Ghana. Camp 2. Soap disaster.
A matter of conscience
To be a professional means to be able to recognize your mistakes.
We want to be honest and talk about some problem that did not allow me to relax for a few days.
Earlier we wrote that we had returned from the "soap expedition". We drove a lot of hundreds of kilometers on the off-road little sleep and it is unclear what to eat, the trip was heavy and tedious.
In one of the villages, we bought a traditional soap. Under the plan, the packaging for this batch is already being printed and will be waiting for samples in Moscow. Therefore, we need the weight of the samples and their sizes quite accurately.
Difficulty first, unexpected. The Ghanaians have no concept of weight. There is a concept piece, box and so on. "We need 100 identical pieces of soap weighing 100 grams, that's the size" - you would have seen how these peasants lamented us fervently. There is no balance, the ruler ... what is this? We did not think in advance that we should bring all this with us. We discussed these issues in the local dialect for almost two hours. As a result, they agreed that they will make a special for us.
The sophistication is second, predictable. The formula they made is wooden and almost eye-catching. " A tree with barbs angles about 90 degrees. Voobshchem in it and have cast our 100 pieces.
Soap masses were placed in a mold not tightly, without ramming, so the samples turned out to be loose, with air pockets and all different both in weight and in size.
I honestly talk about what they saw inside me that broke something. It's a shame to offer investors such a product.
The difficulty is the third one, the standard one. According to the old African tradition, the completion of the work was 2 times higher than the amount originally agreed. There were difficulties, a lot of time, they did not calculate, and so on. But we have become accustomed to this topic and paid even less than the promised one, as the stricken side. For meaningless conversations, they spent another two hours.
The difficulty is fourth, unexpected. The presence of an interpreter from English to Ashanti does not at all guarantee the correctness of the formulation and understanding of the task. The final performer like everything understands and nods, but in fact .. everyone remains at their opinion. There is no agreement.
I repent. At this time, I lost the joy of the trip and forgot why for all this we do. It seemed to me that such a huge, done by many people work directly depends on this trial lot and everything should be better than super, and before your eyes, these rag-tagged samplers, unevenly lying in a box of beer.
There is a problem - it is necessary to decide. The male brain does not work as a woman. The men came up with a visit to the local smithy and ordered the production of a metal mold with exact dimensions.
The negotiations with the welder took 2 days, ordering the guys reluctantly, but accepted. At this time, we were looking for a place where you can make a stamp with the symbols of Adinkra.
The traditional Ashanti symbols must be printed. Each symbol represents a concept or aphorism. What kind of symbol the buyer will receive can be found only after you open the soap at home. This is a kind of Gantz wishes for European consumers. Among the strong symbols: strength, love, security, family, harmony, energy, union.
We chose the most suitable form of a sign meaning "gratitude".
It was not difficult to order and produce an urgent seal, parallel to the Accra markets. Bought the necessary goods for handicraft production: electronic kitchen scales, many films and bags, boxes and foam rubber. That night all the elements of the soap puzzle were gathered together.
Oh, we would have a couple of hands, but we could not trust such a responsible job again.
From 17.00 to 03.00 in the kitchen of the church guest house, we formed, cut, weighed, applied stamping, packed, stacked.
8 hours of almost continuous operation and soap is ready. Now it looks like a handmade maid soap.
And yes, now we have something to present.
Today the soap is securely packed and carefully packed in a suitcase. He already wants to be in Europe as soon as possible and wash everyone there ...