The article by Karen Kasmauski about photography [“Every picture tells a story,” June] was mesmerizing. I am a storyteller, and I will use this article and the pictures as a basis to teach middle school ESL students about the art of storytelling. The concepts of storytelling in the photographic form and in the oral form are so parallel. I was enlightened. Thank you.
Waverly, Iowa, USA
Tackling dengue fever
I was somewhat surprised when I finished reading the dengue fever article in the June issue [Facts of the Matter]. I reread in search of the word net. No mention, I believe, is made of the role of the mosquito net in controlling mosquito bites. I am aware of the illustration, which conveys that impression, but is there a reason for such understatement?
On a personal level, the Rotary Club of Maywood, N.J., USA, of which I am a longtime member, has adopted an elementary school in Kenya and had positive results from our donation of hundreds of such nets to the community.
Len S. Rubin
Maywood, N.J., USA
Editor’s note: The World Health Organization advises taking the following steps for protection against mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus, which bite during the daytime: Wear long sleeves, pants, or dresses; wear repellent; use mosquito coils during the day; and use insecticide-treated mosquito nets or curtains to protect babies and older people who may rest during the daytime.
The Rotary Foundation should use part of its US$1 million [given in grants for dengue fever projects] to help fight dengue fever in Key West, Fla., USA – not just send it all to a dozen other countries.
Eureka, Ill., USA
I want to thank David Paxson for his letter in June, “Tackle the big issue.” I made my donation to The Rotary Foundation two weeks ago. But, as I was viewing the Foundation video presented at our meeting, I could not help but think that these funds are being thrown into a black hole unless Rotary also addresses overpopulation.
We know that nations in which contraception is widely available are generally healthier and more prosperous than those without. We also know that over 200 million women worldwide would like to delay or end child-bearing but have no access to contraception. Family planning improves maternal and infant health and allows women to be more active in society. Improving infant health reduces the need for families to have many, many children. The poorest countries –the countries where our Foundation dollars go – are also those with the highest fertility rates. Rapidly increasing birthrates hinder progress on the Foundation’s goals.
Voluntary family planning improves chances of success, improves the quality of everyone’s life, and eases pressure on the environment. My next dollars to The Rotary Foundation will follow a commitment from the Foundation to address rising birthrates through education and supplies that families need. This costs very little and is probably the most critical issue we can address.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA
To Mr. Paxson, who wrote in the June Letters about human population, please join the Rotarian Action Group for Population Growth and Sustainable Development (www.rifpd.org). This group promotes Rotary club projects to help families in the developing world with maternal health, education for girls, income opportunities for women, and planning the size of families. There are many men and women in poverty-stricken communities who recognize that spacing births means better health for mother and child as well as less financial stress on the family. We’re here to help them, and I hope you’ll join us.
Red Lodge, Mont., USA
Getting the word out
I was interested to read Mel Greene’s comments in the June Letters about saving old issues of The Rotarian for the past 39 years. At our club, members stick a preprinted label over the address box of our copies of The Rotarian, displaying the Rotary emblem and “Compliments of the Rotary Club of La Mesa Sunrise,” along with an invitation to “Join us for breakfast.” It continues with details of our meeting place and time, and gives our website address. Our members leave these in magazine racks at their local dentist’s or doctor’s offices, jury lounges, hair stylists – wherever people read magazines to pass the time. It’s a great way to get the word out about Rotary, and to clean out the garage.
El Cajon, Calif., USA
Reading about the rally
As a longtime Rotarian and an automobile enthusiast, I found the article “Planes, trains, automobiles, and how I found myself running in a Mongolian marathon” [May] of interest. It is nice to see a young Rotarian involved in such a complex marathon fundraiser.
However, I was surprised that The Rotarian would devote 18 pages to this article. I would think there are more pressing subjects that should be included in the magazine.
Powell, Ohio, USA
I thoroughly enjoyed the article about the Mongol Rally in the May issue. This was most enjoyable, and the photos were great. Thank you.
It was a pity that you did not include a more detailed map of the route. It would have been very interesting to follow the map (including places visited) while reading the article. I know that you have space constraints, but perhaps one of the larger photos could have been sacrificed or reduced in size to make room.
Thanks to Scott Brills and to you guys for the great job you are doing on the magazine. There has been a significant improvement in the recent past.
Waterless water closet
Regarding “Nowhere to go” [January]: Studies by [the Indian nongovernmental organization] Centre for Science and Environment have shown that developed nations and the upper classes waste more water around the water closet, which was invented to replace the toilet chamber that was emptied once a day in the old system.
India skipped over several innovations and went straight to the wireless communication of the cell phone, giving a much-needed thrust to development, right down to the deepest rural areas. We need such a waterless revolution/innovation to rewrite not only the history of toilet habits but also the war to save water. The stamp of modern civilization, unfortunately, is the consumption of about 150 liters [40 gallons] per person each day, of which the toilet flush is responsible for wasting 30 liters [8 gallons] per person, per day. Only strong determination can convert our toilets into waterless ones.
Let Rotary bridge the gap between open-field users and the high-rise flat users.