Tag Archives: Katima Mulilo

First week of our bike work shop.

22 Jul

Hey folks,

Firstly internet is scarce here in Katima and not to mention very slow, but I will try to keep you all updated.

All is going well with the project, the first week is complete. The 5 local guys that are being trained as mechanics are a good laugh, and it has been good working with Paulina the BEN, Namibia trainer, we are both learning things.

It’s pretty cool seeing the container that we packed back in Melbourne, and it is quite funny seeing all the bikes with the local Melbourne bike shop stickers on them. There will be 3 more weeks of training/fixing the bikes up. Then Michael the founder of BEN, Namibia will be up in Katima to put the guys through the 2 week small business training. The work shop will be up and running in the second week of the small business training.

Already there has been a lot of interest from the local community as to when they can start buying bikes. There is certainly a need for bikes here. Things now seem normal here and we have slipped into the African way of life where there isn’t a strong push to get things done quickly. You just embrace it. It makes you realise how easy we have it. For example we wanted to drill the truing stand into the work bench. But after two days they couldn’t track down a drill so a chisel (actually it was a ring spanner that had been grinded down) and hammer were used to make the holes. I’ve seen many examples of African ingenuity here.

OK, best be off as have to go and buy a mattress as we have finally got out of our tent and are renting a room woop woop. Ciao. Here are some more photos from the first week.

Doing a stock take of the bikes.

Melbourne what up!

There’s a kindergarten in the compound where our sea container is. Always heaps of smiling kids running around.

Class time.

The best class room in the world.

Advertisements

Container location and route planning

9 May

Howdy folks,

With the $5000 donation to BEN, Namibia, it meant that the project we will be working with has enough money to get off the ground. And so the location of the container has now been confirmed as the town of Katima Mulilo, right in the heart of Southern Africa.

Katmia Mulilo the capital town of the Caprivi Strip, a little strip of land adjoining the North Eastern corner of Namibia that is bordered by Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Considering Namibia is one of the driest countries in the world, the Caprivi strip is a little oasis, dense in lush greenery with Katima Mulilo nestled on the banks of the Zambezi with crocs and hippos, woohoo. If you had thoughts of the Katima being a little village, think again, it’s a border town of 25,000.

The bike work shop will be working alongside a male engagement project that aims to involve more men in HIV/AIDS home based care work. We’re super excited to finally have a destination for the container and this helps a lot with our route planning.

Depending on when the container is supposed to arrive, our basic route will be heading north from Capetown, up through Namibia stopping off in Windhoek, the head quarters of BEN, Namibia.Then dependant on the containers arrival time (we will be on African time – give or take a month) we will either straight line it to Katima Mulilo (point B on the map), or if we have time maybe go through Botswana and Zimbabwe. Then after working with the container for a couple of months in Katima, we will cycle through Zambia to Lilongwe, Malawi (point C) where we will fly out having completed over 5000kms.