Newsletter No.04 July 2004
wonderful to serve
people with the Sun. During a conference in Thailand we experienced a
lot of interest in solar cooking. Even Thai government officials were
excited and asked questions like “why it was not established in
Thailand yet?”. There is a whole field open to provide solar cookers in
all provinces in this country. We felt overwhelmed and also helpless
because we are not able to response to this request. If there were only
a few people in Thailand who had a vision for solar cooking, a whole
country lies open for them. There is a need for solar workers! The past
few months has been very excited for us in Vietnam. We would like to
tell you more in this letter.
International day of Environment
May-be you did not know
but June 5th was the International
Day of Environment. We decided to celebrate this day with a
demonstration in solar cooking in front of a People’s Committee
building in Binh Minh village. Our staff asked 50 participants of our
solar cooking course to cook with there newly provided solar cookers.
We also added five parabolic solar cookers for frying. It was a whole
day of setting up, going to the market, preparing the dishes for
cooking, waiting and eating. At the beginning the parabolic solar
cookers caught a lot of attention when people could see and smell the
cooked food, while the normal cookers are just sitting in the sun
without any excitement. It was the first time that we used the
parabolic cookers in public and people were standing in disbelieve when
a piece of paper burned in 30 sec.
When we opened the 50
other solar cookers the people changed
their mind, because they were able to see and smell the cooked dishes
in the solar cookers too. And after we ate with 100 people (young and
old) there was no doubt anymore that it was possible to cook with the
A few days before a film
crew passed our house while our
staff were cooking with the cookers. This was so new for them that they
made a short film and a few days later we were on local and later on
national television. Free advertisement. The environment day was a
great success and an also encouragement for our staff. Here are some
parabolic and 50 solar
cookers Paper burns in
large pot of beans for
Fried (grilled) duck
to open the solar
Also men were
Checking the food
there first solar meal Women’s Union
thanked our staff
Minority group Katu
Last month we transferred 30
solar cookers to
the mountains near Danang to help the Katu, an ethnic minority group.
The Katu people were headhunters before, but now live and work in
peace. Every day they work in the forest, but we managed to arrange a
time with them. The Katu people eat, live and behave differently, so it
was a challenge for our staff to adopt their lifestyle. But it turned
out well and our staff felt in love with them. The people were very
simple and friendly and loved cooking with the sun.
When our staff were
teaching them, another film crew were
making a documentary about the Katu working in the field. They could
not find them, because they were cooking with their solar cookers. When
the film crew found out and saw what they were doing, they became so
excited and decided to make a documentary about this “new” idea. It
will be shown on Danang television soon. It helped our staff to
understand that what they are doing is very valuable. Sometimes people
look down on them. The solar cookers are not high tech. Vietnam is a
poor country and people think that high technology shows development.
But we know better! The adoption of solar energy will help them a lot
and even the environment will change.
Solar beach demonstration
After a few days working
Ka Tu people
two staff members came down to Danang. Solar Serve was responsible to
host a group of volunteers working in Vietnam. We cooked a solar lunch
on the beach, and it was good for them to see our newly made parabolic
solar cooker. Till now we have made 10 of them and we are trying to
find ways how we can practically use them.
When we finished our
solar lunch a professor from a
University of Sweden saw our staff putting the cookers away. He was a
guest in the hotel but works for the ministry of agriculture in Hanoi.
He became very excited when he saw the cookers. He made it very clear
to us that he wanted to use them in the north for his project. If it
works well he will contact us for further co-operation. We had already
made a purpose for those cookers, but we decided to help the professor.
The next day he had already arranged transport. He was very thankful
and called and mailed us a few days later to thank us again. Our staff
was very excited that a foreigner, who works with the Vietnamese
government, appreciated their cookers. We hope we can serve more people
in Vietnam like this.
A time to reflect
At the end of this Summer
we would like to have a time
together with our staff. It will help us to understand our purpose and
goal in helping the poor and needy. Last year we had a small group, but
this year we have more staff. We need the input of all, so that we can
work hand in hand together. It is a privilege to serve the poor people
and we need to encourage each other to keep that always in mind. This
time together will be a great opportunity to share with each other the
wonderful things of the last few months. May-be small for you, but for
us it was great!
Again keep in touch
This letter was written
for your information. Please remember
us. We can’t do this work alone. We need you to hold our hands up.
Please keep in touch while we are all serving in the presence of the
Solar Serve team
Called to Serve