Solar Cooker Review -- August 1999 by elfphabet3


									Solar Cookers International
1919 21st Street, #101
Sacramento, CA 95814
                                    Solar Cooker                             Solar Cooking Archive:
Tel. 916-455-4499                     Review
Fax 916-455-4498
                                         August 1999

Volume 5, Number 2                                                                 Circulation 8,000
Back Issues

In This Issue

      s            ca        n
S C I’ E a st A fri C o o rdi a to r
SCI Welcomes Nadir Aden
President's Corner
Executive Director Search in Progress
Stewards of the Sun: Our Members
News You Send
A Volunteer for all Seasons
Solar Book Review

East Africa Coordinator Going Strong

b y K evi “R a m on ” C o yle

                                                                                n          s
Heroic is the best single word for th e w o rk of M rs. M a rga ret C .A . O w i o , S C I’ E a st
Africa Coordinator, based in Nairobi, Kenya. On the job slightly more than a year,
Margaret familiarized herself with SCI's projects in Kenya and Ethiopia--with the
conditions, the people, and the gradual headway SCI has been making in teaching
solar cooking in Kakuma and Aisha refugee camps

Then, she plunged right in.

                            a       th       ci s n       o a          s
M a rg a ret h a s n eg o ti ted w i U N offi a l i E th i p i . S h e’ resea rch ed altern a tive
suppliers for solar cooking gear like reflective foil, pots, plastic bags, and black
     n         s el
p a i t. S h e’ fi d -tested samples of gear and experimented with various schemes to
bring cooker costs even lower and to enable refugees to make or finish cookers.
       s           ed
S h e’ u n sn a rl h an g -ups in getting supplies from Nairobi across the wild desert to
Kakuma. At times, when necessary, Margaret has traveled by truck for a day and a
half to reach the camp, so she appreciates the logistical challenges faced by
truckers in the arid gulches and plains.

More than a diplomat, researcher, engineer and shipping agent, Margaret is a
                                                                     si        s
tea ch er, a tea ch er o f tea ch ers. W h en sh e sta rted su p ervi n g S C I’ w o rk in
Kakuma, her leadership rallied the refugee staff of the solar cooker project. Early
on, she gave an extended Training of Trainers workshop for the solar project staff.
The workshop's theme was "Participatory Training Methodologies" and included
team building and problem solving. The trainers feel more confident as a result of
Margaret's involvement. They see the solar cooking program adapting to Kakuma
                         s n ti ve--from improving contact with the Kakuma camp
th an ks to M a rg a ret’ i i a ti
management--Lutheran World Federation (LWF)--to making sure that each of the
10 training centers in the camp has sufficient solar cooker teaching supplies in

Margaret has worked hard to facilitate the transfer of responsibility for the solar
cooker project to the excellent LWF staff. LWF management and staff now fully
recognize the solar project and have incorporated the project's supervisor and
monitors into their bi-weekly meeting of the LWF social services staff. The LWF
finance department ensures that the refugees working in the solar project are paid
on time.

Margaret also works closely with the monitors who help keep the trainers on task.
Last November she reported , “In a ctu al p ra cti          n               to      l
                                                    ce, trai ers a re m on i red a l th e
time. Monitors are always present on a daily basis as the training goes on...and
          p n          m        m          s                   to     n
even ch i i from ti e to ti e.” S h e’ coa ch ed th e m on i rs i w h a t to w a tch fo r in
     n             n      e       n
tra i ers’ tea ch i g styl a n d i h o w to help the trainers to master improved

Margaret also appointed a former trainer who had worked his way up to being a
monitor, Shadrack Alumai, to be supervisor of the project. Shadrack reports directly
to Hellen Lipo of the LWF. In May, Margaret reported: "Project staff were
happy...They have no problems as they have very able support from Faith Awino
and Hellen Lipo."

                  s     y                               s                      so                 n
B u t K a ku m a i o n l o n e a sp ect o f M a rga ret’ jo b . S h e h a s a l b een b u sy setti g u p
      s            ca     ce
S C I’ E a st A fri o ffi an d reg i          n t th                                           s
                                        steri g i w i th e K en yan go vern m en t. S h e’ b een
building awareness of SCI among environmental and human service groups in
Nairobi and coordinating with the Nairobi offices of our partners in Kakuma, LWF
and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. She also negotiated a cut in the price
SCI pays for CooKits manufactured in Nairobi.

In late April and early May, Margaret was in Ethiopia, working out a Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) with UN officers for the next 12 months of the solar cooker
project in the Aisha Refugee Camp. The plan calls for further solar cooking
education activities, creation of a permanent supply line into Aisha so that refugees
can trade for replacement cookers, insulating bags, etc., and exploration of the
possibility of producing cookers in Aisha camp itself. Working with a UN
counterpart, Margaret advertised to hire a coordinator for the Ethiopian project,
reviewed the applicants, interviewed the top five, and hired Mr. Nadir Aden.

Margaret and Nadir then went to the remote Aisha camp and met with leaders of
                           ty                   s
th e refu g ee co m m u n i an d th e w o m en ’ co m m ittee. M a rga ret rep o rts:

    l                       rm                           d n sh                       a
“A l th o se p resen t a ffi ed th a t every h o u seh ol i A i a ca m p ow n ed a sol r
cooking kit...The community affirmed that they could cook most of their food
except njera using the solar cooker. Those who used their panels tended to use it
      u             l           n
fo r l n ch a s w el a s fo r di n er.”

After the meeting, Margaret gave Nadir a tour of the camp and then took him to
Aisha town to meet with local officials of the Ethiopian government. There, Margaret
     p         r            o     n             s                                     l             n
h el ed N a d i a rran g e l d g i g a n d m eal fo r th e 2 0 da ys p er m on th h e’ l b e w o rki g
in Aisha. Then she rushed back to Addis Ababa for the official signing of the MOU,
for some discussions with a technical officer and for another effort to locate a
manufacturer to mass produce CooKits in Ethiopia. Under pressure and under
   ffi t o sti              ti                 s           vi
d i cu l l gi cal co n di on s, M a rg a ret’ p ro d u cti ty g i           m
                                                                   ves testi on y to h er can -do

 In her reports to SCI, Margaret gives testimony to the value of solar cooking to the

 “It i tru e,” sh e w ri                                     n                a         n esson s),
                        tes, “th a t m o re m en a re tu rn i g u p (fo r so l r co o ki g l
as they find the methodology to be very convenient. Those without spouses find
that it saves their food, which they would have otherwise exchanged for firewood or
charcoal. They also feel it is clean compared to three-stone fire hearths. In
addition, those with some form of employment leave their food cooking, and when
                    t s
th ey g et b a ck, i i rea d y.”

Early this year, the World Food Program stopped providing free food for the solar
cooking training sessions in Kakuma. Trainers, monitors and Margaret discussed the
 ssu           d      nn
i e an d d eci ed trai i g cou l b e m o re “d em an d -d ri
                                d                                  f          n
                                                            ven ” i th e tra i ees w ou ld
gamble that their own precious food supplies could be cooked at the workshops
using solar power.

The report came back to Margaret: the trainings are still as popular as ever. When
                    d sk                a         n esso n s, on e refu g ee rep l ed , “Th e fo o d
a sked w h y sh e’ ri fo o d fo r so l r co o ki g l                                  i
basket this time round is only maize grains, which require a lot of firewood or
charcoal to cook. So it is better we bring a little here so that we learn how to cook it
    n      a                    n
u si g so l r th a n exch a n gi g m o re fo r firew o o d o r ch a rco al every d a y.”

“T h e l st fi             stri  on      n                           t s
               rew o o d di bu ti w a s i N o vem b er, a n d n o w i i Febru a ry,” an o th er
a d d ed . “It has been really hard to cook, and we have seen those who had solar
        s     n
p a n el d oi g very w el .”l

                            e                          r    a          ts,
T h ou sa n d s o f p eo p l kn o w h o w to u se th ei so l r C oo K i th an ks to M a rg a ret’s
diligence, courage and drive. Phone lines might go down, dust storms might disrupt
solar training, truck convoys might not get through, but with Margaret on duty, we
know that the best possible job that can be done will be done.

Another Life Saved

When Margaret Owino was in Ethiopia in April moving our Aisha project forward,
she asked Mrs. Faustine Odaba to check in on Kakuma. Faustine was on the SCI
project team that launched the Kakuma solar cooking project in 1995 and now
                                   on ’      a        n            n               l         n n
w o rks fo r R o ta ry In tern a ti a l s sol r coo ki g p roject i K en ya . W h i e w o rki g i
                             s            s,
K a ku m a 1 , w h ere S C I’ p ro ject i Faustine and another woman were invited to visit
one of the neighboring refugee camps.

                             y:      l        n                        n                 n
M a rg a ret repo rted tersel “W h i e tou ri g K a ku m a 3 , Fa u sti e an d A u gu sti e
       l                         a                    n             t    ci
O m al a m an a g ed to sa ve a l d y w h o w a s tryi g to co m m i su i d e.”

SCI salutes Faustine Odaba, a heroine of the solar cooking saga in more ways than
one. Faustine is an honorary member of SCI and serves on the SCI's Kenyan
advisory council.

                                   SCI Welcomes Nadir Aden

                                   We are proud to welcome aboard our newest staff
                                   member, Nadir Aden. Nadir was hired in early May by
                                   East Africa Coordinator Margaret C.A. Owino. His role
                                      l                           n                  s      o a
                                   w i l b e th a t o f a coo rd i a to r fo r S C I’ E th i pi p roject,
                                   located in Aisha camp. The position will require a
                                   multitude of skills and dedication to the practice of
                                   solar cooking.

                                          r’      es l        st   m    l             zi
                                   N a d i s du ti w il con si p ri a ri y of o rgan i n g th e
                                   project, incorporating solar cooking supplies into the
                                   local marketplace and collecting data. No doubt his
                                   continuous presence will also play a vital role in
                                   keeping the spirits of the solar cooks high.

                               An immediate responsibility for Nadir was the
                               recruitment of six trainers. With the help of UNHCR
staff, Ethiopian Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) officials,
and refugee elders, women and youth representatives, Nadir screened possible
recruits and hired the following individuals:

 Ayan Osman Abdi, Saada Momin Aden, Kadra Hassan Ahmed, Asha Abdi Buh, Lula
Jama Gahair, Zeinab Jama Hashi

Other priorities include monitoring the usage of CooKits, such as the types of food
cooked, cooking frequencies and user profiles--gender, age, etc. In his first monthly
report, Nadir notes that many families are in need of replacement bags. However,
those that have bags use their CooKits to cook tea, rice, wheat, meat, and pasta.
Nadir will also conduct a market survey to identify possible vendors of supplies. He
has already taken steps toward this end by placing insulation bags in three local
shops and directing local project staff to make refugees aware of these supply
locations. In addition, Nadir will continue to explore local production of supplies and
reuse/recycle options for worn out bags.
These and other tasks set aside for the new Aisha coordinator are not easy ones.
Nadir will need to work well with refugee families, local officials and NGO staff
members. Nadir, born in Gode, Ethiopia and schooled in both Ethiopia and Somalia,
has a solid education, which includes computer and accounting training. He also has
experience working in managerial roles. Skills he gained while working as a
nutritional worker, agricultural project coordinator and rural development manager
will no doubt aid him in his new role as well. But most importantly, he has good
people skills, which are invaluable when it comes to the spread of solar cooking.

We wish Nadir the best of luck and welcome him to SCI and the world of solar

       d      s
P re si e n t’ C o rn e r

Dr. Norge Jerome

The first six months of 1999 have been busy ones for Solar Cookers International
(SCI), with much effort going into the search for a new executive director. In April,
board members Elvira Williams and I represented SCI in Washington, D.C. at the
annual meeting of InterAction, an umbrella group for non profit organizations like
SCI which are involved with international development.

S C I’ E a st A frican rep resen ta ti                     n
                                      ve, M a rga ret O w i o , rea ch ed a n a greem en t w ith
                    n          s i ted p ro ject a t th e A i a , E th i p i , refu g ee cam p . T h i
U N H C R to co n ti u e S C I’ l m i                        sh         o a                           s
will allow us to supply bags and solar cooking information to the refugees at the
                  co                r               s el             n             sh
ca m p . W e w el m e M r. N a di A d en a s S C I’ fi d coo rd i a to r fo r A i a , a n d th e si  x
trainers he has hired to assist with the project in the camp.

SCI developed a memo of understanding for a partnership with the University of
Zimbabwe, Development Technology Centre. This collaborative project will bring a
closer tie to the people of Zimbabwe for wider dissemination of solar cooking and
the introduction of entrepreneurship to the women trainers there. It enhances
prospects for creating a commercial base for expansion of solar cooker use while
creating an opportunity for women trainers to operate small businesses and
generate income for their families.

As always, SCI is looking for help to increase our wonderful group of supporters.
One of the keys to support growth is making people aware of SCI and its
transforming projects. We encourage you to give friends, relatives, and others an
opportunity to participate in the good news of solar cooking for people and
environments of our beautiful world.

Executive Director Search in Progress
As of the publication deadline for the Solar Cooker Review in early July, I report
that the search for a new executive director is still in progress. The search
committee has extensively reviewed 44 applicants, and followed this up with phone
interviews and in-person visits. The process has been lengthened by the difficulties
in coordinating availability of both candidates and search members, which at times
has been quite challenging.

I thank fellow search committee members Norge Jerome, Linda Helm Krapf, Claude
Thau, and Elvira Williams for their dedication and effort on this most important

Bob Metcalf

Co-chair, Executive Director Search Committee



              The Gambia

              Saikou Jarra's Tubanding Earth Savers Club has demonstrated
              three types of cookers in eight villages in Central River Division,
              attracting 1000 spectators.

              Women complain that they are donkeys for their husbands. Why?
              Because first they work in the rice field, then they fetch firewood from
              as much as ten kilometers away, then they must walk one and a half
              kilometers to fetch water and cook the meal. One woman said, "this
              new technology has untied the ropes around the necks of the women
of the Gambia." S. Jarra, Tubanding Village, Bansang P.O. Box, Upper Fulladu West,
Central River Division, The Gambia.


Ulrich Zimmermann sends info on two recipe collections available in German for
users of sun ovens. Johanna Itin-Sulzer: Wir kochen mit Sonnen-Energie,
Solarkochund Informationsbuch. Edited by HELVETAS, St. Moritzstrasse 15, Ch-
8042 Zürich, Switzerland. Also, Das Solarkocherbuch. Edited by Solarkocher
Baugruppe. Published by ENERGIEWENDE Verlag Michael Lardy, Am Rebenberg
25a, D-66130 Eschringen/Germany.

An international conference entitled World Solar Cooking and Food Processing
will be held October 3-6, 1999 in Varese. The focus will be on strategies and
financing. Sponsors include the World Solar Academy and the Federation of
Scientific and Technical Associations. Ms. Stefania Grotti, World Solar
Academy, P.le R. Morandi 2 – 20121, Milan, Italy. Tel: 39-02-76015672, fax: 39-
02-782485, email:


Madagascar-California Alliance president Edward Metz reports that their solar
cooking project in Nosy Be is moving forward as scheduled. Project leader Charline
Rakotomampiandra is exploring the construction of stovetop cookers using
materials from the Antananarivo province, and she continues to supply panel
cookers. Charline notes that panel-cooked cakes are particularly popular! She has
trained five instructors to continue her work while she travels to Europe, and she
plans to continue with a project in southern Madagascar upon her return. E. Metz,
Madagascar-California Alliance, 537 Jones Street #780, San Francisco, California
94102, USA. Tel: 415-441-6042, email:


Gnibouwa Diassana reports that solar cooking demonstrations in the town of Bla
sometimes have up to 90 people in attendance. One student sai , “w e h a ve seen ,
touched and eaten the we believe that solar cooking is possible and it
seems to be a good way to cook due to its benefits: no smoke, no wood
              on                            a                     a       i             ca
co n su m p ti a n d free en erg y.” G . D i ssan a , B P .2 6 B l , M a l , W est A fri .


Global Solar Partners School Project. A Solar Youth Exposition is scheduled for
May 1st and 2nd, year 2000, at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in
Glasgow. Parallel to this will run the 16th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy
Conference and Exhibition. Fifty Scottish secondary schools will each join with a
partner school worldwide to work together on solar-related projects during 1999.
Selected partnership teams who have produced the most interesting project will be
invited to Glasgow to present their work and take part in both conferences. BP
Amoco is offering support in the form of research materials, solar investigation kits,
access to communication facilities if available or support from a solar "mentor" or
BP Solar engineer.

To find out how you can join in and become a Global Solar Partner, contact Dr. Paul
Rowley, Solar Energy Education Coordinator, The Association for Science Education,
College Lane, Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AA UK. Tel: 44-1707-283-000, email:, web:

Manolo Vilchez reports he is working with Dr. Dieter Seifert of Germany on a
                                                 t’         n
parabolic solar cooker called the SK98M. When i s n o t b ei g u sed a s a co o ker, it
can be reconfigured to serve as a table. At night, it can be brought into the home
where the parabola can be used to brighten the light of a candle or lamp.


Peter Bech and Matthew J. Matimbwi, Diocesan engineers for the Evangelical
Lutheran Church Tanzania in Morogoro Province, conducted research indicating
that every person in the Ulanga and Kilombero districts burns a minimum of 3 Kg of
firewood every day for activities such as cooking food, boiling water, and firing clay
bricks. Three parabolic solar cookers, recently arrived from Germany, have been
tested for effectiveness. Results: 5 liters of water reached 100°C in 20 minutes; 20
liters of water in black painted tin boiled in 90 minutes. M.J. Matimbwi, Rude
Strasse 34, D-24941 Flensburg, Germany. Email: matimbwi@simbanet

Antje Förstle and Yusuf Vierkötter report the use of a parabolic cooker, the
SK14, donated by Mama Earth (a German-based organization) to speed-cook rice,
but prefer the solar box for cooking vegetables because the taste of the veggies
and the vitamins are preserved by slower cooking. The high cost of the SK is a
deterrent to local acceptance. They are experimenting with local cookers made of
recycled polished beer cans in a frame of iron or wood. The SK is useful, however,
for dyeing plaited palm leaves, which need to be boiled and stirred to intensify the
color. GO! - East Africa, P.O. Box 152, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Tel: 255-811-610-560,

Sperancea K. Gabone writes of a new solar energy office in Moshi named
Kilimanjaro Biogas and Solar Center. Topics of concern include solar cooking,
food drying, and electricity. In a recent demonstration, the following cooking times
were recorded: meat, 2 hours; vegetables, 1 hour; bananas, 2 hours; eggs, 1 hour.
S.K. Gabone, Kilimanjaro Biogas and Solar Center, P.O. Box 9716, Moshi, Tanzania.



David Delaney has recently developed a cooking pot system specifically designed
for solar panel cookers. Greenhouse enclosures, as Mr. Delaney calls them, usually
consist of a transparent bag or inverted bowl surrounding the cooking pot.
Unfortunately, these enclosures collect condensation and require periodic drying.
   so               t ffi t         n                 l        n             an  s
A l , th ey m a ke i d i cu l to i sp ect fo o d w h i e coo ki g . M r. D el ey’ system ,
inspired by R og e r B e rn a rd ’ idea of suspending a cooking pot in a glass vessel,
creates separate transparent greenhouse enclosures for both the pot and the lid.
These enclosures would allow sunlight to reach the pot from all directions (including
the bottom), provide insulation from outside air, and allow vapors to escape directly
to the atmosphere. They would also allow for easy access to the food, and provide
a convenient stand for the pot, which can keep the food warm while on the serving
table. Mr. Delaney welcomes any assistance in research and cost effectiveness. D.
Delaney, 142 Waverley Street, Apartment 2A, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0V4, Canada.
Email:, web:

Costa Rica

Solar Cookers International (SCI) and the Central American Solar Energy
Project (PROCESO) co-sponsored the 9th annual Fiesta del Sol and the 2 nd Central
American Summit on Solar Cooking this past February at Santa Bárbara in the
Guanacaste province. Different types of solar cookers, including panel, box, and
parabolic cookers, were on display, as well as other solar-based equipment.
Asociación ANDAR, a loan and training NGO, displayed their solar herb dryer,
which is used by many businesses in the area. SCI was represented by board
members Dr. Shyam S. Nandwani and Dr. William Lankford (also representing
PROCESO), and by volunteers Don Coan and Barbara Jodry. For info contact Sol
de Vida, tel: 506-283-2905

Michi and Gunter Dallmayr of German EG Solar have compiled recipes from
previous Fiesta del Sol celebrations into a cookbook for solar cooks in the Spanish
language. The cookbook was available in February at the 9 th annual Fiesta del Sol.

A meeting of the Red Iberoamericana de Coccion Solar de Alimentos (RICSA)
was held April 4-8, 1999. This group, consisting of 14 professionals from
universities in various countries, organized the following three working groups:
cooker materials/designs, cooker testing, and cooker dissemination and social
acceptance. Each member is given a specific task to accomplish in his/her own
country, and they will gather again in a few months to share the results. In
addition, members are encouraged to hold classes in their respective countries.
RICSA coordinator Dr. Luis Saravia, University of Salta, Argentina. Email:


The Spanish language Catholic Herald (San Francisco & Sacramento Diocese)
recently published a photo of Sister Gregorcich in the village of Quiche conducting
a blessing of solar ovens built as a result of a national project which she


Solar heated water pasteurization equipment developed and donated by Dr. John
C. Cobb of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was recently installed in Copper Canyon area
of the Sierra Madre region to benefit Tarahumara indigenous people. Dr. J.C. Cobb,
10501 Lagrima De Oro NE #4320, Albuquerque, NM 87111, USA. Email:

Jean-Claude Pulfer, agricultural engineering specialist in solar energy, and
WILDEN GANZEN, an NGO from Holland, have helped equip a Development
Center for Solar Energy where people can produce ovens, solar cookers, solar
dryers and solar heaters. According to Martin Almada they are also working on
the project "Small Enterprises for Young Rural Women Utilizing Solar Energy" as a
strategy for fighting poverty, protecting the environment and creating sources for
employment. M. Almada, email:



             Al Ligtenberg, a California-based member of SCI
             famous for his extensive solar cooking teaching efforts in
             Nepal, has kept busy spreading the word at a series of
             recent events, including the Earth Tech 2000 show in
San Jose, an Earth Day event in Sunnyvale, and at the Real Goods
SOLFEST in Northern California. In May, Al and his wife were in Peru, again
demonstrating solar cooking. Email:


 In April, fifteen of Rowena Gerber's third, fourth and fifth grade students from
the Miami Country Day School presented a workshop on solar cooking at the
American Museum of Natural History in New York City. This is their fourth
presentation using SCI resources and demonstrating construction of traditional
solar cookers. Students' original experimental designs included use of tires and
garbage cans. R. Gerber, Miami Country Day School, P.O. Box 380608, Miami, FL
33238-0608, USA. Tel: 305-759-2843, web:, email:


 Roma Stibravy made a solar presentation to the Association of Small Island
Developing States (AOSIS) Representatives to the United Nations. These states
are energy poor except for Trinidad and Tobago which exports oil for foreign
exchange. Email:



J.N. Malaviya, solar energy consultant, organized an essay contest for
schoolteachers that was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Pune Central. The topic
"Benefits and Relevance of Solar Energy" was selected based on the fact that India
is heading toward energy shortages but has unlimited natural solar energy. The
authors of the three best entries received solar cookers as prizes. The contest
stressed the need for teachers to educate future generations on the wise use of
energy resources. J.N. Malaviya, C6/24, New Pleasant Park, Bhairobanala, Solapur
Road, Pune 411013, India. Email:

Keshav Jaini has been doing demos and workshops developing different types of
cookers from locally available material. The demand for cookers is such that he
provided a template to a local cardboard box manufacturer who agreed to make a
sample lot of 100 CooKits. He is preparing a pamphlet to distribute free to people
interested in solar cooking. Email:

As noted in the March 1999 issue of Solar Cooker Review, Dr. Ashok Kundapur
recently published an extensive review of nearly 50 different solar cooker designs.
He has since put the entire report on the internet, available at

                                                 o                  n            b
Dr. Rajammal P. Devadas rep o rts th e d evel pm en t o f th e “A vi a sh ,” a fi er
reinforced plastic solar cooker. This particular cooker is becoming popular with
middle income households in India. Agricultural families appreciate its compactness
and portability, which allows them to cook meals wherever they are working. Email:


Yasuko Torii demonstrated solar cooking during a round-the-world cruise in late
1998. From Havana to Singapore, 42 days crossing the Caribbean Sea and Pacific
Ocean, she cooked rice, sweet potatoes, cassava, pumpkin, etc. on the deck using
a CooKit and other small panel cookers. Over 700 passengers watched the
demonstrations, tasted food, and sipped tea. They were amazed to see sweet
potatoes baked in a beer can in a small panel cooker. Sunshine was very strong in
the South Pacific. Y. Torii, 2-18-12 Kamitsuchidana-Kita, Ayase, Kanagawa 252-
1111, Japan. Email:, web:



Thet Khyne, a teacher from the Karen minority region, reports that villagers in
central Myanmar sink their covered pots of rice into hot sand so that the lid is
exposed to the blazing sun. The pot absorbs heat all over, gradually cooking the
food inside. He suggests that in arid regions of Africa many kinds of food could be
cooked the same way. The lid painted black absorbs more heat, reducing cooking
time. Sent by: Princess Ying Sita, The Burma American Fund, 160 West End
Avenue, Suite 18J, New York, New York 10023, USA

                Maarten Olthof reports nearly 2000 people in refugee camps in
                eastern Nepal now make use of solar cookers, some parabolic. Email:

Hans-Hermann Buesselmann says two donors, the German foundation BINGO-
Lotto and Teebken, a construction company, enabled the construction of two solar
mirrors and biogas ovens for a new school kitchen in Itahari. Mirrors and ovens
used in combination greatly reduce the reliance on conventional energy. A similar
combination has been used for projects in Bangladesh. Email:

Sri Lanka

E.C. Jeyaruban writes that ZOA Refugee Care Netherlands is in the midst of a
two- year solar cooking project in Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa, and Amparai, three
eastern Sri Lanka districts. The projects are designed to benefit internally displaced
persons. Thus far, 140 volunteers have been selected and trained in solar cooking
skills, and the excitement level is high. Booklets and cooking instructions are
available to them in the Tamil language. The cookers, made by a local carpenter
with assistance from a technical institute in Batticaloa, cost less than $30 US.
11/18D, School Avenue, Mahindarama Road, Ethul Kotte, Sri Lanka. Tel: 862-217,
fax: 882-724, email:


In the March 1999 Solar Cooker Review we noted that Belin Pierre made a
wooden CooKit, and that inquiries should be made to Rev. Jules Casseus. The
correct contact information is Rev. Jules Casseus, Attn: Belin Pierre, Agape Cap-
Haitian, 7990 15th St. East, Sarasota, FL 34243. Please note that Mr. Pierre cannot
mail his CooKits to the United States for selling.

S C I’s
Stewards of the Sun
1998-1999 Individual Members

Click here to see the names.

Number of countries represented = 45 Number of US states represented = 46
SCI has printed its organizational members in the past and will again.
A Volunteer for all Seasons

by Bud Lembke

 When you run out of enthusiasm, persistence and energy for a good cause, contact
Barby Pulliam of El Dorado Hills, California, near Sacramento. She has enough of
those qualities for ten people, especially when it comes to Solar Cookers
International and the Girl Scouts (known as Girl Guides worldwide).

                                                                            t        t
Y o u m a y h a ve to m o ve fa st, h o w ever, fo r a t 7 3 , sh e do esn ’ ju st si a rou n d th e
house twiddling her thumbs. She left June 30 for Africa and another training and
organizing mission on behalf of solar cooking. It is the fourth year in a row that she
has visited that continent. Altogether, she has visited Africa six times.

              ed           o        u          l
As a self-styl “p ro fessi n a l vol n teer” al h er l fe, P u l i m ta kes th i l rg el sel
                                                      i         la              s a     y   f-
financed travel in stride.

This time, she is visiting five countries in nine weeks: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi,
Mozambique and Madagascar.

She does, however, face a bit more of a challenge in the communicating realm on
this visit. Her trips in the past have been to English-speaking African countries that
were former British colonies. That pattern will be broken this summer with her visit
to Madagascar.

                       gh                                      d          m      n
“M y ru sty Fren ch m i t n o t g et m e b y th ere,” sh e sa i . “A n d I’ g o i g to
M o zam b i e a n d I d o n o t sp ea k Po rtu gu ese.”

Pulliam, a member of the Solar Cookers International board for six years, is
undaunted by the language differences. She expects to have interpreters from the
local Girl Guides organizations helping her. Starting as a youngster in Inglewood,
California, her work with the Girl Scouts goes back 62 years.

 She explained that the Girl Guides team up admirably to assist Solar Cookers in
developing the training bases in Africa.

“T h e p ro bl    n                        es            a                         s
              em i m ost o f th e cou n tri w h ere S ol r C o o kers h as go n e i th a t w e
       t                  n                              d
d o n ’ h a ve an on -go i g p resen ce th ere,” sh e sai .

This problem is overcome when there can be a tie with the Girl Guides

“Fi            re                                    g fferen ce,” Pu l i m sa i . “W o m en
    rst, th ey’ w o m en , an d th a t m a kes a b i di                la       d
       t    i                          l
d o n ’ b el eve a m a n w h en h e tel s h er h o w to coo k.”

The Girl Guides and Girl Scouts organization is established in 175 countries, so this
base exists where solar cookers are needed.
Girl Guides have had saving the environment as an emphasis since the movement
began in 1910, which makes another good fit with Solar Cookers. And finally,
members are required to do some community service, for which they can gain
credits by learning how to use solar cookers and passing the knowledge along to

Pulliam also praised Rotary International in Zimbabwe for coming to the rescue
when local training monies fell short. The service clubs provided a $40,000 grant
for this work.

While working inside the home and raising two children with her husband, Carl,
     la                                                   u                      l
P u l i m co n ced es th a t a secon d ca reer a s a vol n teer cam e n a tu ra l y b eca u se “I
              e                                         p
w a s u n a bl to sa y n o ” to requ ests fo r h er h el .

She said her husband, retired from being the lead lobbyist in Sacramento for the
Southern California Gas Co., is supportive of her volunteerism and trips for Solar

     s                     al                    d
“H e’ a w on d erfu l so ci secreta ry,” sh e sai .

 Ms. Pulliam can be reached by mail at 3523 Rolph Way, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762,
by email at, or through the web at

Gifts That Keep Giving

Alternative Gifts International (AGI) offers gift giving that remembers the less
                   a                         on           s                     ci es
fo rtu n a te. S ol r C o o kers In tern a ti al (S C I) i on e of th e b en efi a ri o f A G I’s
work. Over the past three years AGI's donors have contributed 1886 solar cookers
for refugee families in eastern Africa, almost 15% of the total distributed through
SCI. For a free catalog call AGI (in the USA) at 800-842-2243 or write AGI, P.O.
Box 2267, Lucerne Valley, CA 92356-2 2 6 7 . A G I’ w eb si i         te s

Memorial and Living Tributes

Living Tributes:

Shirley Freedland in honor of Eleanor and Clark Shimeall

Memorials Tributes:

Margaret and George Mustard in memory of Lila Petersen

A gift in memory of Francine Thau

A gift in memory of George and Gertrude Prosser
Solar Book Review

by Christopher Gronbeck

The new edition of Joseph Radabaugh's book Heaven's Flame, published by Home
Power Publishing, is a great addition to the bookshelf of any aspiring or established
solar chef. The text is well written and the quality of layout, printing, binding, and
graphics do the content justice.

The first half of Heaven's Flame consists of introductory information about solar
cooking...a history of designs and designers, the social and environmental benefits,
and answers to frequently-asked questions by someone who has obviously heard
them all a thousand times.

The second half of the book focuses on designing and building cookers, with a
special emphasis on Joe's contribution to the world's solar cooker repertoire, the
SunStar. His cooker is constructed of two nested cardboard boxes with a glass
glazing and four flat reflectors that form a sort of rectangular cone. It's a bit more
complex than your average panel or box cooker, but he makes it look easy and it
produces some serious power.

In 150 pages, Joe covers people, projects, events, technologies, recipes,
environmental issues, and fun stories. There is technical information, but not more
than necessary, and the casual writing style makes it very readable.

To order the book, which listed for US$15.00 at the time this was written, visit on the internet, or call 800-707-6585
(+1-530-475-0830 outside the U.S.).

Kudos to Joe and Home Power for saving precious trees by printing on sustainably-
harvested bamboo stock!

Board Members in Monday Developments

Two SCI board members appeared in the June 7, 1999 issue of Monday
Developments, a periodical of InterAction, a coalition of 160 private US relief,
development and refugee agencies to which SCI belongs. Beverlee Bruce,
            n                s        ssi                                   l
rep resen ti g th e W om en ’ C om m i on fo r R efu g ee W om en an d C h i d ren , w ro te a n
article on developing programs for internally displaced persons (IDPs). Elvira
Williams was mentioned for her role in a new committee promoting partnerships
between Northern and Southern NGOs. For information on these partnerships,
contact Evariste Karangwa, manager, Africa Liaison Project, tel: 202-676-8227, ext.
131, email:

A l s P h o to Jo u rn a l
      ef      i              g           s        n         s
A b ri sa m pl n g o f A l Li ten b erg ’ tea ch i g tra vel o ver th e pa st yea r… keep u p th e
great work Al!

[Photos N-S]

Goodness, Gaseous, Great Ball of Fire!

Our solar system revolves around you,
You give us power to turn beef to stew,
We catch your ray,
We cook all day.

Goodness, gaseous, great ball of fire!

You give us heat and energy too,
You give us power to do what we do,
A box a wrap,
Your source we trap.

Goodness, gaseous, great ball of fire!

Send us sunshine!
Oooooh! Feels good!
Help our food bake!
You give us sunlight like we knew you would!

So Fine!
Got a keep on shining all the time, time, time, time...

       re      li       l
Y o u ’ 9 3 m il o n m i es a w a y,
But you still turn our night into day,
Y o u ’ just so neat,
With all your heat.

Goodness, Gaseous, Great Ball of Fire!!!

--by students of Miami Country Day School

Solar Cooker Review

 Solar Cooker Review is published two or three times a year, with the purpose of
presenting solar cooking information from around the world. Topics include solar
cooker technology, dissemination strategies, educational materials, and cultural and
     al           o            m       m                a         cs
so ci a da p ta ti n s. From ti e to ti e w e co ver rel ted to pi su ch a s w om en ’s
issues, wood shortages, health, nutrition, air pollution, climatic changes, and the

Solar Cooker Review is sent to those who contribute money or news about solar
cooking projects. The suggested subscription price is $10/yr. Single copies are sent
free to select libraries and groups overseas.

We welcome reports and commentary related to solar cooking for possible
inclusion. These may be edited for clarity or space. Please cite sources whenever
possible. We will gladly credit your contribution. Send contributions to SCI REVIEW,
1919 21st Street, #101, Sacramento, CA 95814-6827, USA. You may also send
them by fax 916-455-4498, or email

Solar Cooker Review is compiled and edited by the staff of Solar Cookers
International (SCI) with additional assistance by Bev Blum and layout by IMPACT
Publications located in Medford, OR, USA. SCI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
whose mission is to spread solar cooking to benefit people and environments.

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