Well, it’s been a whirlwind adventure this last week. From Amsterdam to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania we’ve transported 2 DIY printers, 15 kg of plastic filament and numerous tools and gadgets in our luggage, maxing out the weight allowed for checked baggage. Remarkably, it all arrived undamaged, although the boxes were a little beat up after having been thrown on and off three planes.
We navigated the visa and customs process, sweating in the hot un-airconditioned airport for an hour to get the printers cleared and the VAT paid. And after over 24 hours of travel, Beth got to check out the new office space in Mikocheni.
The first week has been all about getting the office set up and the printers built. Building the printers has proven slightly harder than expected – there is no A/C in the office yet and in 35C the metal pieces have expanded slightly so fit tighter than usual. And sweaty hands make it hard to handle tiny screws and nuts!
Also, just being in a city as large as Dar es Salaam, things take more time. When the 2D printer ink runs out, it takes time to drive in traffic to find more. And parliamentary and presidential elections happened on the 25th and results have been announced throughout the week. Everyone had been advised to lay low and not move around too much anyway.
All told, it’s been a very successful first week and we are looking forward to the next one!