Saturday, June 28, 2008

Monday, June 23rd to Wednesday, June 25th

What a whirlwind start to the week. I knew that the small-business wheelchairs would be finished soon so I was busy planning how I would deliver them. Should I visit each person at their house to deliver their new wheelchair? Should I invite them all to lunch and then give them the wheelchairs? Should I organize some sort of party for the delivery? It quickly became clear that a party was the way to go.

The guest list started at about 10 people but overnight it escalated to almost 30! We were planning to have it on Friday but a few of our VIP guests could only make it on Thursday so we bumped it up a day, which means we had a LOT of work to do to make sure the chairs are finished in time.

On Tuesday I met with Hilda and Peter—two of the people who are trialing the small-business wheelchair—to finalize the details of their businesses and to help them get any materials that they still needed. We managed to talk our way through breakfast and lunch (which were both very tasty). In the afternoon I went to the workshop to check on the chairs and found that they were ready to be painted but the spray paint gun was broken. So off to town we went. By the time we came back it was well after the workshop would have been closed, but the chairs had to be painted then otherwise they wouldn’t be dry in time for the delivery. Samson did an awesome job spraying the chairs while I bounced around and tried to entertain him. He taught me how to use the spray gun which was actually pretty fun, and in return I introduced him to Pringles on the way home (which he is now obsessed with).

Wednesday I caught up with Richard, the last of my three disabled entrepreneurs, to check-in and get an update on his plans. He was originally going to have a shoe shine and repair business and while he is still planning on doing that, it turns out that before his accident he used to own a small shop in town that was pretty successful. Since then he’s started a pretty big farm at his house, growing rice, beans, and maize. He wants to combine everything and reopen his shop to sell the things he grows on his farm, while running his shoe shine and repair business out front. I can’t wait to be a customer!

Back to the workshop to make sure the chairs would be ready in the morning and everything seemed to be going fine, until we noticed a small, technical manufacturing error about which I won’t go into much detail. But it resulted in us having to do a lot of cutting, re-welding, grinding, and more painting… all the night before they needed to be finished. So it was another long night at the workshop, but boy did I sleep well that night!

No comments: