Merritt Dilts Spoke to the Club
About his Service Trip to Bangladesh
President Terri Rickel called to order the September 21st meeting of the Elkhart Rotary Club. Laura Ezzell introduced Memorial High School students Jaime Garcia, Dakota Geyer, Ashley Holderread, and Kaylin Szucs. These students visit the club for a month to generate awareness about Rotary and to learn from the speakers.
Sergeant Jeff New wanted to forgive Rotarians in the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as usually practiced, but he fined everyone for their lack of knowledge anyway. Funds raised by Rotary Sergeants are disbursed at the end of the year to area charities.
President Terri Rickel wanted to make October a month for all Rotarians to give towards the eradication of polio leading up to World Polio Day on Oct 23rd. In 2014, there were nearly 250 cases of polio. Thru September 2015, there have been just over 50…we’re just this close.
Rotarian Merritt Dilts was the speaker. Formerly manager at Bimbo Bakeries, he now works through the Elkhart Chamber as the Regional Director of the North Central Indiana Business Center. His talk involved his service trip to Bangladesh for ‘Food for the Hungry’ in February. Formerly East Pakistan, the country was formed in 1971 with 169 million people (9th in population). The capital Dhaka is the most populace in world with 113,000 people per square mile (by comparison, Elkhart has 2,400 & Chicago has 12,000). Ninety percent of the population is Muslim meaning 5 times a day everything stops so people may pray (0.3% are Christian).
Though poor by US standards (typical worker earns 96% less), Bangladesh has a thriving economy through garments, fish, brickmaking, bamboo, and rice—36th in the world, growing at about 6% a year. While Merritt was there to help train field agents for FH, he was amazed by what he saw. Most of Merritt’s talk involved describing the mix of old and new traditions ranging from few traffic signals or running water in many buildings, to people using cell phones and understanding SWAT analysis.
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