Another good day but not so visually exciting

Here are the bullet points from today in order of execution:

  • Set up a meeting with PSI Tanzania
  • Got the bike out and re-visited Grace MDC
  • Re-located Lilian MDC and Mwenge South MDCs
  • Got caught in a tropical down pour
  • Bumped into the Prime Minister when trying to get back up to my room with nobody noticing
  • Dried off
  • Got a taxi to PSI and met with Dr Jane Miller *significant highlight*
  • Tried to set up an interview with NewsTalk Radio in Ireland

Here’s the detail.

Set-up and meeting with PSI
In discussions with Euan and Adrian (from Coca-Cola) following the meeting it became clear that an NGO which operated locally was needed to move to a pilot phase. I had tried to contact PSI Tanzania before coming here and although I got an encouraging email from their Washington office – the Tanzanian office hadn’t replied. And why would they? Simon who?

So today I set myself the task of getting face to face with someone senior at PSI to facilitate future e-communications. I am grateful to Dr Jane Miller for squeezing me in at the end of what was undoubtedly a busy week. We had a very positive and constructive meeting and I am certain that now we’ve met the e-communications will flow. I showed her the pods and the video.

There are still many unanswered questions and we are still a long way from a successful pilot of the ColaLife idea but I now feel that the key players have been identified and we will be able to work out the detail.

This meeting is the most significant achievement of the day I think.

Got the bike out and re-visited Grace MDC
During the field trips of the last few days I’ve had my GPS switched on and I’ve been marking the locations we’ve visited – I might put them on Google Earth when I get back – this enabled me to find them again without an escort.

I went back to the Grace MDC but the owner (Grace) wasn’t there. But I did have a good conversation with her stock controller. I did the things with the pods in the crates and tried to explain but he was totally against putting anything inside the crates that wasn’t bottles of Coca-Cola UNTIL I explained that such pods would come on the Coca-Cola lorry and the insertion of the pods would have the sanction of Coca-Cola. His attitude then changed completely and he was very positive and we got on to discussing the relative merits of the tube vs the wedge and, like everyone yesterday, he went for the wedge.

As our conversation came to end the Coca-Cola lorry arrived and I was on my way.

Re-located Lilian MDC and Mwenge South MDC
I relocated the Lilian MDC but they were busy unloading and it was not appropriate to interrupt so I set off to find Mwenge South MDC (which my GPS said was 8 kilometres away). I was hoping to find Patrick Emmanuel who I met yesterday. It was during this leg of the journey that the heavens opened. When I got there, soaked to the skin, they were also unloading and Patrick wasn’t there so I continued on to the hotel. This was a pity because a repeat of our conversation yesterday would have made a great video.

Bumped into the Prime Minister when trying to get back up to my room with nobody noticing
I got back to the hotel absolutely soaked. It was like a wet tee shirt competition with none of the eroticism. Anyway, there I am trying to sort myself out and planning a dignified dash from the entrance to the lift when a very nice, very tall, smartly dressed man leaned down and whispered “Prime Minister Sir” in my ear. So my dignified dash was thwarted and I stood there in the middle of reception (well out of the way of the Prime Minister) looking like a very conspicuous drowned rat.

When I got to my room I tidied myself up and got into a taxi to PSI (see above)

Tried to set up an interview with NewsTalk Radio in Ireland

When I got back to the hotel, following the PSI meeting, I prepared myself for a 5 minute interview the national radio talkshow in Ireland. However, despite several attempts we couldn’t get a good enough line so that’s been postponed until next week.

Then I went up to the 8th floor of the hotel and sat down looking out over Dar Es Salaam harbour, ordered a beer and started to write this blog post.

Then Philip arrived. Philip is a Central Banker from Uganda who is about 6’8″ tall and about twice as wide as me! We shared what we’d been up to since we first met two days a ago and I showed him the video. He understood the Swahili. When the video finished he turned to me and said “I‘m moved, I’m moved”. Result!

My flight leaves at 2:30pm so in the morning I’m going to try and find this MDC:

which, apparently, is somewhere in Dar Es Salaam, and get my photo taken in front of it.

Onwards and upwards.


  1. Ellie Stoneley says

    I am sure the Prime Minister would also have been a useful ear to bend … even if it was done by a drowned rat!!

    Simon I am delighted the bike went too – and that you have accomplished so much – it sounds as if the contacts you made and your real understanding of the issues will set the campaign in even greater stead … well done and see you in a week or so.

  2. Hi Simon
    Hi Simon
    It’s the end of a drizzly day in Brighton and I’m reading your latest news waiting for match of the day to start.

    There is a ray of sunshine though because it is just so great to see that you’re having such a productive time. It’s so inspiring to be able to follow you as you put in the leg (and bike) work needed to bring your vision to life.

    On the other hand I’m sorry you didn’t feel able to share your entry for dar es salaam mr wet tshirt 2008

    Take care



  1. Simon Berry says:

    Latest from Tanzania – hopefully the last piece of the partnership jigsaw is in place – – next: pilots! colalife

  2. […] Discussions with an international NGO with a long-term and significant presence in Tanzania Before we can move to piloting the ColaLife idea we need to identify a local NGO who can lead on the initiative. I met with PSI, Tanzania on my last day and they may consider taking up the idea although there is no formal agreement in place yet. […]

  3. […] 28/11/08 Met with Dr Jane Miller, PSI, Dar Es Salaam. PSI are potential partners in the trialing of the ColaLife idea >>more […]