On April 11 and 12, 2016, Roger Haines traveled to Africa and met with women in villages near Gulu and Atiak, Uganda. He wanted to observe how they were using 500 Haines Solar Cookers that had been distributed by the Gulu, Uganda Rotary Club. The women were asked to bring their cookers to the village center and set them in the sun to cook.
Roger was welcomed with dancing and singing, and the women were invited to say what they liked about the cooker, and what they disliked about it. Many said they were surprised that it could cook their traditional foods, including ugali, without stirring. Ugali is maize meal, and tastes like stiff Cream of Wheat. One disabled woman said what a blessing it was that she did not have to ask others to collect firewood for her. The only “dislike” was that they could not cook at night.
On February 13, 2016, about 40 young people from San Diego Rotaract Clubs spent their Saturday at UCSD making almost 1,000 Water Pasteurization Indicators (WAPIs), for solar cooker projects in East Africa. These simple, reusable devices use a short plastic tube with wax that melts at pasteurization temperature (about 66 C.) to show when water is safe to drink. Because they eliminate the need to heat water to boiling, they permit twice as much water to be pasteurized in a day. Roger Haines made a presentation about Rotary’s Solar Cooker Project in Gulu, Uganda, Five hundred of the WAPIs will be given away with the Haines Solar Cookers that will be distributed in March-April, 2016.
On February 1, 2016, Camily Wedende of Sun Cookers International in Eldoret, Kenya, put on a “train the trainer” program in preparation for the Gulu, Uganda, Rotary Club’s distribution of 500 Haines Solar Cookers in Northern Uganda. Geoffrey Okello of the Gulu Rotary Club reported that the group benefited greatly from Mr. Wedende’s solar cooking knowledge and experience and above all learned how to cook African staple foods in a solar cooker.
To cook Posho (Ugali), the flour needs to be mixed with cold water and covered, instead of the normal way of first boiling the water before adding the flour, and no stirring is required. Sweet potatoes and cassava need to be cut into small pieces, eggs have to be placed directly on the solar cooker instead of the normal way of boiling in water.
The group made and drank tea before cooking the following food items for lunch: Sweet potatoes, Rice, Green vegetables, Eggs and Posho (Ugali). They also cooked beans but they weren’t quite done by closure time of the training.
Attached are some pictures taken during the training.