Everything has happened so fast. 10 days ago I left my job in corporate software sales and since then my wife, Natalia, and I have packed our possessions (into storage), rented our Huntington Beach, California home, sold my car, packed for a year travel and prepared as best we can for the first 6 months in Malawi.
In the center of the whirlwind of frantic preparations has been an assurance of our decision to join SolarAid and their African operations subsidiary, SunnyMoney. Their simplicity of mission and clarity of purpose has been the calmness in our storm: obsolete the kerosene lamp (which is toxic and expensive. And very dim).
The knock on effects of achieving this are profound. Children in the rural areas of East Africa can read at night. Success will set the table for commercial renewable energy businesses to follow (with multiples of environmental benefit). Families have more money to feed their families. All achieved by the most affordable solar lamp available in Africa.
There’s been some challenges getting to this point. I’m English and Natalia is Colombian. Much could be written about this but a visual paints a thousand words. Compare our national artists, English L.S. Lowry (known for his dark paintings of working class stickmen in northern England) and Colombian Botero (who painted over-sized figures in bright colors partying the night away). Apply that to how we approached the last 2 months and you’ll get an idea why we really prepared for this trip in 10 days.
But bizarrely our contrasting styles has worked and we’ve been able to complete our pre-trip checklist and have had time to see our families in California and England. We’re ready. Our education stars tomorrow.