[This is part four of a diary that John Mutter, co-founder of the Bamboo Bike Project, kept on a trip to Ghana in January 2011]
The day began with news that the container did not clear customs yesterday, but was expected to clear today and arrive at the end of the day. Today is Friday, so if the container comes at the end of the day, the crew will most likely have gone home and will not be available to help unload. We can do this ourselves and maybe a few will stay. Then there is a question of what happens Saturday. Maybe it will be possible to have people work that day but not Sunday for sure. Given the short amount of time that Marty, Justin and Ben have to do the training we need to get things started on Saturday if at all possible.
So Friday at the factory began with further training in bamboo selection and in wheel building in parallel groups. The wheel builders are getting quite skilled and soon will not need oversight.
About mid morning Marty gave a lecture to the crew on factory set-up and management. He also stepped them through the process of construction that will happen when all the tools and jigs arrive.
Today the exhaust system was installed for the back-up generator. The parts including a section of pipe maybe 12 feet long came by motorcycle. The gas tank seems to be getting repaired as well.
The day was pretty slow in most ways. The best achievements were that the crew got very good at wheel building and at the end of the day one of the guys claimed he could build one in 15 minutes and others challenged him in a competition. He didn’t win but got in just over 15 minutes that is a marvelous achievement for novices.
Kwame also spent part of the day researching places to have bottom bracket shells, head tubes, etc. made locally, and has found some places where it looks like it is possible. He came back with samples.
The container from Brooklyn has cleared customs, and was first expected to arrive at 7 pm. Then, this was rescheduled to 4 am tomorrow.