Wrapping up in Tanzania (for now)


It's been a while since I've written. My last couple days in Tanzania were crazy ones. I was busy taking care of unfinished business. We have a trustworthy, hard worker in the workshop quickly completing parts for the remaining 50 and attaching grinders sent from Javier; a driver who will pick up the corn shellers for us from Kilimanjaro airport when they arrive and Semyon when he arrives late July; and two more newly hired Tanzanians to help us for Nane Nane. There was a lot of driving back and forth between the town and the workshop, running around to meet people, negotiating prices, buying missing things, and figuring the most reliable and cheapest way to ship our product according to the buyers wishes.

We have officially sold and sent our first product! One completed set was sent to Uganda by bus and instructions for assembly were sent by mail. It should arrive in Kampala early Monday for pick up from the customer who purchased it. As our first customers, their feedback will be extremely valuable. However, while bussing is a reliable and cheap way of shipping products in East Africa, we'll probably have to begin paying border taxes when we begin to send many at once kept in nicer boxes.

I feel I did a lot of work in Tanzania, hopefully leaving behind a good start for GCS when Semyon and Jodie arrive. I hope Nane Nane goes smoothly and the word gets out for GCS.

Ghana promises to be as wonderful an experience as Tanzania was. The event officially begins tomorrow and according to our schedule, every hour of our day is planned with some activity until about 6PM. We will have time late in the month to present our technology to the Conference participants (many come from organizations or local centers that have, make, or equip the centers with appropriate technologies). Unfortunately I had forgotten to bring some of the machines to Ghana, but likely, the person completing sets in the workshop can ship some in time for our second visit to the rural villages. The event organizers have some bicycles, but they are in use by those organizers. I would like to measure the dimensions of the organizers' bicycles and look into for how much and where I can buy a bicycle to hopefully attach the Rahi and show the participants and the villagers.

Hope all is well back at home. Kwa heri!

Lisa, Tanzania

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