Monday, April 2, 2007
Hey folks. Sorry it has been a while since my last post. I have been pretty busy lately and have not had the time, or really the idea of throwing something up on the blog due to my mind being on other matters. But today I want to tell all that the bicycles are going through customs at the moment here in Kigali. They should be out in about a week.
Within the past couple months I have been busy still prepping the ground of the coffee bikes. The past week and a half I have been training two groups of mechanics from the Karaba and Maraba cooperatives to build the bikes when they come into town. They have been good to work with overall, of course there have been cultural challenges along the way, but I have to say that I have a crew of bright, hard working, and cool individuals. They have been great to work with. The picture above is the Maraba group working on dissasembling a bike and putting it back together. I hope that out of these groups will come those that will man the bike shops that are going up at the processing/washing stations. The sustainability of the program lies in these people, and I hope that I and others coming over here will further educate them in these bicycles.
I am working on making metal racks for these bicycles at the moment as well. I am hiring a local metal shop to crank out 1,000 racks to fix to the top of the bicycle. The metal shops in this country are crazy. Their welders are homemade, made out of copper coils with some wires stringing from them, to make up the welding gun and the ground. They weld without eye protection most of the time, and when they do have eye protection they use normal sun glasses. Then there are the grinders in the metal shops, with red hot sparks blowing in whichever direction, no eye or ear protection. I tell ya, they are nutz.
Anyways, there are other things as well like making educational material for working on the bicycles when the farmers receive them. All in their local language, Kinyerwanda. I also have a list of Kinyerwanda saying of bike parts and actions for some of us foreigners to use while working alongside these Rwandans. I will list some below.
Well, I hope to throw up some more exciting posts in the near future when these bicycles are distributed in the coops.
Thanks for reading. -Jay
Kinyerwanda Bike Parts and Actions. I know, this is very aplicable material.
Bicycle – singular: igare (ee-gare-eh)
Plural: amagare (ah-mah-gare-eh)
Wheel – Ipine (ee-peen-ney)
Tire – Ipine / Umupira (ooh-mooh-peer-rah)
Handlebars – Amahembe (ah-mah-hem-bey)
Frame – Kadre (cod-rey)
Crank Arm – Manuveri (man-oo-ver-ee)
Pedal – Ikirenge (ee-kee-rein-gey)
Tighten – Funga (foon-gah)
Tighten a lot/hard – Funda Chaney (foon-gah cha-ney)
Tighten this Bolt – Funga iri bulo (foon-gah ee-ree boo-lo)
Loosen – Fungura (foon-goo-rah)
Loosen this bolt – Fungura iri bulo (foon-goo-rah ee-ree boo-lo)