This series of interviews from the RI Convention in Sydney begins with the young—two Youth Exchange students who are having the adventure of their lives as they spend a year in Australia, away from homes in Finland and Denmark. Then we learn about the versatile Backpack Bed, which becomes a fireproof mattress with screens and a hidden, lockable pocket; these are distributed to homeless people who would otherwise sleep on concrete or the ground. Lynne Aldridge represents Mediators Beyond Borders, an organization that uses mediation to resolve international disputes and bring peace. Celeste Mergens describes Days for Girls, an international intervention she founded that provides washable hygiene produces for female teenagers and adults in Third World settings. Although Dolly Parton was not at the Convention, her Imagination Library—free books for children from birth to age five—was represented. Finally RadioRotary co-host Jonah Triebwasser talks to incoming Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huang about the purpose of Rotary International.
Every day it seems we are learning more and more about the dangers of distracted driving. Michael Weitzman in this RadioRotary interview tell about his efforts to make people more aware of the problem and its remedy, which he abbreviates as EMH for “Anytime you do not have your Eyes on the road, your Mind on your driving, and your Hands on the wheel” you are in danger of causing an accident lime the one that seriously injured his daughter and started him on his crusade. There are 15,000 auto accidents a day, many caused because they think they can use a cellphone to text, read email, or speak over while they are behind the wheel. One help would be to put your phone in the glove department before you start the car.
Here are five more fascinating interviews recorded by Jonah Triebwasser at the 2014 Rotary International Convention. Dr. Peter Linz, Chief International Medical Officer at Mercy Ships, tells about how their large hospital ship—6 operating rooms, 25 beds—travels from country to country in West Africa, bringing modern surgery of all kinds to people who would have no other access. Rotary International now partners with Mercy Ships and Rotary Foundation vocational training teams are among the volunteers who bring medical and dental assistance to the region. Teresa Mitchell Patterson, nutritional advisor, discusses Bowel Cancer Australia, discusses a diet that will help prevent bowel cancers (also known as colorectal cancers). Sharon Turner, from Scholastic, describes how Rotarians at the Convention are building a Wall of Books, donating books that will be given to poor and indigenous children in Australia. Rotarian Mario diGesu (Rotary Club of T or C, Truth-or-Consequences, NM) describes a school program now employed by a number of Rotary Clubs to help their communities fight methamphetamine addiction. Finally the Chair of the 2014 Sydney Convention Committee, Rotarian Mark Daniel Maloney (Decatur, AL), tells about the purpose and planning of the Convention.
This week’s show was broadcast from the regular meeting of the Highland Rotary Club, sponsors of the Tenth Annual Hudson Valley Ribfest, a three-day event at the Ulster Country Fairgrounds in New Paltz, NY, featuring barbecue (and many other foods) as well as a number of country-music concerts and a stage in the national contest for best Barbecue. Highland Rotary President Steve Laubach and Highland Rotarian Don Verity, CEO of Pamal Radio, which broadcasts RadioRotary, are interviewed by Jonah Triebwasser. Proceeds from the Ribfest support both the charitable work of Highland Rotary, such as the installation of nineteen defibrillators around the village, and also the many nonprofits that supply volunteers for the annual event.