I’ve been a bit out of pocket, haven’t I? After our day of meetings, we traveled to Nairobi with our Heifer Kenya colleague, Alex. I accidentally slept until 8 this morning and had to rush to grab breakfast. While Pierre met with USAID Kenya, he gave Dero and me some time to be tourists. Another colleague, Francis, took us to the animal orphanage and the Giraffe Centre. It was a real treat! After finally eating some traditional food, we headed to the Heifer Kenya office.
I absolutely love going to work at headquarters in Little Rock, but if I worked at this office, I don’t think I’d ever leave. The grounds are lush and lovely, and I think I’d insist on meetings outside in the shade. The buildings are small, older and charming.
Heifer Kenya office.
The staff is so welcoming. This afternoon we have met with the Heifer Kenya staff, learning more about what they do here and putting faces to names I’ve heard before. It is such a shame, though, that I didn’t get to see the projects with Pierre at the start of last week.
Pierre discussing economies of scale and diversifying revenue.
In the short time here, I’ve learned about a pretty interesting technology. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s using solar panels to make ice… Crazy, huh? Here’s the thing–say you’re a dairy farmer in rural Kenya, and you have some cows to milk. If you take your surplus milk to a collection station or a chilling plant for it to be sold to a processor, you might only be able to make that journey once a day. Well, cows have to be milked twice a day, and with no refrigeration, you may be missing out on capturing income from the evening milking. Many farmers in this situation sell all of the morning milk, and their families wait to drink milk until the evening. Makes sense. But what if you have several cows?
Stay tuned, and I’ll dig further into this. Heifer Kenya has two of these solar ice units in use, and I really want to learn more about it.