Bulletin 12 & 19 December 2011Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset
Meeting every Monday at 5:30pm Maya Resort, Ubud
The height of your accomplishments will equal the depth of your convictions. -William F. Scolavino
BULLETINs 12 and 19 DECEMBER 2011
Attending: Allan, Antje, Bill, Cat, Danielle, Don and Sue B, Gabe, Janet, LLoyd, Marilyn, Mr. Chu, Patricia, Philip, Rosalind, Rucina, Sue W
Apologies: Augie, (in Thailand selling Jeff’s boat), Bruce (back in Bali and not doing well), Donna (in Hawaii), Driya and Probo, Fred (in USA), Jody (in USA packaging and distributing cook books!), Kadek (in the field), Mary L, Mary Jane, Tjok Raka, Tangsi, Zsuzsa (in Canada).
Guests: Rtn Rich Foss (RC Colorado Springs Interquest), Rtn Kasey Peterson (RC Incline, USA), Diane Parker, (RC Kelowno Ogogpogo, Canada), Tom and Ines (USA), Karen Kaplan and Josh Fitzgerald (USA), Sterling (Ubud), Ruth (Ubud), Margaret (Australia), Tom and Kris (USA), Adi (Ubud), Anne Marie (Ubud), Charley (Mambal), Rah Tut, Gusti, Claudia (Ubud), Alejandra (Ubud), Guest Speakers Steve Lansing and Joseph De Wolk
ANNOUNCEMENTS, CORRESPONDENCE, REPORTS
We’re Dark Dec 26th and January 2.
And it’s a darn good thing we’re dark so we can all try and catch up from the pre-holiday planning, activities, excitement and fun!
First on the agenda is the fabulous news that Bali’s own Robin Lim is this year’s CNN Hero! The birthing clinic that Robin has dedicated herself to will receive US$300,000 and just in time to make Robin’s dream of a new clinic come true. To learn more about this extraordinary effort go to www.bumisehatbali.org.
Holiday caroling at VP Rucina’s….we were all invited! Christmas Eve fellowship and dinner at PP Marilyn’s house…we were all invited! And fun we did have – 2 turkeys and tons of other food, we all waddled hom at the end of a lovely evening!
And for those who love the environment and thrive on the terror of driving treacherous roads through high mountains, a trip to Temukus – site of our two recent water projects – to plant trees…by invitation of Rotaract Club Bali Ubud. Two recently married Rotaracts gifted the Rotaract Bali Ubud with 1.000 trees and Temukus was chosen as the recipient village. As usual, the trip to this mountain top village was harrowing but successful. At long last the government is paving this road which of course means things get worse before they get better. The already narrow road on the mountainside became narrower due to piles of building materials deposited along the way.
Villagers dug the holes on steep 50 degree slopes so volunteers from the Rotaract club, Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset and folks from Bumi Sehat could seat the young trees and secure the roots with soil. Every tree was planted! This in spite of an overcast sky, very cool temperatures (for Bali) and finally torrential rain! Not to be deterred, tree planters stuck it out until the last tree was in the ground and then, soaking wet, returned to the village. No casualties reported. Pictures here *****
We all adjourned to the temple where Rotaract provided lunch, the villagers provided hot coffee and tea…perfect since we were all starving and chilled but totally delighted with our success. The day was rounded out with speeches from villagers and Rotaract and a good time was had by all…and then back down that horrendous road, even worse than before because of the huge rains. We’ve agreed to return to Temukus to watch our trees grow but not until the road is paved!!
Not one but two exciting events for the club! Rtn Bill Page is now a Paul Harris Fellow! Pres LLoyd, PP Sue and PP Marilyn had the pleasure of presenting Bill with his pin and his certificate. And then the induction of a new member! We welcome Antje Von Lukowicz-Schaeffer as the newest member of our club. Antje has already offered her talents to the club and is now our official club meeting photographer.
Rtn Bill reported on the activities of the HIV/Aids committee which has observed almost every training activity and met with almost every NGO involved in HIV prevention and treatment on the island. Despite a growing awareness of the impending HIV epidemic, a great deal more has to be done and done quickly to control its spread and treat those who are already infected. The club’s intention is to complete the due diligence reviews and then move into developing a Global Grant proposal. Needless to say we’ll be looking for Rotary Club international partners.
Rtn Danielle was acknowledged for overseeing the club’s collection of flags so they can now be proudly displayed at each meeting. Despite the careful placing and pinning of the flags on their background material, the tailor who sewed the flags onto the material had a limited understanding of the word ‘straight’. Thus the flags look like those of us who worked on the project had had way too much to drink. On the other hand, because we know we’re all a bit eccentric, maybe the flags should stay just the way they are. Danielle gifted the club all the materials involved in this project for which we are very grateful…since we’re always broke. (Editors Note: The flag banners have been taken to the tailors and we expect to publish revised photos of a more “sober” version early next year)
Kudos to RCBUS District 3400 has been tracking the 92 clubs in Indonesia and reporting the top 30… those that have met predetermined criteria based on membership increase and Foundation (EREY) giving. RC Bali Ubud Sunset has made the top 30 every month through November this Rotary year and was number 2 in November and number 6 in overall ranking to date. RC Bali Kuta walks away with number 1 and we send our congratulations to Pres Julia and all her members!
PE Rosalind is now our resident website whiz, anointed by PP Sue, the mother of our website. Be aware that Rosalind is very persistent and will be on everyone’s tail to fulfill website obligations!
Rtn Gabe brought a new dimension to her Rotary Minute and made it interactive. Gabe distributed paper to each of us (recycled, of course) and asked us to write down three words that we associated with ‘family” (this month’s Rotary theme), “sustainability” and ‘how to sustain the Rotary family’. The activity was thought provoking, particularly at this time of the year. AND – she did it all in less than 10 minutes!
GUEST SPEAKER December 12, 2011
Our guest speaker this evening was a most amazing person. Stephen Lansing is a professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona, with a joint appointment in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He is also a Professor at the Santa Fe Institute and director of Yayasan Somia Pretiwi, an Indonesian foundation promoting collaborative research on environmental problems in the tropics. Steve chaired the anthropology department of the University of Southern California for five years and later became a professor in the School of Natural Resources & Environment and Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He has been a Fulbright Fellow, a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a lecturer at Udayana University in Bali and a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
This evening Steve talked to us about the subaks in Bali. A subak is a large area devoted to rice farming and comprised of many individually owned terraced rice paddies. The cooperative method of fairly getting water to each of the rice paddies is the responsibility of the leader of each subak. Subak farming is unique to Bali and has been in place for the past several hundred years!
Today subaks are in danger. Rice farmers’ income is insufficient to support their families in spite of government promises to provide aid or subsidy. Young people do not see farming as a decent source of income and are turning to the cities for jobs. Tourism has escalated to the extent that selling rice paddy land is a huge temptation to farmers….land is selling for premium prices on the island. Overbuilding is directly hurting the subaks as houses are constructed in the midst of the rice paddies interrupting the flow of water and the island’s overall water supply is in danger of depletion to the extent that subaks will not have sufficient water to grow rice.
With the introduction of fertilizer in the 1980’s rice production increased but over time the soil and wild life has been damaged. An effort to return to original methods of organic farming requires a farmer to anticipate two years of poor crops before the soil is regenerated. And to ‘home grow’ compost, farmers need cows for manure…an additional up front expense while being faced with poor crop production for 24 months.
Turning this situation around is not easy. One solution might be through UNESCO’s recognition of the subak as a cultural heritage and offering eco-tours to visitors at a reasonable cost. Another is through government aid, always promised but frequently forgotten. In the long run, if Bali’s natural beauty is destroyed, it is possible that it will affect tourism and it’s resulting effect om the island’s economy.
GUEST SPEAKER December 19, 2011
Joseph De Wolk
Our young but talented and bright speaker was Joseph De Wolk, strategic philanthropy consultant and member of the Dasra organization based in Mumbai, India. Joseph’s work is based on the belief that developing an effective philanthropy strategy will help more people escape poverty more quickly. Joseph is here in Bali for several months to work with the Anikka Linden Foundation (ALF) as they prepare to move into their new facility in Tohpati, Denpasar. Joseph’s insights into appraising and supporting NGO organizations so they can reach their full potentials and get the most out of every donor dollar were very interesting and applicable to our own efforts to do due diligence on prospective projects….
The meeting closed with a big surprise for PP Marilyn…a round of happy birthday and a delicious chocolate cake…thanks to Rtn Rucina!! This was one of those wonderful moments when growing old is a real joy!
More BIG * Rotary Events Coming Up
And practically in our backyard, the Rotary International Conference will be held in Bangkok May 6 to 9, 2012. It’s not likely to get much closer to Bali for years to come so if you can, REGISTER! Many of our international project partners will attend and it will be our chance to meet them face to face and thank them for all their past help and support.