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 Newsletter No.25 Apr. 2010

 Dear friends,

 Spring is in the air! It started already in February at the beginning of the Vietnamese New Year. Endless songs have been written about this new beginning and everyone seems to be energized. At Solar Serve we are also excited. First of all the shape of our Center has been transformed and slowly we see the third floor coming into existence. You will read more in this letter. Another excitement will be our tenth anniversary. We would like to celebrate this event. We are also happy to have some new workers. So we have enough news to tell you in this letter.

The birth of a new floor

In our last letter we told you about our desire to build another floor on top of our center. We made the decision in January and asked our staff to remove the roof tiles first. It was a hard job, but it was our first visible step for us to be serious. We could not go back anymore. The contractor started on Jan. 26. It was like a birthday for us. We were so happy. It was very strange to see our center without a head (roof), but very soon the first pillars were put into concrete and walls were built.

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In Vietnam it is a special day when you finish the foundation or another floor. On March 10th was our big day. All the iron bars for the ceiling were fixed together and the electrical wires were laid between.. Cement-trucks were backed up to a crane for carrying the cement to the top. Almost 30 workers worked hard to get the job done. It took them around four hours to finish the whole floor. The weather was perfect and at the end of the day everyone was happy and satisfied. We were amazed!

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Coming and going

We often see workers coming and going. Many times they can't see our future goals and move on to another job. We would like to see a change in this by having a stable group of people working for the same goal. Another young man came to work for us last month. One of our deaf workers came back after he had left six months ago. Also the department of labor approved a work permit for three years for Hans. He is now 'officially' working as a technical advisor for Solar Serve.

Process of change

In our last newsletter we have not told you so much about our work in building and helping people with solar cookers. We are in a process of change. We would like to move to another level of helping people. It requires adjustments and rethinking our plans for the future. We would like to develop our projects more but also establish the business side of Solar Serve by selling solar heaters. solar panels and even small wind mills for electricity. We also need to help and train our staff better.

Central place

When you enter Danang by plane and fly above the Marble Mountains you can see our Center. This area was used as a place for graves near a small village. In this village they are cutting and shaping marble. Thousands of Buddha statues and other gods are created there every day. There are also many temples and pagodas located in this area. On our new floor you can overlook this whole area. A great place to take your stand.

10 years Solar Serve

On May 22 it will be 10 years ago that we officially started Solar Serve. With the backing of the Danang University we were able to help many people throughout the country. During the Environment day in June we would like to remember those good years by giving 10 parabolic cookers away during a special display in Danang. We already contacted the University and they also want to display their equipment. We hope that local authorities will give us the right place for this celebration.

Finally

• We received the news that Fred one of our handicapped sponsors is not able to   (sponsor) walk this year because of problems with his legs.
• Another seminar will be held for small entrepreneurs. This will be part of a business    course spread over two years.
• In May we will have a Solar Serve display in Hong Kong during the 50th anniversary of an organization
• We are trying to organize another celebration of 10 years Solar Serve for friends like you in August. Please contact us for the date.
• Both of our Katu workers left, one for a course in building ships and the other one for study in Saigon.
• In February all our workers had a two-week break for meeting their families and friends during the New Year.
• At the moment we are building the roof on top of the third floor again and also a new balcony.
• We often have contact with the parents of our deaf workers. It is very important for them to know us.
• One mother told us that she was very happy because her son changed so much.
• We already posted four updates of the new floor. Open our website
That is all for now. Thanks for your interest. Please keep in touch.
Greetings,
Solar Serve team

Called to Serve

For more information write to: solarserve@yahoo.com