Monday, July 13, 2009

Ending a Busy Week in Nairobi

The rest of this week went by really fast. I researched the moringa tree, another crop that we might begin promoting in the future. Google it. This plant is amazing! It is very healthy, has antibiotic properties, and can be used to purify water. Needless to say, its nickname is “the miracle tree.” Clarice spent a lot of time on the phone, talking to various people that we need to meet with. We set up a meeting at the Fab Lab outside of Kisumu. If you go down the road to Bondo, the Fab Lab is near there in a place called Majiwa. There are many Fab Labs all around the world, and they are sponsored by MIT. The purpose is to provide free fabrication equipment to anyone who wishes to use it so that people can come and build their inventions. MIT is trying to encourage creativity and give people a space in which to innovate. I am definitely interested in seeing what goes on there as well as looking into the potential to do some fabrication work at the Fab Lab. The best part was that while she was talking to the guy about visiting the Fab Lab, he told her that the Member of Parliament for the area where the Fab Lab is located will be visiting it on Tuesday. So Clarice got herself, Steve, and me invited to be part of the VIP tour. She has so many connections it scares me sometimes.

Clarice also got in touch with the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), which does a lot of fabrication and manufacturing. This is another place where Steve and I might be able to build some prototypes. They might even provide materials, free of charge. We will be meeting with them this week as well. Also, while she was talking to the guy about visiting KIRDI, he happened to be with the Director-General of UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), who was visiting from Vienna. He agreed to meet with us on Friday, but unfortunately had to cancel because his meeting with the Prime Minister went long. However, Clarice will be able to meet with the country director of UNIDO next week.

So things with work are moving along, and I think now that Steve is here we will start getting everything more organized and hopefully make some cool pictures of our business model.

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