05-20-08 Rotary Spoke
- Eileen Toney
- Dwayne Nelson
- Kent Figy
- Chicken BBQ tickets are available. Remember that the goal is for every member
to sell or give away a book of 40. You don’t have to wait until all the money is
collected to turn funds in to Milt.
- Remember to get your dues in if you haven’t done that yet.
- Our club received thank you cards from several students able to go on the
Washington DC trip because of our donation.
- The District 6360 Conference, held last weekend in Angola, Indiana, was a great
success. Tom represented our club and reported that it was a very beneficial
experience. He brought home boxes for club members to fill in partnership with
the Children of the Dump gift box project. He has the forms that instruct
participants in what materials to include in each box, and the boxes are marked
with the age and gender of the child for whom they are intended. Filled boxes
must be returned to the club by early July, but Tom will take them whenever we
have them put together.
- Next year’s District Conference is in Frankenmuth from May 15-17.
Boasts and Brags:
- Karl Kincade reminds us that the Detroit Redwings are in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Presidential Trivia: John Hanson
There is a great deal of mystery surrounding this historical
figure who served as the President of the Continental Congress from 1781 until 1782.
According to some sources he established the Great Seal of the United States, the first
Secretary of War, and even Thanksgiving. However, many scholars credit him with
minimal involvement in any of these issues.
Presentation: Pinch Hitter, Verlyn Benson
The Two Kingdoms in the Heart of Southern Africa: Swaziland and Lesotho
Despite the fear that is naturally engendered by news reports of violence and turmoil in
this part of the world, Verlyn explained that these two Kingdoms possess a beauty and
charm worthy of tourism.
While everyone expects Southern Africa to be HOT, in actuality, especially in Lesotho,
temperatures were quite cool. Lesotho is the only independent state in the world that lies
entirely above 3,300 ft in elevation. Its lowest point is 4,593 ft, and over 80% of the
country lies above 5,900 ft. Verlyn even saw some snow there.
The people of these regions have many struggles:
- Highest AIDS rate in the world
- Migrant male population where non-existant economic opportunity forces men to
live in South Africa and work in the mines. They travel home perhaps once each
year at Christmas time to visit their families. Often they have 2 families, one in
- A total lack of even rudimentary technology resulting from the absence of
electricity. Before recent roads were constructed, many villagers had never even
seen a car before. The ground the farm requires backbreaking hand tilling and
often hand watering.
- Very little water is available in the mountainous regions. A water system was
designed years ago, but the minimal electricity required to run the pump could not
be paid for by the beneficiaries. People drink water from a small lake where run-
off collects. This small lake is also used by animals and for washing.
Verlyn and his team went to this area to see if they could come up with ideas to improve
the people’s quality of life through engineering and agricultural development. Purdue
University was initially involved in the project, but lacked the time and expertise needed
to produce the sought after results. They called Andrews. Hopefully, helpful ideas can
be generated and perhaps in the future a partnership can be developed between Andrews
Some other projects currently being tested out in the area involve things like Solar Ovens
which can bake 10 loaves of bread at a time and are powered by solar energy.
Additionally, setting up a solar array might allow enough energy to be produced that it
could be sold to the energy companies while still allowing enough for the use of the
inhabitants of the region.
Verlyn saw Rotary International at work during his travels. They were developing
projects involving seed distribution and inhabitant training facilities.
Thanks, Verlyn, for stepping in and sharing your fascinating experiences with the club!