The Northrise students are really what made all the difference for us. They were so kind and open about their lives here, and curious about the states as well. We have developed friendships that will hopefully last for a long time.
Today was our final class day and we covered value stream mapping. Where you follow a product through its manufacturing process and determine what actions are necessary to enhance the product, and what areas might be possible elimination candidates.
After lunch we left for our final plant tour to a cable manufacturing company. I think this was probably my favorite tour to-date. This was really the first time where you got to see the product in various stages, and there was a lot of visibility into the flow of the product. We got to see the copper that was purchased from the mines (we saw a copper mine last week, so it was need to see the next step), and how it was melted down and turned into wires. The initial wire is quite large, and is taken through a process to compact the copper to make it smaller. From there were followed the copper as it was stretched to various sizes going as small as .5 mm. The wires where then twisted together to form the interior wiring. The twisted wire is then coated and wrapped with a layer of steel wire for additional protection. That steel wire is then coated with the final layer of rubber for protection. This particular wire was quite heavy, so I now have a new respect for power lines/poles and the weight they are holding up.
After this final tour we went with a few of the Northrise students to dinner. It has been great to get to know these students, and I hope that this will not be the last time we see each other!
Tomorrow we are meeting to go to the bus station at 5:00. We will drive from Ndola (on the northern border of Zambia) to Lusaka (I think around the middle of the country, but closer to the south) where we will have an hour break or so before catching another bus from Lusaka to Livingstone (on the southern boarder of Zambia). We will be going in to Zimbabwe and Botswana on our safari, so it should be a great time!
Thanks for reading!