This is Mrs Kali Bah she is a Peul (AKA Fulani, a nomadic group in Northern Senegal), she is an amazing woman who walks five hours a day for fuel wood and 2 hours a day for water, the gift of a glass of water she offered me was clearly a regal gift. Not satisfied with the demonstrations of the LuciaStove she insisted on doing it herself and then asked how quickly she could buy one. In all the years we have been working on these programs she is the only person we have ever met who by looking at the flame and seeing how quickly the water boiled could accurately determine the burn time of the fully loaded LuciaStove!
While I will never forget how brilliant Mrs Kali Bah is what stuck me even more was her answer to another question. after demonstrating that the LuciaStove did not require refueling and could be left unattended for as long as was needed to cook a family’s meals, I asked her what she would do with an extra three hours a day, and again, she surprised me with her answer; she said, “I’d have enough time to get more water to wash my children”. I have never had a bath or shower since then without remembering what a luxury water can be, and what a blessing it is to have a job that allows you to work with, and for, such incredible people from whom I learn so much.