Rwanda 2015 day 15, Monday 12 October 2015 – Longine’s
Rukundo and I spend some time first thing trying to prioritise how we will spend our budget.
The milling machine is the top of the list but we have now agreed on a relatively small machine which is very affordable. That has left enough for a cargo motorcycle and some working capital for the shop and the milling machine. We would really like to do some sort of animal husbandry project for the Kabarondo household and we might just be able to manage that as well.
Unfortunately that doesn’t leave anything for Laocadie and the Karambo household but I may be able to do some more fundraising when I get back home.
At least we’ve now got the basis of a plan. Rukundo is keen to get off and see Orange Machinery but first he wants to show me an alternative cargo motorcycle supplier whose premises are very local.
The machines are branded “Hard Body” and claimed to be made in Rwanda. Actually they are assembled in Rwanda from Chinese imports. However they look like a very good robust machine and the guy in charge says they have a 1.5 tonne payload and a secondary 3 speed gearbox complete with differential lock on the low ratio in addition to the main motorcycle gearbox. They have a number of machines in stock and the workshop facilities and spares stockholding seem quite reasonable by Kigali standards. I’m allowed a test drive around the yard. It takes a little bit of getting used to but I get the hang of it reasonably quickly. The only problem is it’s nearly 50% more expensive than the machine we originally looked at. Out of our price range unfortunately.
The firm is owned by Chinese gentleman called Han Kai who is pleased to meet us. He also imports a very nice Chinese minibus similar to the Toyota Hiace although rather more affordable at £25,000. They have one on display although this one is actually sold. Rukundo eyes it longingly. Nice bus but I can’t see us being able to fund that even for a minibus project.
Emmanuel from Metal Works Solutions has rung Rukundo reminding him that he promised to confirm the order and pay the deposit today.
We need to get onto Orange Machinery. It’s a short drive to his workshop in Kicukiro, just round the corner from Erika’s shop. Confusingly the manager here is also called Emmanuel and we run through his offering. It’s a slightly more powerful machine than Metal Works but he won’t go any lower than 1.2 million FRW and isn’t interested in a trade in. It would be nice to have but set against Metal Works offer of 900,000 FRW with a 70% trade-in allowance it’s a no-brainer. Metal Works Solutions wins.
We have just time to have a look at one more cargo motorcycle supplier. This one is branded Kiro. There is a display model parked proudly outside a grand looking showroom. However when you look through the darkened glass of the showroom doors there’s nothing inside it all!
A couple of guys approach us as we look round the display machine. I’m not very excited, they haven’t even kept the display machine at least even half clean. The spec is not so good. No low ratio facility and an air cooled rather than a watercooled engine. It’s still supposed to be a one tonne capacity but I think it will struggle. No, they say, I can’t have a demonstration drive, they have no petrol. The price isn’t wonderful either sitting about halfway between the two other machines we’ve already seen.
Still, we look round the back at the machines they have in stock which are in slightly better condition than the display model.
I think we’ll pass on this one. Looks like the machine from Sameer Hussein that we saw at first is the best buy. We need to have another look however because I didn’t get all the spec details on our first visit. In particular does it have a low ratio gearbox? And I’d like a test drive.
No time for that today however. It’s now nearly noon and we have a lunch appointment with Longine and Annatelie a young couple with a baby son Mucha. We make a dash back to Rukundo’s house to pick up Erika and Judith. I manage to fire off the the email order confirmation to Emanuel for the mill from Metal Works Solutions and we are off to Longine’s.
Longine’s house is small but reasonable although they’re by no means well off. He has invited his best friend Emanuel and his wife Chantelle with their young daughter and baby son. We all just about managed to squeeze into their tiny lounge.
I can’t get over being embarrassed at the incredible hospitality of these lovely people. I hate to think how much of their small income they will be spending on us.
Nevertheless they are overwhelmingly honoured that we’ve come and share their enthusiasm about community and how meeting us has made it all seems so much more feasible for them. Both of the guys are very committed to the church and excited about the prospect of community although their wives are little more reticent especially Chantelle. With two very small children it is quite hard for her to get to church and she rarely gets to listen to Rukundo’s excellent preaching. As we share I am filled with faith for these two young men and their small families. When we are asked to pray for them I end up effectively prophesying over them and their wives.
The time flies by and it’s well past the middle of the afternoon by the time we say our goodbyes.
When we get home Rukundo checks with the Sameer Hussein warehouse to see if there is time for us to go and have another look at their cargo motorcycle but it’s almost 5 PM and they are closing.
Rukundo has heard from Emmanuel from Metal Works Solutions to say thanks for the order and that he’ll be round first thing in the morning to check out the installation for the milling machine.
Supper is a little earlier this evening and we have some great Fellowship around the table afterwards.
Deo has managed to translate Hilary’s account spreadsheet into French for Bosco which should help enormously. We spend some time together checking that it’s right and he promises to finish it tomorrow. Brilliant!
This whole thing is running to the wire but we are getting there.