Bulletin 13 June 2011

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

A good farmer is nothing more nor less than a handy man with a sense of humus.

E. B. White


Attending: Cat, Donna, Driya, Janet, Jeremy, Patricia, Philip, Probo, Rosalind, Rucina, Sue W

Apologies: Alisa (in USA), Bruce (USA for medical treatment), Mr. Chu, Dennis (USA), Don and Sue Bennett (USA), Fred and Mandy Brauer, Gabe, Jody (USA), Kadek (in the field), LLoyd, Marilyn, Rustiasa, (babysitting!), Tjok Raka, Tangsi, Zsuzsa (Canada)

Guests: Rtn Kimihiko Uemura (RC Nagoya), Eiji Miura (RC Nagoya Moriyama) and his wife Mihiko,Yukie Uchida, Sahori Suzuki, Tamiko Uehara, Yasuaki Okawa, Junichi Miura, Yasayo Kitagawa, Hideo Kitagawa, Kitao Taisuke, Kitao Yuriko, Hideko Matsuoka, Noriko Ando, Mary Lee, William Page, Heather Conte, Guest Speaker Jackie Pomeroy, Ela Albisser


This was a meeting unlike any other meeting.

In anticipation of the arrival of fourteen Japanese guests, Pres Sue had us all practice saying ‘welcome’ in Japanese.  To help us get it right Sue prepared a slip of paper for each of us with the words phonetically spelled out and then we tried to mimic Sue’s excellent Japanese.  Sue worked with us until we got right. And what’s the word we learned?  IRRISHAIMASE!   Now you know why we needed time to practice!

Rotary has our number! A year from now District 3400 will split into two districts and our District number will be 3420. This district  will include Bali, West Java, and all Indonesian clubs west of Bali. The DG will be far more able to visit and work with clubs in this smaller geographic area.  This reorganization is very good for clubs.  The DG and his staff will be far more accessible when we need information or help.  And it’s likely that District meetings will be held in Bali.  BUT to keep this reorganization in place, our District is required to add 1000 members!  Anyone out there want to transfer?  You’d love living in Bali.

RCBUS at the DisCon Welcome Dinner

Rtn. Kadek and lovely wife Yuni were there, too!

SAA Rucina on the job!

Report on District Conference: Pres Sue prepared a photo presentation of the fantastic District Conference held in Bali this past week-end.  The entire conference was super well organized, everything seemed to go off without a hitch, and Bali has set a new standard for future DisCon’s.  Rtn Rucina was one of the SAA’s (Sergeant At Arms) went up and down the aisles with her “Shhhh” sign, shushing all the noisy folks.    Since time was short, Sue promised to show us more of the District Conference photos next week and share stories learned.

Friday evening offered a huge welcome dinner and the folks from Bali all wore traditional dress.  The colors were gorgeous.  The following day and a half was remarkable with everyone having a good time, lots of laughs, and learning the latest about Rotary.  It was a week-end well spent.

Mr. Uemura introduces his group from Nagoya

And then our Japanese guests arrived! On signal everyone said IRRISHAIMASE.  Our guests were delighted!  After everyone was settled we learned why this group of family and friends were in Bali.   Rotarian Eiji and Mihiko Miura told us how their only daughter was diagnosed with cancer and passed away six years ago.  She loved Bali, loved Balinese dance, loved coming here and had come to the island at least ten times.  Her parents believed their daughter’s spirit would be happiest if her ashes were brought to Bali and scattered in the ocean…  and that is why the family had come to Bali

Pres. Sue exchanged flags with Rtns Miura and Uemura who then shared a box of cookies with us She asked  her fellow travelers not to take any so there would be enough for the rest of us.  And there was a story behind the cookies.  While Miura’s daughter was desperately ill, the only thing she could eat was these cookies.  .  There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

Entries from FaceBook after the meeting:

“What a moving Rotary meeting Monday night.. A Japanese couple who lost their only daughter to cancer, made a pilgrimage to Bali, the place she loved most, to honor her, with friends and family and Rotary Ubud Sunset members – we felt very honored to be included.”

“Everyone was crying…it was so touching. They even brought and shared her favorite cookies that were the only food she ate while she was dying. “

“Amen, so touching. This was one of those occasions in life that reminds us both of the fragility of our lives and of the importance of family and friends to our survival.”

“It was such a tender meeting of spirits – 28 hearts open at once, transcending language and culture.”

Guest Speaker – Jackie Pomeroy

Can small farmers in Indonesia be successful?

Our Guest Speaker this evening was Jackie Pomeroy, a Rotary Fellow during 1981-1982 at the National University of Singapore, and made her first visit to Indonesia.  This was a life-changing experience for her, and formed the foundation of her formidable career in Asia.

Jackie and friends planting an improved variety of cocoa seedling at an experimental nursery in Flores.

Jackie said that Indonesian farmers produce a host of products that are in high demand:  cocoa, coffee, seaweed, peanuts, beef cattle, etc.  Yet small farmers remain very poor and marginalized while the rest of Indonesia enjoys the benefits of 6-7% annual growth.  Right next door to Bali is NTB (Lombok and Sumbawa).  More than a million people there (nearly a quarter of the population in that area) live below the poverty line, and they are mainly small farmers.  Why is this?  Or, more relevant to this discussion, what does it take to work with small farmers and empower them to grow out of poverty?

Jackie formulated 10 steps as guidelines when working with farmers:

1 Work with groups of farmer so the scale of their product is large enough to make it worthwhile for a buyer to come to them

2. Talk with the farmer about his particular problems

3. Talk to him again

4. Be flexible and adapt to the community’s needs and capacities

5. Work with the government (Jackie can pass on a long list of government officials that work hard with their communities.)

6. Collaborate as broadly as possible with corporations, government, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), etc.  (Jackie connected cocoa farmers with the producer of Mars Bars by involving the local government and an NGO).

7. Infrastructure is critical (Communities can do a lot with a little help e.g., building the road that could connect them to the buyer.)

8. Help communities (and local government) to focus on the right thing.

9. Hire incredible staff

10. Be very durable (Jackie spends hours on small planes, boats, and in 4 wheel drive vehicles)

Jackie Pomeroy was raised in Walnut Creek, California, and earned her B.A. in Anthropology and French in 1976 from the University of Hawaii, where she became interested in Southeast Asia.  She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics (international trade and finance & development) in 1986 from the University of Pittsburgh, after which she served as a policy analyst at the US Department of State.  In 1990, she accepted a one year contract in Jakarta as an advisor to the Minister of Trade and stayed in that job for seven years and three Ministers.  Jackie moved to the World Bank Office in Jakarta three weeks before the Asian Financial Crisis hit in 1997 (she swears there was no causal relationship), and spent the next eight years as World Bank Staff in Indonesia and East Timor.  She moved to Cambodia in 2004 as Country Representative for the Asia Foundation, and two years later returned to Indonesia to lead the Smallholder Agribusiness Development Initiative in Eastern Indonesia for AusAID. She is now a consultant based in Ubud, currently spending her time helping AusAID develop its’ rural development strategy, swearing at bugs in her organic garden, and trying to avoid flying Merpati.

Guest Heather gives her raffle prize to Mrs. Miura

The Raffle: The raffle, rosella sweets and a jewelry bag, was won by guest Heather who turned right around and presented it to Mrs. Miura saying it was a gift from Bali.  More tears…….


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