Friday August 29, 2014
Things have been slow for us the last few days – as the microgrid manager is fully in charge of the daily operations of the kiosk and things are running smoothly, there is not much for us to do. Yesterday he charged over 6 phones and 4 more people came to pick up their BBOXXs, for a total now of 16 BBOXXs rented. Unfortunately, the next shipment is still stuck in customs in Mombasa, although we are told every day they should be leaving soon.
Kayla and Eli are in migori, waiting for the bus to Nairobi. The training team is now Daniel, Vincent, and Ayesha. Symon is also in migori, making the first cash deposit at the bank with the kiosk revenue (almost all transactions at the kiosk have been in cash so far – it seems that cash is more common here because the nearest mpesa agent is in custom, more than a 30 minute walk away). Symon and Zebedee would like to set up the kiosk as an mpesa agent, providing additional services to the community and generating more income for the school, but it will require a 100,000 KES deposit (about $1200 US).
We went on a hike yesterday down to the southern tip of the peninsula and saw our first BBOXX “in the wild”. They had strung the LED bulbs up outside their house, presumably to provide some light as they work or relax outside after dark or for security lighting. In their remaining time here, the team will try to visit some current customers and ask about how they are using the BBOXXs. A couple community members have inquired about charging their car batteries (several people use them for power in their homes and would otherwise have to bring then into town for charging), but we aren’t currently set up for it. We’ve considered it before, but there are a few additional challenges with this and so we wanted to focus on just the BBOXXs initially.
It was Eli’s birthday yesterday, and Pendo and the kids had a surprise celebration for him – complete with candles, a balloon, singing, a delicious lemon cake that Pendo baked over charcoal, and adorable birthday cards from each of the children that they made themselves from cardboard. It was a great way to spend our last night there.