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Minutes: My Oh Myanmar (04/09/2014)

April 9, 2014

Past President Joanne Schoenfeld Orenstein called the meeting to order.

​Invocation:  Pat Hardy
​Flag Salute:  Andy Doerr
​Raffle:  Karen Kawaguchi

​Visiting Rotarians: Brinn McKone (from Indio), Tom Sheehan 
Guests: Adam Johnson, Noah Boivie, Heidi Kaiser


  • ​Please have the courtesy to keep side conversations to a minimum during the meeting.  Thank you.
  • Andy Doerr will be taking a leave of absence from the club until Oct. 1. He’s also closing escrow on a home in Buellton. He plans to continue his commitment to the Fiddlers’ Festival. In addition to his role with the festival, Andy regularly hangs the banners for our meetings. Would someone be willing to take on that task? If so, please contact Diana Cecala. We also need a new person to give Brooke Sawyer a ride to the meetings at 6:20 AM. Again, please contact Diana.
  • Bruce Belfiore is happy because UConn is the National College Basketball Champs.
  • There will be a Fireside Chat on Thurs., April 17th, from 6:30 – 8 PM at Betsy’s house for all the new members and anyone else who would like to join us. Please RSVP to Gillian Amery, Claude Saks, or Betsy Munroe by April 14th.
  • Diana Cecala announced next week’s duties. Greeters: Chris Baxter Kimberly Horn; Flag: Suzette Cobb; Invocation: Geoff Rue; Raffle: Scott Johnson; Sgt. at Arms: Joe Weiland
  • Susan Klein-Rothschild described what happens when a virus spreads on a cruise ship. Visitors aren’t allowed into town until a health inspector has approved.
  • Meanwhile, UCSB continues its second round of meningitis vaccinations, Andy Doerr said. UCSB is being recognized internationally for how it’s handled the issue, Susan Klein-Rothschild said.
  • Heidi Kaiser reported that students are saying the majority of the problems with Deltopia were from out of town.
  • Getting To Know You with  David Velarde and Janet Napier. David, what sport did you play in high school? David did not play any sports in high school. He played volleyball for fun. Now it’s mainly cycling.  Janet, what is something you want to learn that you haven’t already? Janet played field hockey in high school. Janet is learning to manage QuickBooks, and wants to learn how to do it even better.
  • Karen Kawaguchi ​reported that the raffle raised $101. Sandra O’Meara won. Again. Seriously? Again?
  • Pay & Tell with Sergeant at Arms Joe Weiland.

Program: Joanne Schoenfeld Orenstein introduced members Chris Baxter and Karen Kawaguchi to present “Myanmar, Land of Ancient Temples and Golden Pagodas.”

  • Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a land of mystery.
  • They travelled from Feb. 26-March 11.
  • The trip was organized in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and Karen served as a liaison.
  • China is creating change in Myanmar — using it as a source of oil.
  • The country is slightly smaller than Texas. Its natural resources include petroleum, timber (including teak), tin, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas and hydropower. These resources are being depleted.
  • Some demographics: There are many ethnic groups there. The official language is Burmese. Theraveda Buddhism is the majority religion. The population is about 60 million.
  • Less than 1% of the population has Internet access.
  • The U.S. does not recognize the government of Myanmar.
  • The country came under British rule in 1886. It later gained independence in 1948, but it remains in civil war. This is one of the factors contributing to it being one of the least developed countries in the world.
  • They saw a pagoda covered in gold and jewels with a 76 carat diamond on top.
  • They both loved Inle Lake in the Shan Hills. There are cottage industries. There are also floating gardens. Homes are built on the lake on stilts.
  • They visited a teak monastery and the Royal Palace in Mandalay. There are few teak monasteries remaining.
  • Taxis in Burma are a cart attached to a water buffalo or some sort of ox.
  • They took a boat trip on the Irrawaddy RIver, a critical commercial waterway. It’s facilitates trade with India and Thailand.
  • They saw many local arts: pottery, lacquerware, marionettes and more.
  • Thank you for this morning’s program.  As a token of our appreciation, it is the Club’s practice to donate 15 dictionaries to local 3rd graders in your honor.  We have a book plate with your name on it that will be placed into the dictionaries.

Next Week’s Program:  Janet Rowse of Safe Launch will be here to discuss teen drug intervention.

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