At the Cure Salee we set up a stand to show the products of Nomade Energie. Arnold explained the potential, charged some cel phones and sold two “Unite to Lights”. We were visited by two cabinet ministers and thanked for our work. Its a start.
Teach a man to fish award $1,000 – Pan-African Awards Teach A Man to Fish named the Nomad Foundation as a “first place in country” winner in the 2011 Educating Africa Pan- African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education. A $1,000 prize was given for the foundation’s unique solar project that has trained nomads to fabricate […]
Before Linda left we made a final trip to the garden to get the solar panels installed–we are adding 8 new panels to have a higher water flow. The students got the new panels built, but what we did not foresee is that a the pump had a 2″ female threaded connection and a male […]
Trying to put more into the hands of the students and local staff, we had a meeting–most of the Wodaabe came, but only a couple of Tuareg. The Wodaabe who came were asking for a per diem, which we had given the first two trainings. It always went against the grain for me because we […]
I have gone silent since my departure from the US 10 days ago. This is the lengthy process of getting here. Three days from LA to Niamey. Preparing things in Niamey and then in Agadez. Authorizations need to be gotten to go into the bush. The local staff needs briefing about the mission and I […]
I am in Paris on the way to prepare for another medical mission in Niger at the Tamesna Clinic. We will also conduct a follow up training for the midwives and then conduct a mobile mission to visit the nomadic camps where we work. I will be joined in early Feb. by Dr. Bob Skankey, […]
I would like to thank Leslie for giving me the opportunity to work with the Nomads of Niger. Working with the Tuareg and Wodaabe have allowed me the realization that service in and of itself is the ultimate reward. Flying into Agadez from Niamey on a United Nations flight was the equivalent of going first […]
To summarize and amazingly productive trip–in spite of all the frustrations we got it done. To start out with, because of fears for our security we were forced to pay for a 20 man security detail. But-inspite-of taking a big chunk out of our budget, they turned out to be very competent, we had NO […]
Four of the solar students showed up at the center–we are really in the middle of nowhere–and installed the electric system. They worked for four days according to Rich’s plan and got it done. We now have lights, plugs, and ICE! Because our materials did not get through customs in time, they did not have […]
Before we left Agadez our final step was to hang the NOMAD ENERGIE SOLAIRE sign in the office.
The students got their diplomas today. First we chose the best panel and awarded Djabo the solar T shirt for doing the best job.
Today was the final day of the program. It actually worked out OK that the materials to make the large panels never arrived–they are still in customs limbo–but we got our NIF–so maybe someday they will be liberated. Because the students weren’t focused solely on making panels they learned a lot of other things. Like […]
Our biggest challenge to date, besides customs of course, has not been teaching the concepts of solar energy, but instilling the idea of straight, square or precise. I decided to try to clean up one of the panels and make it prettier so they could see the difference. So they set to sanding, filling gaps […]
I spent the day in various offices trying to get our shipments of solar equioment which had finally arrived in Agadez. After some seven offices (this after paying $500 to a customs clearing agent in Niamey to do it) we got the packages released on condition that we complete our NIF which we have been […]
The first rice cooked in the solar oven was sampled by all. Pretty good.
The solar ovens were put to work today. The small one cooked a pot of rice and the big one a solar panel. The students could not believe how hot they got without even any solar cells used–just glass, wood, insulation and metal. Cooking a 65 watt panel
A generous donation of 100 solar lights from Unite to Light in Santa Barbara, CA. will lead to some new businesses for the nomads. We distributed them to each of our students for which they signed an agreement to pay. They will do a publicity campaign with these examples and take orders for more. The […]
The crew happily displays their new potential businesses. The panels which they are paid $5 each to make they can buy for $10 and resell for $15 or they can use them to earn money by charging cell phones for friends.
We managed to get transit papers to get our solar materials out of the airport. They are in the hands of our clearing agent with a transit paper which allows us to clear customs in Agadez. We thought we were home free, until the bus refused to take the merchandise as its $4000 value is […]
The solar ovens are nearing completion and we will find out today about our customs deal — we are hoping for transit papers so we can clear customs in Agadez. The new challenge–as we wait for Dr. Skankey and the medical volunteers to arrive–is an Air France strike. oh well…..
After 10 days straight of very hard work, we decided we all needed a break. We took the opportunity to go out to the garden for another picnic and at the same time figure out why the solar pump stopped working. Usually solar systems as simple as the one installed in the garden are very […]
We are still waiting for our shipment to clear customs. It is going through a whole new set of traumas, after we had an agreement, they changed their mind and told us the amount would be about 70% of the value of the merchandize PLUS shipping costs which would mean we would be paying almost […]
The last couple of days have been full of challenges as usual. The first was we got word that our nurse at the clinic had an accident on the new motorcycle and had to be evacuated to Agadez unable to walk. Then Dr. Komp woke up sick and could not go to the teaching program. […]
Today the group had to learn some carpentry in order to make the solar ovens. Finding decent wood was a challenge, but we have two ovens half way done. One will be used for baking our large solar panels with a new method and the other will be half the size and will be used […]
We have a small space in central Agadez, right across the street from the grand 16th century mosque. We have set up the front room as an office, the middle room for the sorting, soldering, The inside room is for sorting, cutting cells and soldering. the next small room for storing equipment and stock, the […]
The first afternoon they sorted cells. The boxes of cells arrive with some broken so we make use of every bit we can. We explained the need to be careful of wasting cells–not to break them or to find the best use of the broken ones. The smallest can be used in Cell phone chargers, […]
Dr. Rich Komp our solar energy expert and Sol de la Torre Bueno a stalwart foundation volunteer arrived by plane from Niamey on the Friday flight. I say this with some pride because it was almost a week of work to get accepted to use the humanitarian flight service of the United Nations. Now that […]
We are headed back to Niger to do a third solar training session, and train midwives among the Tuareg and Wodaabe nomads of Niger. The existing 18 solar students will start manufacture of panels to create demonstration sites from which they can sell solar equipment. Five initial midwife and health care liaison trainees have been […]
Our garden plot is next to a dry river bed where water flows for a short time each year, but is accessible only a few feet from the surface. Agriculture is becoming a profitable venture for the Air region.We had time for one more visit to our garden to see the new plantings and get […]
The wodaabe women of Foudouk are the master embroiderers. They gathered to show me their latest work which I could not buy since there are few sales in America at the moment. I told them that we had to figure out what they could sell here in Niger. We purchased them a sewing machine a […]
Last trip, since we could not actually go to our garden, we found an alternative well to test our solar panels and pump. This time we finished up the two extra panels needed and went out to install the system in the garden at Indoudou, where it was originally intended. We had a stand made […]
The nomads got in to work the day we got back from our speedy visit to the center and the cows. They started right in making panels. Thirteen students showed up. The plan is to finish panels to install a solar pump at our garden in Indoudou. Install a small electrical system in the office […]
We have been in country for two weeks and each step has been a monumental struggle. When I say we, I mean myself, Rich Komp our solar energy expert and Sol de la Torre Bueno who has come as a volunteer to help us organize our projects. The first week was spent seeing authorities and […]
Charlene Pidgeon has been a good traveling buddy in West Africa for over 10 years. She and I shop together for our respective African Art businesses. She has been actively raising money for Nomad Foundation projects that she manages for much of this time. They include a major goat purchasing program which has served especially […]
I have just gotten back to the US, but before I close out the blog for this trip I have to express the Nomad Foundation’s thanks to Susan Rosenfeld. Without her generosity the project would never have gone forward. She had invited Dr. Komp and me to stay at her house for the two days […]
Eighteen students received certificates.Then we all posed with the finished products.We then did a drawing for each community (there were eight) to take home one of the products we made–solar chargers for cel phones, or batteries.Ahar was praying he’d win a cel phone charger… and he did! They were all getting anxious to get back […]
When all the classes were done and the panels made, we all signed the FIRST SOLAR PANEL EVER BUILT IN NIGER!
Sidi was due to arrive in our new car the day after the others came down on the bus. He stayed to do the second distribution of millet for the Niger Food Relief campaign of the Boston University Niger Program Alumni. He was to arrive with our cook, Aboli who would handle feeding the whole […]
Here the whole class proudly displays the first solar panel ever built in Niger. It is a 54 watt designed to power the pump at our garden in Indoudou.
Today was the first lesson in building solar panels. We had a power point, some theory and then started right in. The lessons went from English (Rich), to French (me) to Hausa, (Ahar), which both Tuareg and Wodaabe speak.But very soon progressed to hands on work. Within a couple of hours they had successfully tested […]