Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Short trip - big action #1

I hope to spread this over-due update over a few posts. Finally back in the land of fast and reliable internet. As said before, the Musasa shop, while not totally complete is on its way and will do great in servicing the region it lies in.
Three other projected locations for shops this year - Bufcafe, Bukonya (Rusenyi), and Gashonga. Each with their unique challenges, we hope to begin the rollout on these withing the next 2-3 months. I am quite excited about this increased action on BTR's part.
Each region proves to be excited and eager for bikes, parts and of course, the shop.

pics: Musasa shop, May 21 - nearly complete, inventory of tools Rich & I with coop managment.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Musasa Bike Shop Update

Not knowing what I would find when I arrived, I am pleased to say that the Musasa shop is well on its way to completion. We ran into some accountability issues with the budget, but after some stern negotiating, the cooperative and BTR came to an agreement about how to finish the shop and get it up and running, stocked with tools and parts.
You may notice the shop is quite a bit larger than the one at Karaba (our first shop)...
this was part of the issue. We will be helping out a bit more financially, but the coop will take most of the responsibility to complete the structure.

By explaining that this model will be used at cooperatives all over Rwanda - we
were able to have these farmers show some pride in getting the thing open. We left tools tools of the most necessity. Rich Whitekettle from Chris King made this visit with me, helped out a ton. Thanks Rich!

After this meeting, SPREAD contact, Simeon and I have decided that there should be two sizes of shops (one to handle larger coops with more bikes and the Karaba model). By having this standard, with budgets, hopefully we won't have as many surprises.

Pictures to come, connection is scarce and a bit weak.
Best to all!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

BTR on the move...

Attended the Specialty Coffee Association of America's annual trade show in Minneapolis at the beginning of the month. It was a great trip, building relationships with coffee retailers, roasters and other industry leaders. We are excited to report that Bikes to Rwanda is making friends and spreading the word about economic development for coffee farmers in Rwanda.

Barista Magazine and BTR will be taking a road trip early July to continue the crusade of involving communities here in the US with this community development project in Rwanda.

Currently on route to Rwanda. I'll be doing my best to keep everyone updated about our progress building the Musasa bike shop, scouting the next three bike shop locations, and witnessing the harvest for the first time. Very exciting stuff.

Stay tuned!