It’s been only two full days in Addis and already we have ten prototypes – complete with hoppers, logos, and sifters – ready to go! We couldn’t have possibly accomplished this in such a short time without the folks here at IDE/Practica, who have been more helpful and generous than we could ever have expected. At 7:00 am this morning when I stepped outside to begin work, I found Sam, Abraham, and Abebe already discussing what remained to be done. Abraham, a brilliant technician, has single-handedly designed and prototyped a hopper for the Pepper Eater. The hopper is intended to increase the volume of peppers that can be added to the device, an important feature considering some women process up to 100 kg of peppers in one day. We spent most of the day machining and assembling this simple attachment, composed of three pieces of sheet steel that fit neatly above the grinding apparatus.
We continued our work into the early evening. At some point in the afternoon, the heavens opened up and down came a good two inches of marble-sized hail. At first, we kept working, and then we just had to stop because hail was bouncing into the small workshop, protected only by a thin, blue tarp. All of us stood there together laughing, unable to communicate with words under the storm’s deafening roar. As abruptly as it began, the storm suddenly left us with mountains of ice under a clear sky.
With the help of our friends here at IDE, our Pepper Eaters now await our journey to Ziway tomorrow afternoon. If the people of Ziway are as generous and kind to us as those we have encountered here in Addis, then we are very fortunate.