, which was hosted by our UCLA Rotaract Club. This five-day event far exceeded their expectations, and they raised funds for wheelchair purchases. TORI thanked us for our financial support, and we then had a video showing what went on at the Convention. A number of participants were interviewed, and all expressed positive impressions of the many events. Kissing a Pig was one of their fundraisers, and apparently people will pay to see celebrities carry out this assignment! The takeover of the Basketball Pavilion at LSU in Baton Rouge after Katrina was reported they treated over 15,000 people at what became a Triage Center during that disaster.
At this point, Prexy MIKE specifically thanked PP JIM DOWNIE for his many hours of service to WVRC this goes on week after week, and as MIKE said, we wouldn’t be able to function without all the things you do, JIM. We are in your debt. And the applause that followed is a testimonial of how many of us know of your good works.
International Chair ED GAULD introduced our Speaker, Walt Parrish, who belongs to the Fresno Rotary Club. Walt grew up in Southern California, went to University High, as did several of us, and got his BS from Cal Poly in Industrial Technology. He joined Rotary in 1976. When he retired in 2001 he had worked his way up to Western Sales Manager of Peerless Pump. He then formed the Solar Cooker Committee of the Fresno RC, whose objective was to promote solar cooking and water purification practices worldwide. During his travels, he spent five weeks in Uganda to determine how WAPI could contribute to its betterment.
The WAPI instrument was invented by a Veternarian in 1993. The basic reason why WAPI becomes more important each day is because of deforest ration there is just not enough wood to provide cooking fires for the two to three billion people who have no other way to heat food. Walt then displayed his Sun Oven a collaspsible cardboard contraption that can produce 375 degrees of heat, thus allowing slow cooking. Commercial models cost $250. His Cooker generates about 260 degrees and food starts to cook at 190 degrees again, this is slow cooking. This laminated cardboard has reflective foil glued on, which produces the heat reflected from the sun. He also spoke about the Hay Basket, a slow-cooker which first appeared in Boy Scout Manuals in 1958!
These slow-cookers are also sometimes called Peacemakers. The reason is that when an African man comes home at night, he expects a hot meal and if one isn’t provided, he tends to beat his wife up. The Cookers can solve this problem, even though there is no wood available for a fire thus, they are The Peacemaker! (You can perhaps imagine some of the comments engendered by this domestic drama from our audience…)
In his travels, he conducts slow cooking classes they are limited to about 30 students, almost all of them women. He teaches how to make the instrument, how to use it, and how to maintain it - the students can then spread the word even further. Each student, by the end of the week, must have made one more Cooker this is handson. The biggest problem he has is overcoming cultural bias they can’t believe, at first, that the food will taste just as good when slow-cooked as over a traditional fire!
WAPI the Water Pasteurization Instrument was displayed and discussed. It consists of a tube with wax crystals enclosed, which slips up and down over a tether wire about ten inches long. Placed in a jar of water, the wax starts to melt when the temperature reaches 160 degrees, and water purifies itself when it reaches 150degrees! Thus, after three minutes at 150 degrees, you have safe water. You then simply reverse the tether, and the process repeats itself in the next jar of water. Remember that over five million people die each year from water-related diseases more than ten times the number killed in wars, on average, each year. So the need for purification is immense, with over 1.1 billion people lacking access to safe drinking water.
The materials needed to make a WAPI cost 25 cents! So WVRC is taking on a challenge to make a bunch of these, at a time and place to be selected. This will be a cooperative effort between Westwood Village Rotary, our Auxiliary, and Rotaract the first time such a unified effort has been agreed upon. This is hands-on in the best sense of the word! And for each one produced, ten recipients are helped. This means we our Westwood Village groups can help up to five thousand people by providing safe water for them to drink. That is certainly a satisfying objective!
Walt Parrish, you have given us a real challenge, and we thank you for bringing it before us. I’m sure I speak for the entire membership of our three co-partners when I say, “We’re With You”.
And I know this will ruin your day, but Prexy MIKE and I could not make connections on reproducing his story about the little boy. But life goes on.