InStove.org

Rocky Dawuni – Clean Cooking Ambassador

rockyLet me introduce you to Rocky Duwani. He is Ghana’s Bob Marley. He is also the official UN Foundation Ambassador for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Unlike many other celebrity “Ambassadors” that I have encountered, his passion and commitment ¬†for clean cooking is evident and makes him a true ambassador.

We were surprised last night with an incredible performance by Rocky at the Clean Cooking Forum 2015. He has been attending the Forum and has been very accessible and down to earth. I’ve certainly never been to a conference that had the entire crowd dancing to reggae. It was a treat. Clark was a trouper and fell asleep as we danced.

One of Rocky’s songs is Extraordinary¬†Woman. When the song came on, my partner Adam responded, “What does Extraordinary Woman have to do with cookstoves?” Of course, my passionate response was “EVERYTHING!” Though much to my surprise, Adam has taken over most of the cooking in our house, women are predominately the cooks around the world, and in Africa almost exclusively so.

Women suffer disproportionately from the health consequences of indoor air pollution that is caused by traditional methods of three-stone/open-fire cooking, which is used by one out of three people on earth. With 4.3 million people dying each year from the health related impacts of indoor air pollution, not to mention the time spent by women and girls collecting fire wood, we need to do more to protect our extraordinary women.

I am proud to be representing InStove at the Forum and am incredibly inspired by the potential for creating real positive change in this world.

Thanks Rocky! Keep up the great work and I hope to meet you again soon. You are welcome in Portland, Oregon!

Miel
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Miel & Adam are getting married!

Adam digging in the dirtI am delighted to share that Adam and I will be getting married in Eugene, Oregon on July 16th. We are over the moon and very thrilled about this. After some hinting, Adam proposed to me by somehow slipping an origami folded letter into a time capsule that he buried in his old backyard, in Paradise, California, back in 2000. (I still haven’t figured out how he pulled it off, but I’ll give him points for creativity and delivery both.) We are both delighted with the new life and family that we have created together. We look forward to celebrating this with friends and family this summer.

I also wanted to take a moment to share about our relationship. We are so fortunate to have found each other. We are so well suited for each other that it feels uncanny at some points. We complement each other and are truly incredible friends and lovers to boot. It is an excellent combination. And he says I have a “great sense of Catan.”

To take things to the next level, we got to know each other over clean cookstoves at the Oregon Country Fair. It was flirting over D’Frisco and thoughts of The Ritz. We fell in love over sharing the impact of InStove and exploring opportunities for the organization. Adam is looking forward to his first fair as Fair Family this summer, just before our wedding. It will be wonderful to share the experience with him, as we grow our family.IMG_3717[1]

We are excited to share our union with those people that inspire us, love us, and are part of our lives. It will be a beautiful InStove wedding. We will be sharing more details about our menu and other wedding plans as we finalize our website. Stay tuned for that.

Be well,

Miel

 

Living in Uncertain Times

I find myself in a really interesting space in time. I’m one of those planner types. I like to plan things. It may look from afar that I’m spontaneous, but most often I’m pretty predictable (even if that includes far more adventures than your average person). Most years I don’t necessarily plan out all my trips (most of the time I have had nearly no idea about where I might end up in any given here). This year feels rather ambitious when it comes to potential life changes.

I’m in the moment of creating my life here in Portland. I’m living in a beautiful home that has incredible potential. I contemplate between dormers in the upper loft space, finishing the basement, or converting a backyard structure into a tiny home. All three would be ideal. Most likely I’ll be starting with the tiny house in 2016.

We are also cooking up numerous travel adventures in 2016. It looks like it is going to be a fun one. I can tell already. I am poised for it. Rather, we are poised for it.

For the first time in my life I have a partner who loves to travel nearly as much as I do. Adam is always up for an adventure. We’ve been together now for five months and already put on quiet a few travel miles together. I can see lots of travels in our future together. We already have a long list of places we will travel to.

We are discussing our plans for 2016 and figuring out how we can manage to go to both the Roskilde Festival in Denmark and Burning Man representing InStove. We are also very much looking forward to the next Oregon Country Fair. This is where our relationship began to develop as friends (and then beyond, shortly after). I can’t wait to share the real fair with Adam. He was such a cutie last year. I suddenly found myself lusting after him as we talked about development and mildly flirted over fair food and fun, with a little magic mixed in there.

What we aren’t discussing is anything about getting married. We established early on that we were interested in getting married at some point. Now as we plan for the future, it feels like the elephant in the room. He’ll be editing this shortly and see this bomb that I just dropped. What can I say? I’m a planner. We’ve already established that.

But more than that it is because I’m already in love. I feel that I’m bursting at the seams at wanting to share my life fully and completely with Adam. I’m already so far in love that there is no turning back. I have manifested my mate. Just like that. I look forward to seeing what develops in these uncertain times.

Alanna Miel (Creighton)

Clean Cooking Form 2015

Ghana-Social-Media_Kofi_AnnanGoing back to Ghana feels like the stars have aligned to have me meet so many incredible Africans at once. Not only will I be going back to Ghana, but I will also be doing so in both professional and personal capacities. I will be attending the Clean Cooking Forum 2015 next week. I will be meeting many individuals who I have encountered remotely but have never met. I will share with you as I meet them, hopefully. I’ve never been as excited for an actual conference and who the attendees would be.

When the Black Stars played in the South Africa World Cup in 2010, I remember thinking that Ghana was a small enough place, that I was likely to meet Stephen Appiah. Low and behold, he will be attending the Forum.

We will also be meeting with Wanjira Mathai, Wangari Maathai’s daughter, and head of the¬†Wangari Maathai Foundation. Wangari won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for the founding of the Greenbelt Movement and I heard her speak that year in DC. Wangari also wrote The Challenge for Africa, which I found to be one of my very favorites in a long line of African literature. Clark loves the children’s book written about her work as well. I’m glad to have the opportunity to have Clark meet such people.

The gathering will feature more than 400 leaders from 28 countries who are working to build a global market for clean and¬†efficient cookstoves and fuels.¬†The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is hosting the global Clean Cooking Forum 2015 in Accra,¬†Ghana ‚Äď the first time it has been held in West Africa. We¬†will come¬†together to share strategies for accelerating growth of the clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels markets around the world.

I look forward to representing InStove, as the cleanest, safest, most efficient stove on earth. I am enjoying thinking of the potential opportunities there might be for an InStove in my village. It would also be cool to get an InStove to be a part of a Peace Corps project in Ghana. We’ll keep you posted on progress. If you know of any opportunities for us to collaborate with anyone while we are in Ghana, please let us know.

Regards,

Miel (& Adam)
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