Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting Down and Dirty

On previous visits to Kenya we had the support of the our initial project partner who provided a vehicle for us to go to commute to the major city center, Nakuru, as well as reach outlying areas. Now we are on our own (our former project partner is no longer in operations), we have to rely on matatus (the local public transportation- which are mini-buses), and our two legs to get to our various appointments. This change has caused us to gain a greater understanding of the daily routine of our fellow Kenyans which may often feel, to us westerners, like we’re moving in slow motion. I guess that is why the local people commonly use the term, “pole pole,” which means, “slowly by slowly.” This saying can be used in many contexts, but has often been used to chide western visitors to understand how things get done here in Kenya, slowly by slowly. In a way this reminds us to appreciate the small things and to take care of the things that matter most. At lunch today we overheard a native Kenyan admonish his western visitor that the visitor was too impatient. It is good to be reminded that although we have come in hopes to bring something new to Kenya, we still have a lot to learn from our local friends, partners, and even our interaction with the daily grind here in Kenya.

Progress is being made in respect to the business. Becky and I spent most of the day at the Polytechnic working with our hands and getting down and dirty with our RWI- Maji Salama Staff. We were able to de-mold 2 BSFs, and mold 2 more BSFs. We were able to exhaust ourselves and truly appreciate the work that our team is doing here. Isaac (Kenyan Country Representative) was preparing a batch of 50 BSFs that will be picked up tomorrow and delivered to our customer in Eldoret.

We will be working hard this week and next to identify and develop appropriate sales and marketing strategies. Many meetings have been set so we can start asking local people about potential partnerships in the dissemination of our BSFs Tomorrow we meet with an NGO that may be a potential customer. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, and hope for the best!

Look at all those BSFs!

Tanisha and Becky de- molding a BSF

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