Sunday, April 29, 2007
Yesterday the coffee bike program had its first bike distribution in the Karaba cooperative. I brought 47 bicycles to the coop, and unfortunately due to an earlier rain in the day only half the people showed up to receive the bikes. The ones who did receive them were briefed on the contract, paid the down payment and became oriented to the bikes. The farmers surround the bikes and were told via my interpreter, Douglas and Isabella, the new aspects of the bike. The farmers jumped on and began grinding the gears up hills, slamming on the brakes and locking up the wheels. Nothing got hurt, both the farmers and the bikes.
They were very excited accepting them and riding them as they realized the difference of the bicycles that they were used to and the new ones they were riding. For me, it was a great experience and I saw that all this was actually falling into place. I, however, was so tired at that point from building the bikes the week prior and organizing the distribution to really appreciate it, or show excitement for it at the distribution. But after driving home in the latter hours of the day leaving 25 farmers with these bikes behind made me have a sense of achievement.
We are also going to keep distributing this week and hopefully get about 200 bikes.
The top picture is some farmers posing with their new bikes. The second picture is a wooden bike juxtaposed to the coffee bike, both the old and the new way of transporting goods.
Thanks for your comments and encouragement throughout this time!!!