It wasn’t however all glamorous. It was expected that there would be a lot of learning points and challenges to overcome. From butting heads to missing parts it was all there in that short two week period. Some of our more grave problems we faced and our learning points thereafter are resumed below.
Workshop setup can’t be perfect in the beginning
It was hard, coming from The International School of Kenya where tools and machines were available in plenty. One could really see the time consuming manual labour it would consist to do some of the more nuanced tasks such as sanding the beach paddle balls without a belt sander or using the injection machine without high grade latex gloves. Prompting us for example to try and outsource a local flip flop artisan (who happened to have worked on the flipiflopi dhow as well).to make the balls for us.
In short, it was very hard to compare the machines we have at ISK with the convinience they lent us, with the machines at our disposal in Diani. For example, the jigsaw to cut the boards of plastic could not be compared to the table saw we use back in Nairobi.
This was however overcome as the need created creative ways to get around the handicap.
Electricity Issues with Compressor Machine
The other issue was the constant shorting out of the compressor machine. For reasons we were not made aware of, the electrical setup in the room where the machines were, was faulty. This caused multiple blowing of the fuse and prompted Phares (who is also a welder) to have to pop open the back of the oven and for an electrician to weld it all together. This was frustrating as this would happen even mid-use.
Another thing was getting, in the first place, an electrician or a welding machine or a simple chisel and stone hammer. This took time.
Apart from all this, the outcome really can’t compare, it was all worth it! As this is being written, the host hotel have already ordered for some clocks and beach paddles, which is quite amazing.
The danger of plastic is real and hopefully the little strides we are making here are helping in one way or another. At the very least, situated where it is in an education center, it will be food for thought to anyone who passes by who just like us can adapt and reinvent!