Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Joey & Chris came in last Sunday. They are from Scallywags bicycle cooperative in Minneapolis, MN. They have come to help with mechanic training in the cooperatives and to help with the building of the 1,000 bicycles coming into the country currently. The bikes have been imprisoned in the customs since the 2nd of April, and we will have them emancipated in a few days (fingers crossed). 500 are in customs, and 500 are going to arrive in Rwanda in the next few days.
Anyways, Joey & Chris rested up for an afternoon and the next day they came with me out to Nyakizu yesterday, a cooperative receiving 100 bicycles. We trained 5 mechanics from the cooperative, each coming from a different sector and one that works at the washing station. We hope that this will help those with the coffee bike over the wider area. I went into a meeting with the President, Vice President and the secretary of the cooperative and Joey & Chris went strait into guiding the mechanics workshop. They did great in explaining the way in which to adjust the brakes, the derailleur, the bottom bracket, the headset and many other aspects of the bicycle. They went about teaching in a very patient and encouraging way. They really believe in this program, in the value of the bicycle to change lives, and they have a desire to teach, to encourage and motivate bicycle culture in general. It is great having them here.
We are now waiting for the bikes to come out of customs, and when they arrive it will get pretty crazy. We will be building hundreds of bikes a day while simultaneously distributing them in cooperatives. I will keep this updated as well as I can during this time.
Talk to you later.