Meeting of February 27, 2020
Next service activity (after Food Pantry duties this Thursday) is helping at the community bean supper on March 14th at the Eliot Methodist Church.  They need helpers to serve and clean up and bake pies.  The event is from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. but they could probably use help beforehand.  If you wish to help by attending, the event is free if you 1) bring 3 items to donate to Footprints Food Pantry or 2) bring a pot of beans to share or 3) contribute some cash in the donations jar there.  But no one is required to!  While there, you can take part in the raffles, door prizes, bean tasting competition, and other activities.  The goal is to raise money to bring back fireworks for Eliot's Festival Days in September in commemoration of the bicentennial of the state.  Hope you can come and/or help out!
The planning for the Geography Quiz Night on April 3rd is moving along.  Still looking for raffle items and team members, students and non-students, to populate the 16-20 teams we anticipate competing.  Please plan to come to help and spectate this event and invite lots of friends.  The more people the better for so many reasons.
How fortunate we are to have Vicki Stewart as a Rotary member and how fortunate is the Interact club to have her as one of the chaperones of their service trip to Tanzania, because we got to see her wonderful presentation about this trip.  They traveled to a region outside of Arusha, Tanzania, just south of the Kenyan border and experienced authentic and real Tanzanian life and beauty.  After an 18 hour set of flights they found themselves settled at an altitude of 5000 feet and they felt it.  They knew to bring crisp $100 bills for border transactions and this group of 9th through 12th graders from 3 different high schools with a variety of interests became instant friends and remained so throughout the trip and beyond.  Their service project addressed educational and water needs.  Every day, the women who live there must walk 6 hours per day just to fetch water for their daily needs.    The region is experiencing water shortages so the local project leaders, all college graduates, showed the group the best ways to conserve water and they adapted well.  There is no electricity there to speak of.  The project is through Education Foundation (EF) and Me to We (a Canadian group whose motto is "no hand-outs, just hand-ups").  The education project focused on school rooms and teacher housing and this group experienced carrying water for miles and hours like the natives do, applying "boma" (fresh cow manure, dirt and ashes) to the walls of the building to seal the cracks, digging a foundation of a new room, interacting with the children at the school and village, and learning beading and Swahili and African history, particularly from the Masai people there.  Upon their return, the students hope and plan to teach OUR community what they learned about Tanzania and to encourage more African studies in our Maine high school curriculum.