Bulletin 13 February 2012

Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset
District 3400/No.79571
Meeting every Monday at 5:30pm Maya Resort, Ubud

You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future.


Attending: Allan, Antje, Bruce, Mr. Chu, Donna, LLoyd, Marilyn, Mary Lee, Rosalind, Rucina, Sue W

Apologies: Alisa (USA), Augie (tending to the new business, Bali Deli), Cat (at the bedside of ill sister in Canada), Don and Sue B (India), Driya and Probo, Fred and Mandy (USA and on to Egypt), Gabe (Sumatra), Rustiasa (India), Janet (France), Jody (USA), Kadek, Mary Jane (Singapore), Patricia, Philip (Java for his brother’s wedding),  Tjok Raka, Bill (USA)

Guests: Rtns Bill and Judith Schneider, Guest Speaker Richard Flax


Pres LLoyd welcomed Rtn Donna back from Hawaii and we’re so glad to see her smiling face.  So many of our members are currently away from Bali that we’re looking forward to everyone drifting back, one by one!

An interesting side note about Rotary: Did you know that Rotary is fortunate to be the only Humanitarian organization officially recognized by the United Nations?  (Not exactly like a Rotary Minute…closer to a Rotary Second.)

PP Marilyn Gives Us An Inside Look into the Government Education Dept.:   We all know our Indonesian government works slowly but patience leads to success.  After explaining an upcoming RAWCS school project (thanks to PE Rowan McClean, RC North Balwyn) four times to four separate officials at the head school office in the district of Payangan, we finally were told that we would obtain a signature from the top guy.  BUT the top guy wasn’t in the office!  Soooo, the signature page was duly carried off to wherever the top guy was and eventually returned….with a signature!  This was then followed by a lengthy discussion amongst the office staff about where to place the official stamp.  A consensus of staff determined just where on the page the stamp would appear, the page was finally stamped and after a bit more pleasant conversation, we were DONE!  Time spent? Two hours…but it was friendly and since we’re accustomed to the protocol, we were greatly entertained.

In abstentia, we inducted a new member, Dr. Steve WignallDr. Steve is an expert in HIV, highly regarded in Indonesia and is one of our club’s leading forces as we develop a Global Grant proposal aimed at HIV treatment and prevention.  Much of Dr. Steve’s time is spent in Papua, Indonesia where HIV is running rampant, about 20% of the small population has been testing  positive.  Here in Bali, our percentage of infection is lower, but the overall number of those infected is higher because of our larger population and growing.  Jakarta has the largest number of HIV infected individuals with Bali ranking number two in Indonesia.


Richard Flax

Pres Lloyd and VP Rucina introduced our guest speaker, Richard Flax.  Rucina has known Richard forever, and so was not surprised when he announced he would not be speaking on the scheduled topic of expat health insurance. But he did eventually, of course, after a fascinating digression into his life on Bali and how strange and magical Bali really is, underneath the veneer that casual visitors see.

Richard has been a filmmaker, surfer, writer, entrepreneur, partner in an eco-resort on Sumba (http://www.nihiwatu.com), disaster-response consultant, philanthropist with two foundations, and an ad hoc EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). He has an extensive “medical kit” and is frequently called on to help people in emergencies, e.g., the 2002 Bali bombing when he helped arrange evacuation of many victims. To this day he still gets calls for help, and this has led to his distributing insurance brochures to encourage expats to stop courting financial ruin when they face these events. In spite of Richard’s change in topic, he did tell us how became involved in the insurance business, (http://vivilate.com), despite his strong reservations about the industry itself.

He shared several stories of medical and financial doom, especially of those who didn’t have evacuation insurance, which inspired many of us to re-visit our medical insurance situations and pocket his business card.

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.

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