These delays were unavoidable it seems because of the many stops container ships make; in fact, the delay was almost welcome because it gave our agency in Dar es Salaam, BOLLORE, more time to deal with our documents. They received a complete set of documents on April 8, but did not review them or contact us about changes needed until end of the first week in May. Then they wanted all sorts of changes and every time we made a change, they added another requirement. Finally, Ray Menard, the founder of Cheetah Development, and Jerry Diaz, a new employee of Cheetah in Dar es Salaam, went in to meet with the Bollore people and worked out a solution to the bureaucratic “hurdles” that were thrown up at every turn. Right now we are awaiting final written confirmation of the agreement with the various port authorities so that our container can be processed for release.
Our ship, the Albert Rickmers, arrived in Dar es Salaam on Sunday night, May 17, but was forced to wait, anchored outside the port, until Thursday night, May 21st. After entering the port and docking, our container was unloaded and turned over to the port authorities on Saturday, May 23. Our hope is that with the solution worked out by Ray, that it will be processed promptly and loaded aboard a “semi-truck/trailer” for the road trip to Iringa, about 300 miles inland.
We still believe our combine will be ready to work as a thresher/sheller in the many villages where Cheetah Development has farm families participating in their innovative maize(corn)production and marketing program. The harvest starts around mid-July, depending on the rains. Our expert, Steve Strehlow, is preparing to travel to Iringa to supervise the reassembly of the combine and the training on local personnel in operating and maintaining the machine. We will have the support of the local John Deere agency in Tanzania, LONAGRO, in unloading the combine and reassembly, at Kisolanza, near Iringa.