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April 2008 - June 2008: Discovering Real Needs & Practical Solutions

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Jeffry, Linda, and Abu sit down at the dinner table, where they had many discussions about life in the US and Ghana.
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Linda teaches Abu pickling techniques that will alleviate hunger in Ghana by providing a simple, practical method of food preservation.
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Eoin, Jeffry, and Abu develop Mr. Jeffry's Third World Machine Shop, which transforms the simple tools and materials to which Ghanaian woodworkers have access into efficient, highly accurate production equipment.
After 3 weeks of daily work, study, and in-depth discussions about life in Ghana, life in the west, culture, religion, and all things in between, it soon became apparent that our original idea—simply training Abu in western style woodworking machinery and shipping some table saws, jointers and planers—would not meet the needs of Ghanaian carpenters.

Such an idea was impractical, since almost no Ghanaian woodworkers would ever be able to afford such equipment. We would not be able to help the country as a whole with such a plan, but fortunately, we developed the following two projects.


Food Preservation Project: In May 2008, the seeds of Linda Lohr’s Food Preservation Project is born during a dinner discussion with Abu about poverty in Ghana. Abu explained to his hosts that for the most part, Ghanaian crops come in the rainy season, so that in the dry season little is available.

Having no refrigeration and excessive heat and humidity, everything spoils quickly in Ghana. Linda was very surprised to learn that typical food preservation, in what we in the West call mason jars, is a technology never learned or used in West Africa. American's call this process canning, although tin cans are not part of this process.

Thus, she began our Food Preservation Project.



Woodworking Project: Also in May 2008, after realizing our initial plan to ship large stationary woodworking equipment to Ghana would be ineffective, Jeffry conceived the idea of engineering what would become Mr. Jeffry’s Third World Woodworking Machine Shop.

This machine would ship easily and use readily obtainable hand held power tools in a new innovative way that would transform these tools into efficient, highly accurate, contemporary production equipment. Jeffry and others begin to develop this vision, and build such a machine in June 2008.

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