WATER & SANITATION IN NICARAGUA at WVRC on Nov. 11th
Before anything else, note we ARE back at the UCLA Faculty Center henceforth, OK?
CURT SMITH provided the Invocation, which I’ll summarize more briefly. “Each of us is a minority, by race, or religion, etc, and each of us is also a part of some majority and that’s where we need to be most careful. We must pledge to help one another, and to allow all rights to everyone. The degree of commitment we have to equal freedom and opportunity determines our success in this endeavor. So keep your eyes open to our many serious issues, look up at what we can accomplish. As we work together may you gain strength and sustenance from one another through reason and compassion. Two presidential quotes: “When I do good, I feel good, and when I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion” Abraham Lincoln. “It’s remarkable how much you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit” Harry S. Truman. Well, done, CURT thank you. DWIGHT HEIKKILA led the Pledge, first commenting on this Veteran’s Day. From a historical viewpoint, in the 300 years of our existence, there have been 600,000 Veterans killed in our wars. Today we have 23 million Veterans, and this is a shocker 3 million of them are disabled! We were reminded that World War One ended with an Armistice at 11/11/11, that being 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month. However, the poor soldiers in the field really didn’t believe it, since the War had been going on for over four years. We next got through The Four Way Test even without crib notes. LENNY and RICK asked the veterans of each service to stand, as we sang their anthems. It went well.
We had no Visiting Rotarians after all how would they have found us? but there were several guests. Our Speaker was Rachel Sklar, and her father, Bob was there to hear her. Professor Peter Reich and Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann were also guests of the Speaker. PEGGY BLOOMFIELD was with her helper. MARK ROGO brought his young friend, Alex DeLeon, who this month became 8 years old... With great sadness it was announced that there were no fines for missing pins! But we were picked up by the following tale from President GORDON: It seems an elderly gentleman was stopped by a policeman while driving at 1 a.m. The officer asked what the man was doing, and he replied that he was enroute to a counseling session on the evils of drink and its regrettable effect on the human body. The officer, obviously puzzled, then asked who would be giving such a lecture at this hour of the night. “My wife”.
This brought on the Birthday salute, and we had a bunch of November arrivals.
Leading off was SUSAN ALLEN, who along with STEVE LOHR, both chose the 4th SUSAN in Detroit, and STEVE in LA. This sharing a date was so appealing that PP TOM LENEHEN and MIKE YOUSEM settled on the 6th, TOM in Evanston, IL. And MIKE in Omaha. STEVE PETTISE stepped forward on the 10th, in Elgin, IL. JOHN WOODALL liked Los Angeles on the 13th. HENRIETTA LIAN took us to Santa Ana on the 16th, while DR JEFF BRONSTEIN preferred Albany NY on the 18th. NEVIN SENKAN came all the way from Ankara, Turkey on the 20th. But PP RON WANGLIN brought us back to LA on the 23rd. Getting back into the double date act, AL BELLANCA and DWIGHT HEIKKILA both chose the 27th, AL in Buffalo and DWIGHT in Waukegan, and we know you know that is in Illinois. PP DON NELSON claimed the 28th in nearby San Diego, and MARCIA BROUS elected the 29th in Newark, NJ.
TERRY deSOUSA added to our international image by choosing Georgetown, British Guiana on the 30th. However, it must be reported that only six of the above suspects were actually on hand to hear our Happy Birthday Song STEVE LOHR, MIKE YOUSEM, NEVIN SENKAN, DON NELSON, DWIGHT HEIKKILA and MARCIA BROUS. Into each life some rain must fall…
A couple of loose ends, please: The Christmas Shopping Spree is set for December 9th, and MIKE YOUSEM was pleased to announce that he is within two sponsors of having everyone covered so give him a ring, if you can join the group. He does need help with covering the cost of the bus it is $450, and donations toward that would be much appreciated. Speaking of donations, SEAN MCMILLAN came up with $100.00, so he used the football tickets PENNY donated and UCLA won, which was a nice surprise. We are looking forward to December 16th, however, which will be at the Angelino Hotel (the former Holiday Inn at Sunset and the freeway).
MARCIA BROUS introduced our Speaker, Rachel Sklar. Rachel graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2009, majoring in Neuroscience. She started with the Foundation for Sustainable Development in San Francisco, and after some training was assigned to a small clinic under the Ministry of Health in Masaya, Nicaragua. While there she met members of the Rotary Club of Masaya thus, her connection to Rotary.
Rachel was aided by her many slides. We learned that if universal sanitation were achieved by 2015, it would cost $95 billion, but would save $660 billion. As another example, in 1991 Peru had a Cholera outbreak which cost one billion dollars to contain. It could have been prevented with $100 million of better sanitation measures. Diarrhea is the leading cause of death among children five years and younger and it is caused by lack of sanitation. We saw a demonstration of a proper outhouse, which included the building materials of cement, wood, nails, sand, and the cover/seat, plus the shell covering this costs about $400, and without the cover, closer to $220. Thus her visit was a learning trip to promote usage of sustainable sanitation systems, plus teaching basic hygiene and sanitation education.
The basic health promoters were called the Trabajo del Terreno Team, based in Monimbo, a local suburb. Their basic assessment began in October 2009, leading to an Assessment/Survey in May-June 2010. In August this led to the formation of local working groups. They had learned that Community Organizations could provide a sustainable sanitation system, which also provided valuable compost after drying. This was valuable in backyard gardens. Their survey showed that there were a total of 180 local construction workers within that community.
We saw a group photo of some of the Fresco Community Committee, which has 16 members. Rachel had her picture taken with Alfonso Mesa, Ministry of Health Epidemiologist, at the Monimbo Health Center. She was there for five months, along with other team members. Someone asked why this terribly poor sanitation is such a problem - does it exist in Costa Rica, for instance? The answer seems to be poor government and bad leadership, which is a terrible combination.