Rotary Club of Faribault

Posted by Mary Reese

Todd Thompson

Todd Thompson was our speaker on May 29th 2019. Todd is a fellow Rotarian from the Northfield club, has been a science teacher, and has a PhD in Chemistry. Todd is the chair for the International Committee for the Northfield Rotary and the current project is focused on water and sanitation in the Guatemalan Highlands.
Todd shared with us a Tao Te Ching poem that started with “The best, like water, benefit all and do not compete”  
Guatemala is the first country south of Mexico and is undeveloped compared to its northern neighbor. In the Guatemalan Highlands, there is a lake where 70% of the population is indigenous. There are over 20 different Mayan dialects. Water is a main concern and while Todd spent time in Guatemala with the Lutheran Church, he learned never share your water bottle or you will be sick, maybe even up to 6 times.
As a group, Todd led us in singing several different songs including La Bamba which was a song that he sang with the villagers and Rotarians of San Lucas Toliman.  Rotary members are not like we are, as they are almost full time project workers determined to help others.
Todd learned an important lesson when he met the Ladies of Chuitzan, who are the members and director of the water committee. With a slip of the tongue, he was reminded that the women are the ones who haul the water, so why shouldn’t they be in charge of the water project.
Phase 1 was a water and sanitation system for a school system along with a plan for sustainability. For there is no point to helping, if there is not a way for the people to sustain the projects that are put forth. The phase 2 part of the water project is slated to start in November, but there is still much to do to raise the 250,000 needed to help complete the project. There are global grants that are helping with this but help is still needed.