Years ago, Allart Ligtenberg, a member of the Los Altos rotary club, introduced me to solar cookers, with a demonstration in his backyard. Solar cookers went on the "To Do" list, then fell off, victims to the common phenomenon of having a list greater than the time available. Solar cookers are back, thanks to Jack Howell.
Jack surfaced at a talk given to the Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center, in Walnut Creek. He offered to show me his backyard cookers. We matched calendars, met on a sunny day, and I was once again impressed with what solar cookers can do.
Heat generated from the sun is free, eliminates the harmful effects caused by inhaling smoke, kills harmful bacteria, saves trees, and turns water into tea. An organization working with solar in Kabul found that wood fires are being used 70% of the time to heat water!! How often does the sun shine? Over 300 days a year in Afghanistan. Jack, Allart, and every other person I've met who is "in to solar" are passionate about harnessing the sun. I now understand why.
Jack made the parts needed for five solar ovens and an assembly booklet, that are on their way to Afghanistan. Nabi and I will demonstrate the ovens in Kabul this month. Sam Richards, a writer for the Contra Costa Times, found the project newsworthy and published a story in last Friday's Lamorinda Sun. Bill Kennedy volunteered to help and has started working to enlist some scouts. In short order, a solar cooker program has been launched, with a solar devotee at the helm!
More and more people are offering and finding ways to contribute, making it possible for us to do more. This is a project where those of you, who have been asking for ways you can help, other than by writing a check, can. If you're interested in participating in a solar cooker manufacturing party or want to volunteer in another capacity, send us an email. It's apparent, after five years, that it will take a village to fix a village.
Power to the people and the sun! What can I say, I was on the Berkeley campus in the late sixties when people could mobilize the masses by shouting stuff like that. Some slogans never die and others lose favor rapidly, like, "Ban the Bra"!
I hope to see you this weekend at the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival.
ps We need a source for favorably priced cardboard, cardboard boxes, and milar. Got friends?
Jack demos the hot plate cooker, which can reach 500 degrees in 3 - 5 minutes. See his cookers at the Lafayette Art & Wine festival this weekend.
JOIN US THIS WEEKEND AT THE LAFAYETTE ART AND WINE FESTIVAL SEPT 18TH & 19TH
Saturday 10:00am - 7:00pm
Sunday 10:00am - 6:00 pm
Our booth is located in the parking lot immediately opposite A.G. Ferrari delicatessen.
We'll have plenty of Afghan handbags and stories to share.
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