Bulletin 19 March 2012

Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset
District 3400/No.79571
Meeting every Monday at 5:30pm Maya Resort, Ubud
“People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.”
– Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784)

Attending: Bruce, Cheung Chu, Philip, Fred, Cat, Bill, Lloyd,  Antje, Rucina, Mary Jane, Sue W, Mary Lee

Guests: Garret Kam (guest speaker), Jolanda McDonald,  Judith Schneider, Bill Schneider, Rtn. Kasey Peterson [RC Incline Valley, just returned from Cuba which has changed a lot and become very tourist-oriented; American money is no longer needed there], Rico Peterson (husband of Kasey)

Announcements, C0rrespondence, Reports

Judith reported on the progress of  Polio Plus: only 3 countries still have it (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan)  and even those countries only reported single digit cases in the past year.

 

Bill/Sue W gave the club an update on the HIV AIDS research, with a special focus on sustainability.  Our collaborator, Bali Peduli, is building a list of people/businesses that will commit to 3 year pledges to address this issue.  La Lucciola which often holds fund raisers for the Kuta clinic at their restaurant, has already pledged.

 

Sue W reported that the workshop for Rotaracts has been delayed, so there is time to identify more participants.  She asked club members to recommend potential new Rotaractors (aged 18 to 30), to Wayan Rustiasa / Fitri to join the workshop which will take place over  2 days, Saturday-Sunday between 9 and 5. There is no charge for the workshop.  Date yet to be confirmed.

 

Rucina updated the club on the potential for a project addressing the child trafficking issue. Research is still at the nascent stage, but we agreed that the focus will be on education and awareness in targeted communities.  She will meet soon with Arum and Alit from RC Niti Mandala to see how we can work together.

 

Cat talked about water and sanitation. RCBUS has an  ongoing relationship with Project Hope in Sumba (a very effective and transparent NGO in Sumba). We fund them to built water tanks and dry toilets in very dry, poor areas. One tank costs USD 450 and a toilet USD 100.  We give material to the villagers, and they supply the labour and wood. There is a great demand for the tanks and toilets and we have placed this project in the funding basket for donations.

 

Lloyd reminisceced about the charter night of our club at the Botanic Garden.

 

Judith told us of attending a charter event of a club in Guatemala in the middle of the jungle. There were only four English-speaking people there. The charter president was a young man of about 38 who had gone to Texas as a teen to attend high school but found  he could not do so without a birth certificate. So he joined the army instead and became a driver for an officer who was a Rotarian, and attended Rotary meetings with him for 20 years.  Returning to his village after retirement from the Army, this young man  started a Rotary Club there. He believed that if his fellow villagers would embrace the principals of the Four Way Test, they could find a path out of the rampant corruption of their culture. We were all deeply touched by this story.

 

Sue W sought a  club photographer to replace Antje who is returning to Germany for the summer.  Kudos to Antje for doing such a fine job, we will miss her.  Cat graciously volunteered to take over photo duties..

And Sue won the raffle – 2 packets of Starbucks coffee!.

Guest Speaker :

Garrett Kam

Garret Kam kindly agreed to be our speaker this week at only four hours notice and presented a fascinating slide show about his recent trip into Myanmar.   As usual, Garrett’s powerful sense of observation and cultural sensitivity provided some interesting insights.  He also pointed out some similarities between the Balinese and Myanmarese cultures.  Myanmar is changing fast. Suu Kyi is free after 22 years of house arrest, and the government is allowing her to travel without restriction; her picture is openly for sale everywhere.

Garret showed photos taken in  Swedagon Temple during the moon festival. It was a bit hard to capture the full effect because the temple is so vast and complex but we saw many gold Buddhas, grottoes and small temples.  There was a fountain where people could bathe with the sign of their birth day with different symbols dividing the day and night (ie there are 8 symbols, with Wednesday split into the day  ( with tusks) and night  (without tusks).

A very large and busy temple fair was doing a brisk trade in photos of Suu Kyi and her father, wooden carvings, food and activities such as a manually operated ferris wheel, music shows and a cabaret. The offerings on the altars were very similar to Balinese offerings, using lots of folded coconut leaves.

Garret is a dancer, so he shared many dance performances with us.  Many of the dancers were young men dressed as women. There was also a puppet show of the Ramayana story which included a young boy dancing as a puppet.  The musical instruments (gongs and drums) were set in a circle instead of line as in Bali but were quite similar.
During the four hours Garret spent at the temple and fair, he saw only only saw five people smoking cigarettes, all the rest were chewing betel nut.

We also saw pictures of a ceremony for young children who will spend a mandatory 2 weeks in a monastery, and a kindergarten class of children who had been brought to the temple to pray together.

He also showed pictures taken in Bagan and Mandalay and gave us a demonstration of how to properly wear the Myanmarese longhi (sarong).Garret pointed out the absence of soldiers in the pictures, and mentioned the new freedom of speech he experienced during his visit. The election will take place April 1; let us all hope that this will become a positive new starting point for Myanmar and its people.

Joke of the Day:

Thanks to Suzanne Stallard for sharing this…

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