September 6, 2015

The storage room is painted! It was a great bonding experience for me to spend an afternoon with the women doing something they’ve never done before! We finished quickly as they were all excited to get their hands dirty. Now with the painting complete, the storage room should have better lighting during the days and late evenings.

I had a meeting with Hailey this week to go over ideas for streamlining the business. We definitely have our work cut out for us. There is a great need for better organizational strategies and I couldn’t help but be reminded of my operations management class in college. There are a number of processes that are involved which each item we cook. Some of the processes take longer than others and keep us from moving forward at an efficient speed. On Wednesday and Thursday we spent ALL day in the kitchen (9am-8pm). It was insane, and they do it every week! I was amazed to see how they all worked well together and managed to package all that was needed for the week’s orders. However, much of what is done is on the floor and in a messy manor. I’m hoping to introduce the idea of an assembly line so the women have a better understanding of how the tasks can be done most efficiently. I did learn this week that efficient is not a word in the Tanzanian language, and as I’m reflecting on the cooking shifts, it makes sense!

For this next week we’re hoping to build a sink with sufficient drainage. The Tanzanian government has been requesting that we dispose of our wastewater in a more professionalized way as they’re working on health and safety standards in the country. Overall I’m full of fervor to get the organization of the business underway. Until next week!

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