Monday, January 22, 2007

Maraba Cooperative Bike Test Week.

So, I thought that there was going to be a few people attending this meeting. Turns out that about 70 showed. They standing on the side of this hill down from where the cooperative headquarters are, spread out like people in an amphitheater, and I was the one going to be the one down in the front, putting on the show.

Nervous from the numbers I made my way to the stage with my friend and translator, Jean Claude, and the cooperative manager, Juvenile. We then launched into the program, why the bike was coming to coffee farmers, how it would work within the cooperative, and of course we talked about the price. Slowly people gravitated off the hill and huddled around the bicycle, blocking the view from the higher onlookers. But I guess those were the ones who were really interested.

I then met the farmer who was going to use the bicycle for a month. He was a small businessman who transports goods to the market on his standard Rwandan old fashioned bicycle. Now with the new Ubike he can compare performances, and we can begin to understand the benefits of the Ubike in relation to the standard bikes. I will follow up with him in two weeks and then in a month.


mark said...

Congratulations on the blog inaug, Jay. You are our eyes, and hands and heart on the ground in Rwanda. We look forward to seeing the ubike improve the quality of life for these farmers and their communities, and encourage many to become involved in this and similar efforts. That's the real show.

Jean said...

This one meeting is going to affect thousands and thousands of lives down the road. We are pulling for you and pray for strength for you!

Alex Stieda said...

Jay, great to see you are back 'on the ground' in Rwanda. You are doing yeoman's work and I hope to join you over there again soon. Keep the faith bro'.
I've got a good contact in Kigali of a lady (Nicole Pageau from Edmonton where I live) that is helping widows and orphans there - drop her a line when you get a chance at

MACLo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MACLo said...

Jay, I beleive interacting with the poeple of Rwanda is is giving you more determination to continue helping. That is what people there need. Some one from the developed world to bring them hope, and functional ideas.
I am an aritst, let me know if you need some stroks to cooperate with the program.
All the best!

Anne-Marie Charest said...

Hi Jay,

Your work is simply amazing. 120 kids and parents from Santa Barbara Middle School rode with your dad last Saturday (in torrential rains) to raise funds for Project Rwanda. We were all impressed with the project and congratulate you for your beautiful work. Keep educating, keep building, keep loving.

Anne-Marie Charest