30 families are breathing easier

30 families are breathing easier thanks to smokeless stoves

[Dean from Econofit just shared this with me - noticing the link to Rotary in Lynn's posting. This is a wee bit away from he DPRK - in Vanuatu]

After months of planning and arranging with the Rotary club, the Tina1 Cargo ship finally dropped off boxes of stove parts on my beach.


This project was started by the Rotary club in collaboration with Carlie Congdon, an amazing community health Peace Corps Volunteer who completed her service last year. My task: deliver the last shipment of stoves to their new homes in Moriu village on the East side of Epi.




After constructing it, I took one of the stoves for a test drive: I’ve been cooking on an open fire myself for the past several months, so I was amazed at how fast and clean the stove worked. It’s benefits:

  • It’s a wood stove which means that free fuel is in infinite supply on our somewhat remote island.
  • Uses small pieces of fire wood easily collected around the house (no gat axe? no problem!)
  • Reduces smoke/carbon dioxide by 80% (less crying and coughing and overall misery generally associated with cooking on fires)
  • Condenses the heat of the fire allowing food to cook faster (so that you can get back to doing what you love to do.)
  • Reduces soot on saucepans! (I spend 15 minutes a day scrubbing the black soot off of my saucepans, so this is a special treat.)



A week later my neighbors Kolika, Lorna, and baby Rosita, our friend Jonah, and I travelled to the other side of Epi to deliver the stoves. Here’s the official handing over with the Chief of Moriu on the left, and the church elder in the middle.



One of my Abu women had pulled me aside a few months ago and said that she wanted to be the first in her village to get a stove. Despite her age she insists on cooking for herself and knew that a stove like this would greatly improve her daily life and overall health. Here is Abua gleefully opening up her stove box :)



After passing out the 29 stoves, we demonstrated their construction… 



Here is Kolika piecing together the arms of a stove.



The group on my mat proudly built 6 stoves- and everyone from our chief to our Abuas to our children had a hand in constructing their stoves.


Overall, 29 stoves were delivered, built, and prayed over that day-enough for the entire village of Moriu to reduce the smoke in their kitchens and make life a bit easier day by day. The village of Moriu and myself wish to extend our thanks to Carlie “Maria” Congdon for organizing this project, Kolika, Lorna, Jonah, and Rosita for helping to facilitate this training, the Rotary club for providing the funding and arrangements, and President Obama for sending us crazy Americans to the other side of the planet to be a part of these simple, life-changing projects.