29 October 2012 — Makin’ WAPI


There’s a great reason to make friends in Rotary outside of our own Rotary Club. You find fantastic, like-minded people with hearts of service. Sometimes you even get to expand the reach of your service by teaming up with other great teams.

On Sunday, 29 October, four members of the Rotary Club of Calabasas (President Annemarie Flaherty, Linda Catran, Yuna Erickson, Michelle Pierfax) visited our Fireplace Room meeting and taught us all about WAPIs, Water Pasteurization Indicators. We returned the favor by helping polish off the completion of assembly of more than 100 of the devices, which will save a lot of lives around the world in clean-water-challenged areas.

Fun + Saving Lives = Rotary.

The Drive for Twenty-Five, when we Barter for a Charter…is in progress!











What’s a WAPI?  Well, first, how do you even say that?  WA rhymes with HA, and PI rhymes with PEA.  WAPI.

It’s a simple, inexpensive, reusable thermometer that saves lives all over the world.  Easy to use, it tells you when the water or milk you are heating for safety has reached the point of pasteurization and is safe to drink.  The pasteurization temperature is lower than the boiling temperature of water, so when you have to gather wood to make a fire, this process will require less fuel.  And the children (and adults) in your village will not suffer life-threatening diseases and conditions from drinking contaminated water.

The Rotary Club of Calabasas has crafted and shipped WAPIs to villages around the world for many years.  On Sunday 29 October four members of their Club were kind enough to visit us and teach us about WAPIs, and we rolled up our sleeves and helped complete the assembly of more than 100 of them.

First, please take a look at their Club’s PowerPoint presentation (converted here to PDF) to learn more about the need, the device, and the assembly.  Then enjoy our photos from our work-together project, where we spent a couple of fun and productive hours Makin’ WAPI.  And ask us how you can get involved.


With WordPress quite honestly refusing to cooperate today, to allow us to close with this bonus feature, we’l put it here instead for your enjoyment.


And now, on to the project!

We started after the tubes had been cut the wax inserted, and the tubes then sealed off with the holes drilled.  Our part involved final assembly:

Yuna Erickson from RC Calabasas is sad because there are no finished WAPIs in the box...but the day is young!

Annemarie Flaherty explains the need for WAPIs, what they are, how they work, and how they are assembled.

E-Club member Yumi Ashida and Calabasas member Yuna Erickson listen in. Note the glass of water in front of Yuna...and how easy it is for us...and how difficult it is in many parts of the world...and why we do what we do.

Annemarie shows a photo of Somali women who received WAPIs made by RC Calabasas...what we do is not abstract, there are real people, who matter, on the other end of our projects and it is a privilege for us Rotarians to assist.

WAPI, up close and personal. The washer around the tube weighs it down in the pot of water or milk being warmed for pasteurization; the wax inside the tube melts when the liquid is safe to drink. The safety point is lower than boiling, so these devices safe previous fuel (wood fires, etc.).

Assembly: first, cut the appropriate length of wire, which will be used to lower the WAPI into the pot. Smartphone not included. But maybe someday.

Next, tie a washer (as a counterweight) to the wire, which will then be threaded through holes in the top and bottom of the tube...another washer will be added later to the other end of the wire.

Thread the wire through. This was an example for the photo...the wire will in reality be threaded along the length of the tube and inside the washer girding the tube.

More hands threading.

Annemarie oversees while E-Club member Sara Vasquez takes a momentary break and Sara's son Alex cannot believe his mom found funny whatever Annemarie found funny.

One of our two Assembly Lines for the day. Yumi, in the back, isn't slacking...she's waiting for us to make more so she can resume assembling the final bags with the instructions.

And there's Yumi with one of the final bags with the instructions! David Arnold is also working the "bagging" part of the process.

And, finally, Happy Yuna with more than 100 final packages, two WAPIs to a bag, at the end of a fun and successful day!

2 responses to 29 October 2012 — Makin’ WAPI

  1. WAPIs rock and so does Calabasas Club!! We had great fun packaging the WAPIs that Calabasas Club brought. It was also a very educational afternoon to learn how unsafe water and milk kills millions of people in under-developed countries, and a small and inexpensive device such as a WAPI can make sure that the water you drink is safe. This is why I like Rotary. We learn the stuff that is outside of our everyday life. It’s addictive!!!

  2. This looks like and great project, easy to do, and very useful and easy to use for those who have the need. It works on all fronts. Really sorry I missed out on the assembly project, but look forward to the next time.

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