Surprise! More Waiting! – Monday, August 26th, 2013

This morning we left for Okidi at 8, with the promise that Richard had worked on the base frames well into the night. When we arrived at Okidi, the door to the MFP housing structure was locked and Richard was nowhere in sight. After waiting more than an hour, we were finally let inside the house to find that Richard only completed the base frame for the huller. The huller fit onto the base frame although the shaft of the huller did not align properly with the shaft connected to the motor. While this would only present a minor problem, this would most likely lead to future problems with the belt. However, our concerns with this misalignment were not considered. Instead, Richard decided to move one of the bearings further from the motor to minimize vibrations of the shaft and thus make the shaft sturdier. However, this change also would force the community members to remove the bearing each time they change the belts. Not only will this be an inconvenience, but it took a lot of time to make this change, and essentially undid much of yesterday’s work. Once the measurements were made to move the bearing, the pulleys on the shaft were aligned with the motor and the pulley of the huller respectively. After the measurements were made for this alignment, Richard went to manufacture two keys in the shaft where the pulleys will sit. He rode away on his boda boda promising he would return in half an hour. That was the last we saw of him. Three hours later, Pilgrim and EWB made the decision to leave the site as nothing could be done without the shaft and there was no word from Richard. Shalni and Gabriella wanted to split from the group and go to Sugur to install those base frames as Richard promised those were ready. However, we have yet to see them and Richard would not give us a straight answer when we proposed this idea to him. Also, we still have not seen the base frame for the oil press in Okidi even though Richard claims that he made it. Since we want nothing more than to see Okidi operating, we will be extending our time in Soroti. If Richard completes the site tonight as promised, then we will return to Okidi tomorrow morning for testing. If not, we will be leaving Soroti very disappointed and frustrated.

On a happier note, Pilgrim is taking us out to dinner tonight at the Akello Hotel. After, we will finish packing our bag and watch the Lion King to get us pumped to visit Murchison Falls National Park. We will definitely keep you all updated!

Gabriella, Shalni, & Eric

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