3rd Design & Bernard

"Wednesday and Thursday, I spent my entire days in Karam’s workshop, helping Roger finish the machines.   It was a really long process, as Roger did everything for the machine…the bending, the hammering, the cutting, the drilling, the shearing, and the welding… I really appreciated Roger’s work, as he worked straight through his lunch break on Wednesday (he worked 13 hours straight with myself beside him!)… at the end of the day [Thursday], I had to run off to meet with Bernard.

Who is Bernard?   Well, he’s the guy who inspired me to create Global Cycle Solutions.   He came to me, asking to help him with his bicycle-powered cell phone charger, and what emerged was Global Cycle Solutions with a family of products.   But anyways, I met with Bernard as we were visiting the village, the village he surveyed when we were still in the 100K competition as people kept on asking him about the maize sheller and grinder.   So, we went to Nadosoito, which was 12km away via dirt road; it took us about an hour to go.

I had a chance to meet many of the villagers and I promised to return the next day to bring the machine.   On our way back, we stopped at Bernard’s house, and for the first time, I got to see his pedal-powered drill press!   It was awesome!

So, today, after haggling with Karam in the morning and running some errands to make sure we had everything ready for the office (with a working internet usb and now a printer and receipt book), we finally delivered a sheller to a bicycle dealer and went back to Nadosoito. Everyone loved the machine, but we had the sad realization that this year was a bad growing season. Instead of finding a lot of maize to shell, we found trucks full of maize from the government, to keep the people of Nadosoito from starvation in the coming months.  I knew the harvest wasn’t as good as usual, but I thought it led to smaller maize, not no maize at all. So, essentially, many of those stalks weren’t drying, but actually completely empty, having not yielded any maize at all.

Luckily, the church had 4 bags of unshelled maize, so we were able to test Karam’s third iteration in the machine.   And there were some issues!    So, I’m glad we did some testing.   As for our agreement, despite adding more parts (and now getting the bearings directly from China), the price hasn't changed, much to my relief."


Jodie, Tanzania

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