Engineers Without Borders San Francisco Professionals SFari event

On October 5, 2018, 80 plus people came to celebrate and make a difference in someone’s life by supporting Engineers Without Borders at our our annual year-end gala, SFari!

Hayley Farr posted a great set of photos (including one above) at:!AsdKbwUtJTl3hJkfrBua2R8cM4VH2Q

All proceeds from the event will go directly to our projects in Haiti, Kenya, Fiji, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

We enjoyed a night of music and fun with a DJ and a full cash bar as well as a silent auction and raffle. Volunteer teams were available to talk to people and learn more about the work we do in partnership with communities around the world.

There were items from restaurants, wine cellars, breweries, climbing gyms, the zoo, and much more in our silent auction and raffle along with baskets put together by each of our project teams, with goodies brought back from their partner communities.

Thanks for all who supported it, including our generous corporate sponsors

Visit our website ( for more information about our chapter.

Thanks for helping us build a better world!

7-18 Belize Open Source Update

I recently spoke with David Dyck and Natalio Soliz, my contacts in Belize for the Belize Open Source place. When I was there last June, we decided to move forward with adding a fence to divide the back part into two pastures, clear more of the regrowth bush and plant more Humidicola improved pasture grass. We liquidated our cattle herd to let the new grass come in. We’d been disappointed in how the new planting had come in. But in our recent conversation, David indicated that while not great, it was better than he initially thought. He suggested we restock with a smaller number of cattle to use our existing pasture and then keep the smaller herd out of the one fenced pastures when we replant during the rainy season. Natalio sent me some recent photos showing the new fence:

and the condition of the grass:

These and his other photos are on Flikr at the album link below. They show the new fence dividing back into two pastures and the condition of the pasture grass. They also show the neighbor to the back’s place for their caretaker and our caretaker’s house.

7-6-18 EWB and Composting Toilets talk at Lamorinda Rotary Club

At the Lamorinda Rotary Club, I gave an overview of Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) and the San Francisco Professional (SFP) chapter; an overview of global sanitation and composting toilets, and specifics about the EWB-SFP Appropriate Technology Design Team (ATDT) composting latrine project work in in Nicaragua.

A few photos are at:

The talk is at:


Rotary Global Grants at District 5170 Conference

Presented three posters that showed the completion of 87 composting latrines in Nicaragua and the other approved and in-process Global Grants in the pipeline for the Rotary Club of Livermore and Area 4. For 2018-2019 DDF, the Area 4 clubs have allocated enough to do a Global Grant.

The photos show Coyle and Milly Seibel, Area 4 Assistant Governor and Past President of the the Rotary Club of Livermore, who supported the Global Grant for the composting latrines and the formation of the Area 4 World Service Committee.

5-18 Alaska

Kathy and I traveled with Carolyn and Lloyd Baysdorfer. We flew into Faibanks, then toured Denali by bus and train to Anchorage, then another bus to Seward before getting on Holland America ship to Glacier Bay, Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan, and down to Vancouver.
Here is link to photos from May 2018 Alaska trip:
A lot of these photos and videos aren’t that great, but it is clear we all had a blast.

Local news coverage of composting latrines in Nicaragua

Our local Liveremore, CA paper published a great article on the composting latrines in Nicaragua. Many thanks to Jeff Garberson and the Independent!

In addition to the article, I’ve included a few photos. The photo below includes members of our NGO partner Alcance Nicaragua, and Martha Castillo from Masaya Rotary Club, showing other Rotarians, including the District Governor, one of the completed composting latrines.

Alcance team members with family at completed unit.

Me with family at completed unit.


CWC Tri-Valley Workshop

At special CWC Tri-Valley Branch meeting, Jordan Rosenfeld, author, editor, and writing teacher, presented a three-hour, hands-on workshop, “Get Intimate With Your Characters: Master Point of View For Dazzling Character Development.” We were at our usual venue at the Four Points by Sheraton, in Pleasanton.

We did exercises, shared our writing.

Ed Miracle announced program for next month.


We had chance to buy her books and sign up for her slide set.

Rotarian Foundation Strategic Retreat

The Rotarian Foundation of Livermore Board met with Genevieve Getman-Sowa for a strategic retreat.

Background: In 1987, the two Rotary Clubs in Livermore established the Rotarian Foundation of Livermore. As a public charity, it provides support to create opportuniees for young people, promote community service, and improve the quality of life for the benefit of all in the Livermore Valley.

We’re looking at our go-forward approach.

Engineers Without Borders – San Francisco Professional chapter annual fundraising gala, SFari 2017

We had a great time at our Engineers Without Borders – San Francisco Professional chapter annual fundraising gala, SFari 2017, at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco on Thursday, October 19th.

Our El Llanito Nicaragua project team had a gift basket for the silent auction, a poster, and we showed video and photos about our project to implement a water pumping, storage and distribution system based on an existing well in the community of El Llanito, near the municipality of Santa Lucia, Nicaragua.

Our Appropriate Technology Design Team (Research and Development Group) Nicaragua project team had a gift basket for the silent auction, a poster, and we showed photos about our completed project to do almost 90 more urine-diverting-dual-vault composting toilets in four communities: El Llanito and Los Alvarez, near Santa Lucia; and El Tunel, and La Prusia near Masaya.

In this video Daniel, is removing compost from his composting latrine. He’s been using his since the 2010 deployment. He and his wife have participated in the community workshops for the 2014 and recently completed project, sharing their experience and answering questions.


This event gives our EWB chapter the chance to fund raise through ticket sales, a raffle, and silent auction. The event also brings EWB SF chapter members together with the community with approximately 150 people at the fundraiser, and provides a space for all seven project teams to show and explain their projects, make connections with the community, and recruit new team members.

We were successful in bidding on El Llanito team member, Susan Witebsky’s, beutiful pottery.

Our chapter has seven active project teams. ( This event supports all of our projects in these communities and we focus on the needs that were proposed to us which could be sanitation, healthcare, water access, or a variety of other issues that developing world communities face.

For more information on these projects, please visit our website at