Bulletin 08 April 2013Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset District 3420 / No. 79571 Meeting every Monday at 5:30 PM at Maya Ubud Resort, Ubud “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: The ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”— Albert Schweitzer
Bulletin April 8, 2013
ANNOUNCEMENTS, CORRESPONDENCE, REPORTS
Opening Ceremony and Closing Fellowship at the RYLA Event:
Our own Rtn Probo, Chair of this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) event invited everyone to participate in the Opening Ceremony on April 12 AND the Closing Ceremony on April 14. (Our club is sponsoring three young people to attend RYLA, confident that RYLA makes a huge and positive difference in how Rotaracts and potential Rotaracts view their worlds.)
Home & Gardens of the Goods Fundraiser:
PP Lloyd continues to plan a club Fundraiser that will include visits to some of the most beautiful homes in the Ubud area. As part of the planning, Lloyd has been preparing homes for photo shoots…wanting everything to be even more perfect than it already is. Can this be dangerous? Judge for yourself. While trimming foliage in a lily pond, Lloyd went head long into the pond, completely dressed and with a brand new I-Phone in his pocket. Lloyd’s staff was stunned to see him3/4 submerged and immediately came to the rescue of the I-Phone. (Lloyd didn’t mention if his staff came to HIS rescue.)
Doulah Want to Help Bring a Child into this World?
Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self is often carried forward into multiple avenues of serving. Rtn Alisa told of her experiences at Bumi Sehat, a well-known and respected local birthing clinic where she went through rigorous training to become a Doula (otherwise known as a birthing coach). The Doula’s role is to be with the mother from beginning of labor to the baby’s birth no matter how long the labor lasts. As a coach Alisa supports the mother, father and attending family by giving emotional support, physical assistance and information. Alisa noted that being a Doula required physical strength and un-ending patience but the joy of birth was the greatest of all returns for the effort.
BIWA Benefiting the Balinese Community with Charity Luncheon
The Bali International Women’s Association (BIWA) is returning to its old vigor and Rtn Janet Molloy , with her unbridled enthusiasm, is helping to make this happen. We’re all invited to attend BIWA’s Daughters of the Earth Charity Luncheon on April 25, from 12:00 to 3:00 pm. Contact Janet at email@example.com for specifics…she’ll be delighted to hear from you.
Aaron Fishman & Lindsey White
(Mr. & Mrs. Cashew)
Cashew specialists and husband-and-wife-team Aaron Fishman & Lindsey White filled the Maya Resort meeting room with a variety of cashew specialties for our taste sampling — and we all partook by the handful. Delicious, fresh, and flavorful cashews grown right here in Bali and the surrounding Islands that are processed locally in a Balinese village state-of-the-art “nut factory” for the consumer market.
The young entrepreneurial couple came to Bali just 18 months ago from the United Sates as volunteers for the NGO East Bali Poverty Project in Karangasem, Bali. Lindsey is a Nurse Practitioner and Aaron is a Paramedic & Business Operations Manager by trade. They ventured to Bali to teach nutrition, first aid, and women’s health, and while staying in the Karangasem area of Bali in October, 2011 they noticed that there were a lot of cashews being harvested in the area. It was cashew harvesting season in Bali. Ironically, they learned that the cashews are harvested in Bali and sent to India unopened for processing into consumable cashew nuts. This journey involves a network of cashew traders who add their successive markups onto the export-bound nuts until they get to their final processing destinations. Then those processed cashews come back to Indonesia via Singapore or India marketed by large food companies as consumable cashews at very high prices – now that’s nuts, right?
The couple researched cashews further , and ultimately they felt that Bali would be ripe for processing its own cashews so they took a bold move to open their own cashew processing plant in Bali. Attracting an initial investment of US $400,000 from 12 business supporters, they opened a commercially viable cashew processing plant in Karangasem, a poor area in East Bali.
Cashew Harvesting and Processing:
Many of the cashews are harvested in the East Bali region in the shadow of Mt Agung. This harsh desert-like landscape has little rainfall but the cashew trees manage to consistently produce the cashew fruit and nut seasonally, every September and October. The trees were originally given to farmers to plant in East Bali by the Indonesian Government in the 1970’s and 1980’s in an attempt to stop the soil erosion. As a result of the cashew tree planting efforts, Bali now produces over 3,000 tonnes of cashews annually which, actually, is among the lowest unit yields in the world.
The Alamente cashew processing plant set up by Aaron and Lindsey runs on a unique operational and economic model. 130 employees hired from the local village have processed a cashew crop during the September- November 2012 cashew season that has a commercial value of over US $200,000 which is an outstanding achievement for such a new business. The packaged Alamente cashews are a world-standard finished product ready for consumer trade. 93% of the factory employees are women and the entire Management Team was selected from exceptional workers who showed promise, motivation, and a keen interest in their jobs. Many of these self-made Managers didn’t have the benefit of even a Secondary School education but they are showing immense capabilities as they are mentored by the owners and learn on the job. The majority of women workers may be due to the type of cashew pealing and processing work which requires consistency and ability to discern quality. Women income earners in Bali tend to be more resourceful with the money they earn and are far more likely to invest their earnings in health care and the educational needs of their family. So the village wellness elevates from these women workers and their commitment to improving the family living conditions.
The processing plant is run to world standards of operations and cleanliness. The nuts are steam pasteurized at about 100 degrees which kills-off any bacteria and later dried to less than 3% moisture which optimizes the cashews’ freshness. The cashew fruit is red with a singular cashew nut on the bottom. The cashew nut is removed from the fruit and the fruit is then discarded as it as no commercial use. The cashew nuts are then dried with the husk-on and go into processing factory where those husks are steamed open and removed. Cashews actually have two shells with the outer shell having a matrix with a liquid that is poisonous and can burn the skin. That outer shell has to be handled by the workers with protective gloves and removed. Once removed, the cashews are dried in an oven still having an inner soft shell called a “teta” or bread skin. That has to be removed by hand which is very time consuming and labor intensive prior to final packaging. The workers are trained to sort the cashews by quality with the premium quality being processed into the Alamente branded cashews. The broken cashews are sorted and crushed to go into a granola cereal which is baked on the premises and is becoming another tasty product expertly hand-crafted by the company. The company is also experimenting with other food products including dried fruits, dried coconut, and crystallized ginger. The goal is to maximize the factory equipment and staff to produce the best quality of nuts and dried foods.
It takes a Cashew to Raise a Village:
In an effort to help the village at large in which the Alamente processing plant is located, Aaron and Lindsey are in contact with the John Fawcett Foundation to organize an eye exam screening of the village’s 500 populace. They have discovered that while only one member of their factory team out of 120 employees wore eyeglasses, many of the workers were in need of eye glasses to see clearly and some were even in need of cataract surgery to restore their vision.
NEXT WEEK’S MEETING: Encore Requested!
We were so impressed with Roger Paget’s knowledge of Indonesian/USA relations following World War II that we begged him to return for an encore presentation on April 15th. Good guy that Roger is, he agreed and will speak on a subject that is rarely discussed in Indonesia…the 1965-66 anti-communist purge.