On Saturday we spent the day in Kumasi so make a few purchases, and visit a few people. Kumasi is the second largest city in Ghana and is only about an hour’s drive from Patriensa. There were about 10 of us loaded up in Ofori’s tro-tro. Ofori is the local driver that we contracted for our travels around Patriensa. A tro-tro is a small van, about the size of an old Volkswagon, which serves as a city bus. Tro-tros seem to be the mode of transportation or choice in Ghana since they are relatively cheap and they run quite frequently. The occupants of our tro-tro included our 4 team members, Nana Kontihene, Pastor Kofi and his wife, a woman who I didn’t know, and the driver and his mate.
At our first stop in Kumasi, we dropped off the lady I didn’t know, and then I never saw her again. I guess she was just a regular passenger. Next we visited a few truck dealerships. PPF needs some sort of method of delivering its products to vendors. The ideal method is a big truck; however there is not much money in the budget. So first we must examine our options by checking prices of different types of delivery modes.
After visiting several dealerships, we had lunch. At lunch, a man named Kofi had met us to discuss the Global Summit. The Global Summit is an annual conference that focuses on developmental projects. Pastor Kofi and Nana Kontihene had been invited to speak at the Global Summit after they had spoken at the African Summit a few months ago. Everyone seemed pretty excited for the opportunity to broadcast our project on such a big stage; however we would have to raise funds to travel to London. There is no money in our budget for the trip, since we just learned about it this summer. We decided to pay the registration fee, since it was refundable, and begin the process of raising the money for two plane tickets to London.
After lunch, we met another important man, Nana Ohene, the head chief of Patriensa. The head chief is 96 years old, yet still has the humor of a child. He owns and runs a hotel in Kumasi, owns several cars (which he often drives), and has several homes across the world. Nana Ohene bought us drinks, and then we sat and talked for about thirty minutes and then he thanked us for the work we are doing in his village.
After leaving Nana Ohene, we made one last stop. We had to order the plastic for our sachets. We still needed to be approved by the Food and Drug Board of Ghana, so we couldn’t order our official plastic with the seal of approval; instead we ordered a simple design that had our name. We needed the plastic to start running our machine and producing enough sachets to give away to the community so that our product would be known about in the market. The sachets read “PATEX,” the name chosen by the board that is a combination of Patriensa and Texas.
After ordering the plastic, we drove home, had dinner, and called it a day. That’s all for now, I hope to get this out soon.