out of the car, and telling me, “Drive.” So, that’s what I learned
today, to drive…backwards. Everything is opposite the regular
direction except for the pedals. I had no problem, except for
shifting the clutch, which was now on my left, and then accidentally
turning on the windshield wipers when I meant to turn on the turn
signal. With our Swahili classes and now my ability to drive in
Tanzania, Philemon and I will be able to start working independently
of one another soon enough.
Our day started at Karam Engineering, where we decided we should hand
test the grinder. The good news was that the grinder worked for
grinding dried corn, but the bad news was that this corn would never
be fine enough for Tanzanian use, where the corn is usually ground
into a fine powder and turned into ugali, the local staple food.
Although a bit disheartening, Karam has helped us solve the most
difficult parts of our products, and though the grinder is not good
for Tanzania, it is still useful for other parts of the world,
especially places like Mexico, where they grind boiled corn to make
some local dishes.
We had envisioned a universal interface, and we’ve solved that
problem. But, for Tanzanians, at least for farmers, their biggest
need is the maize sheller itself. I say this because today we took
our product to our first customer in Arusha. I thought we would be
delivering our product to a farmer, but we soon realized that we were
delivering our product to an NGO called Green Hope, which works with
orphans and vulnerable children all over Tanzania. Meeting them was
really eye-opening for me, as I never really thought of our maize
sheller as a product to improve the lives or orphans and vulnerable
children, but it is indeed so, as these children are the ones usually
shelling the corn, beating the corn in a bag for a small pay at the
end of the day.
We’ll see how Green Hope likes our shellers!"