Gary Zeiff, founder of dissigno in San Francisco and Catapult Design Advisor, recently reached his destination in Africa after a long, arduous journey. Gary is working on a project that won his a grant from the World Bank's Development Marketplace competition. Gary's first email below:
"Figurative tears run down my cheeks. After 5 days, 3 planes, 3 continents, many taxis, buses and cars myself and my precious cargo is a mere two hours jeep ride from the final destination. In this modern age, it really hasn't been difficult, but rather time consuming to get the pedal generator, a bunch of supplies, and all the cargo to keep my mortal coil spinning here on African soil. Cynthia (Joel's girlfriend) and I step down from the 19 seater turbo prop plane onto the red dirt runway of Bukoba and are greeted by Joel and William. The flight was exciting over Lake Victoria. The more so as we neared Karagwe dragging the large metal container carrying the pedal generator. It is nearing the end of this leg of the journey, but also the start of something new and exciting.
Although I don't see much of Bukoba after landing, it smells and feels like the Africa I have been dreaming about since starting this project. It is lush and green. The roads are mostly red dirt packed hard after numerous carts, people and cars have driven it. It has a humid feel that I will get used to. Siting in the front seat of the van I watch the shore of Lake Victoria roll past.
It is nice to be met by Joel. Friendly faces who take over some of the heavy lifting and responsibility of the gear that I have been worrying over since leaving SFO. Although it hasn't been difficult it has been pyschologically draining as I wonder who and where I will be stymied in my effort to get the gear to Karagwe. I feel much like the intrepid 19th century travels lugging cases and steamer trucks around with them on their visits. I am exhausted too from travel and time change. This project is so important on so many levels; for the people of Karagwe, for the kids, for us, and for Kaderes.
Joel and Cynthia and I eat dinner and Joel enthusiastically tells me about the people he's met and the ideas he's got. He has developed an understanding of who knows who, how they know each other, what they know and what they think about the project. He sees the potential. He's excited and that makes me excited. You can see in his eyes that he's been bitten by the project bug.
To be continued."