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Newsletter No.07 Apr. 2005
we are again. A new Solar Serve
newsletter with news from Danang city. For us it is important to inform
you, because we need people like you in backing and holding us up in
what we are doing. It is not always easy, but till now we have
experienced that in all difficult situations there was a solution. This
year we are facing a shortens of staff, while we are growing and
expending. So we need wisdom how we can do more with less people. It’s
a challenge for us. It keeps us depending on the source of
this letter we are not asking for any donations, but lately we received
a nice support gift from a Dutch organization who introduced us to
solar cooking in 1997. We were also very happy when you showed your
interest and love by your letters. When we started our project 5 years
ago some people told us that it would not work in Vietnam. People are
still laughing about us. But your letters kept us going and your
suggestions helped us to adjust the program through the years. This
year we will help many others with new solar cookers in the countryside
and will explore new areas for the new parabolic solar cookers.
After the Vietnamese New
Year celebrations and the end of the
rainy season we were searching for new areas for our project this year.
We felt that it should be south of the province we have been working in
the last couple of years. This place will be also closer to our main
factory, but a little bit more difficult to work in. When we tried to
contact local authorities, they told us that our project was ‘too
simple’. We have never denied that, when we started five years ago, but
the University and other people encouraged us that this was our
strength. The local officials of this province needed more papers from
the University and after that they would discuss the matter. We tried
to contact the women’s union, but, although they liked it, they were
not able to do anything without the permission of the authorities. So
we have to go through this waiting process and will be
the meantime our staff have been working very hard to build more then
300 new box cookers and 50 parabolic cookers during the rainy season.
If we get permission from the local authorities our staff will live in
these areas during the summer season. So we need places for living and
storage for the cookers. This can be hard on our staff, because during
the rainy season they live and work so close together, but during the
dry season they will live alone or only with two in an unknown area.
It’s sometimes hard to keep on motivated when you are only by yourself.
Please remember them.
Frames of the parabolic cookers. Small
reflecting plates cut and attached. Researching a solar
Son of Lien
Last time we told you
about Lien, one of our staff, attending
a school in the Philippines from February till July for more education.
He is separated from his family for almost 6 months. Although this is
not unusual in Vietnam, it can be still hard. His wife and son were not
able to go with him due to some health problems of his little son Hiep.
One month ago the son of Lien was rushed to the hospital (emergency
room). He had high fever and was in a shock. Because of his past heart
problems, his mother Thuy was very worried. She called Bich (director
of our project) to come to the hospital. When he arrived, he took the
boy in his arms to warm him and was allowed to walk around with him. He
spoke with the boy about the his father and comforted him. The fever
turned down and he asked the boy to repeat some healing words. The boy
became hungry and ate something, and before Bich was leaving the
hospital the boy was laughing again. Love and care will change all
On March 12, Hans
(project advisor) came back from Hanoi by
train. He shared a sleeping carriage with a mother and her two
children. When they came closed to Lang Co village (50km north of
Danang) the train had to run over a S cur-ved rail. They felt that the
train run to fast and suddenly it started to shake and they were thrown
to each other. Hans could grasped one child and the mother the other
one. Suddenly the train came to a halt. At the back of the carriage it
started to burn, so they jumped out of the train as fast as possible.
The whole train was derailed and the carriage were Hans was sitting in
was smashed on a rock and hold back by an electric pole. The pole saved
their lives of not being thrown all the way down into the sea.
carriages were been thrown off the track and up side down on the rocks
of the seashore. In one carriage people were trapped and Hans and
others were able to smash the windows with hammers and helped the
people to jump or carry out of the windows. In other carriages many
people were injured and some of them died already. Many people walked
over the railway to Lang Co village or were rescued by fisher boats.
After six hours they were all transported by a special train to Danang
city. When they arrived at the railway station, a national TV station
just showed the accident on a big screen in the arrivalhall and they
could see how they were really protected. More than 100 people were
injured and 13 people died. It was the worst train accident in
We were asked to
in a TV documentary about solar energy. We had not started our program
in the country-side yet, because we were waiting for official
(permission) papers from the University. The film crew could not wait
and we felt that we should set up something in the areas which we had
worked last year. The first day they filmed the factory, our staff and
made some interviews. The next day we needed sunshine because they were
planning to film the cooking. When the film crew arrived the sun was
still behind the clouds and they told Bich that it was not possible to
film that day.
But it was so clear for
Bich and the staff that they
should cook that day, that they decided to prepare the food even it was
cloudy. There are always a lot of clouds during the change of seasons
(rainy to dry). When they put the food in the cookers the sun appeared
weak through the clouds, but enough to warm the cookers. After a while
the sun broke through in all its glory and heated the cookers enough to
kill the germs and cook the food. The film crew made their shots and
our staff could even demonstrate the parabolic cookers. Enough time to
show that it worked. After 30 minutes the sun dis-appeared, but the
solar cookers were so warm that the food cooked itself perfectly in its
own heat. They were able to eat a wonderful solar meal together.
afternoon they came to
Danang, because we had decided to open a show-room in the city for
people to see the cookers and to give more information about solar
energy. After more interviews and shots they had another day of filming
at the factory of Dr. Hung (project supervisor) on the campus of the
University. He has invented solar panels for pumps, water heating and
ice machines. A few days ago they showed the 30 minutes documentary on
national TV. Someone wrote to us: “First I thought your project will be
very difficult to develop, but now I see that that the cookers are easy
to use and it protects the environment. I think it will be successful”
We were very encouraged and happy that we could help many people to
understand the principles of cooking with the sun. Isn’t it wonderful
to work for and participate with the Sun?
We were privileged in
having an international youth group
with us for a couple of days. One of the greatest things of having
young people around us is that they keep you alive. Some of them were
great in dancing with special mime movements, so we asked a school
(with deaf children) if they could perform for them. Not only the team
but also the children had a wonderful time. The children picked it up
fast and were doing the same movements with a lots of excitement. The
next day they were asked in doing it again, but now for adults. It was
great to see young and old being touched by such a creative movement.
Love for the Vietnamese people was the main motive of this team and it
was well received.
We are in need of
Vietnamese staff in helping us during this
summer. We felt we should expend the project and that means more staff
too. Our new showroom requires a motivated person who can tell others
the need of using solar energy. We need also wisdom how we should
distribute the new parabolic cookers. This is a new challenge because
the parabolic users will be different than the people who are using the
Well, that’s all for
now. Thank you for reading this letter.
Please remember us during the coming months. We love to hear from and
are open for any suggestions.
Solar Serve team
Called to Serve