2008 09 02
Well I will be in Lusaka for about a week while the cargo-trike is being created. Being in Lusaka feels like I am in a different country from the village. Lusaka is kind of like Hartford would have been like in the 1990’s if it didn’t have any environmental regulations on vehicles. Whereas the village is kind of like the US in the frontier towns of the 1800’s (save for prevalence of cell phones, radio and plastic bags/bottles). Lusaka actually has sky scrapers and strip malls. I will try to take some pictures of the city this week so that it can be contrasted. We went to the machine shop around 830 and came up with a rough idea of how to convert the one speed very heavy cargo trike into something comfortably rideable on roads unpaved and sandy with steep hills. Ideally I wanted to convert it into a recumbent cycle however that required buying some more parts, which required going back to the PC headquarters to try to get the funds to go and purchase the parts. This took until lunch time and it seemed that the funs would not really be available because PC was facing a budget crunch (like every government office except for the military) so we would have to go after lunch. In the mean time I talked to some volunteers who were headed back from a vacation in Malawi. I also found that a bunch of “junk” that had been piled up since I had been here was going to be trashed or worse burned. Most of the “junk” however could have been used in schools (most of it was chairs that had a few problems with them but could be fixed very easily) or other places in need of resources. I asked, or more pleaded with a number of PC admin people however they all seemed to think it would be too much of a hassle and they had been sitting there for six months and they needed to go and that transporting them. I thought, surely in those months a volunteer could have found a place that was in need of some chairs and a vehicle that was not loaded to max to bring them but the truck had already left but anyway. I wish Sub Saharan Africa had the infrastructure to transport things using methods other then petrol but as first world countries do not, it’s a fantasy in the near future. Had lunch from the cook at the headquarters then met for a while with the APCD. At about 1500 I went back to the shop and we did a little reworking of the plan. Unfortunately we won’t be able to begin work until Thursday because Wednesday the 3rd is the day of Mwanawasa’s burial and is a national holiday so pretty much all business and a lot of roads will be closed. Got back and spent the rest of the evening on the internet.
Well I will be in Lusaka for about a week
2008 09 02