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The VIDA Blog

Saying bon voyage to the SolBus on Summer Solstice

Saturday, June 22, 2013

(Carly Lettero text / David Lettero photos)

Yesterday was the summer solstice, which of course is the longest day of the year, so it seemed like an apropos day for the SolBus to arrive at the international shipping port in Bayonne, New Jersey.

International shipping regulations require vehicles to be empty when they ship, so as soon as Dave Lettero arrived at the port in Jersey, he had to unpack all of the Solarize Ghana gear into a shipping container.  Once the shipping container was locked and signed off on, Dave drove the empty bus to another huge parking lot and got in line with hundreds of other vehicles that are ready to make the trans-Atlantic voyage.  We are hoping there will be enough space on the next boat, leaving June 24, for the SolBus. We’ll keep you posted! 

SolBus at the international shipping port in Bayonne, New Jersey with the Statue of Liberty and the Freedom Tower in the background. 

Dave Lettero with the fully packed SolBus before he drive it to the port. 

At the port all of the Solarize Ghana gear was emptied into a shipping container through the back door of the bus. 






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Don’t Skimp on the ‘Mallow

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The SolBus is headed to the shipping port tomorrow, and the VIDA crew is busy filling out shipping paperwork, labeling boxes, battening down the hatches, and getting ready for the SolBus Shipping Celebration at Mequito Grille tonight at Mesquito Grille in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  

It was an incredible journey from Oregon to Nevada to Nebraska to Illinois to Ohio to Pennsylvania. Our favorite part was meeting all of you and sharing the Solarize Ghana story. We’ve posted your photos on our Facebook page and featured some of them in the Don't Skimp on the 'Mallow video. 

In about a month, we’ll reunite with the SolBus in Ghana and with our partners at Disaster Volunteers of Ghana (DIVOG). We’ll be bringing the “I Love Solarize Ghana” collage with us to Ghana, and we’d love to add your photo! We invite you to make your own sign, take a photo, and send it to us info@thevida.org



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SolBus Shipping Celebration - Thursday, June 20 in Pennsylvania

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

We are celebrating this week, and if you live anywhere near Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we hope you'll join us. The SolBus made the 2,982-mile journey across the United States and is preparing for the cross-Atlantic voyage to Ghana. We'll be celebrating the next phase of the Solarize Ghana project with happy hour drinks and eats at Mesquito Grille in Doylestown, Pennsylvania on Thursday, June 20th

With a $10 donation at the door, you'll enjoy great Happy Hour Specials including:

  • Half Price Appetizers
  • $5 Margaritas
  • $1 Off Draft Beers
If you can't join us in Pennsylvania, you can still support the project by donating online and by sending us your own photo for the We Heart Solarize Ghana album



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Dance-a-thon 6th Graders Tour the SolBus in PA

Monday, June 17, 2013
Students and Teachers at Butler Elementary School got to check out the Solbus today in Chalfont, PA. The students took a tour of the bus and got to ask questions about technology and the process of shipping the bus. The 6th graders at Butler helped raise money by having a dance-a-thon. Their proceeds will support soalr installations on two of the six schools.




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Next Stop: Penn State

Friday, June 14, 2013

Thanks to everyone in Chicago who came out to visit the SolBus and support Solarize Ghana! We'll be adding more of your awesome photos to the Facebook photo album


The SolBus will be at Penn State on Saturday, June 16 for Father’s Day. Come visit us at Otto’s Pub and Brewery between 1:00 and 3:00. Then the bus will take a special trip to the Center for Sustainability at Penn State, Davis Lettero’s alma mater and the place he built his first off-grid solar array in 2004 (featured in this Penn State News Story in 2005). 



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Fun for the Whole Family - SolBus at the Discovery Museum in Reno Today

Sunday, June 09, 2013
Thanks to everyone who came out to support Solarize Ghana last night at St. James and this morning at the Midtown Market in Reno! The SolBus will be at the Discovery Museum in Reno from 2:00 to 5:00 today. Stop by with your whole family for kid-friendly solar demonstrations and tours of the SolBus.




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SolBus on Its Way to the Biggest Little City

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

(Carly Lettero / text and photos)

Dave and I spent last night packing the SolBus for the cross-country trip to the shipping port in Baltimore. We (mostly Dave) have been working on retrofitting the bus for nearly a year, and it was bittersweet to say goodbye this morning. I got up early to sip a latte at the bus table before heading to work, and then Dave left to drive to Reno—speaking of Reno, I’m so excited to tell you all about the great Solarize Ghana events we have planned. If you live anywhere nearby, we’d love to see you!

Check out the Solarize Ghana Reno Schedule: 

Thursday, June 6th            

  • When: 4:00 - 8:00 pm           
  • Where: Farmers' Market - We'll be parked near Great Basin Brewing Co., 846 Victorian Avenue (Sparks) 

Friday, June 7th             

  • When: 5:00 - 7:00 pm
  • Where: Happy Hour at Craft Wine & Beer, 22 Martin Street. (Reno)

Friday, June 7th 

  • When: 7:00 pm
  • Where: Across the Street from Reno Public House, 33 St Lawrence Avenue (Reno)

Saturday, June 8th           

Saturday, June 8th  
  • When: 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm             
  • Where: St. James Infirmary, 445 California Avenue (Reno) - This is a Solarize Ghana Fundraising Event! Support the project and receive a souvenir VIDA Bracelet that entitles you to many drink specials inside St. James Infirmary. 

Sunday, June 9th           

Sunday, June 9th



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Solarize Ghana Loves Corvallis

Thursday, May 30, 2013

(Carly Lettero / text and photo)

Thanks to everyone who came by the Corvallis Farmers’ Market to support Solarize Ghana a few weeks ago! We look forward to sharing your photos with everyone in Ghana. It was a special surprise to see Wilbur, who we bought the bus from in 2009.

If you missed us at the market, you can still support the project with an online, tax-deductable donation here: http://www.razoo.com/story/Solarize-Ghana










We <3 you too!









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Last Thursday in Portland, Oregon: Come Visit the SolBus on May 30th

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Before the SolBus begins its journey to the east coast, it is taking one last trip in the Pacific Northwest. We’ll be at Last Thursday in Portland, Oregon on May 30th. Come over and say hi! You can check out the inside of the roving solar workshop, see Chris Rice’s murals in person, and get your picture taken for the Solarize Ghana collage. We’ll bring the collage (with your photo!) to West Africa to show our Ghanaian friends how many Americans have pitched in to bring clean, renewable energy to their schools and medical clinics. (Last Thursday is on Alberta Street from 15th to 30th Avenue from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.)




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Launch Party in Seattle with Mosaic Company

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Thanks to Mosaic Company for a great Seattle Launch Party! Our first solar concert was performed by Celestine. The VIDA Team is rolling across beautiful Washington State in the SolBus this weekend. We'll be announcing our US tour stops soon! 



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