I’ve been traveling a lot the last few days so I will give you a quick update. On Wednesday I traveled to Yatta to do a focus group on the new models of our wood stoves. During focus groups, we begin by having a discussion on people’s current cooking habits. Many of the women there owned our stoves but supplemented their use with a traditional three-stone fire or charcoal stove. After our discussion, we start cooking the ugali and stew that we are going to eat! Ugali is basically cornmeal mixed with water and the stew consisted of onions, tomatoes, carrots, meat and Lots of cabbage. When it’s all done, we have another discussion about their impressions and the stoves’ performance. Basically, I get paid to talk, eat, and help people ☺
On Thursday Johanna and I headed up to Isiolo for another focus group the next day. It’s about a 6-hour drive so we got arrived in the afternoon and hung out the rest of the day. Isiolo is where the arid region of Kenya starts and it was really hot. I must have killed 30 mosquitoes in my room before I went to bed.
Our second focus group on Friday also went well. The women liked the stoves and I got to eat ugali again (I’m doing 3 more focus groups next week so I will probably get sick of it). In the afternoon, we visited some households that currently use the stove. It was cool to visit people’s homes and see our stoves in action. In the evening, we headed to Nanyuki to see a distributor and meet our salesperson there.
On Saturday we visited some more households and distributors to get a sense of what’s happening in the region. One distributor/user of the stove in Nyeri owned the nicest Kenyan home I’ve been in. They even fed us mokimo cooked on our stove so that was great. We were going to stay in Nyeri but finished early and decided to head back to Nairobi early. I love the countryside of Kenya. Nairobi is nice but it’s good to leave sometimes and see more of the country.