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First full day in Africa

sunny 6 °C

I was actually surprised how tired I was last night considering it was relatively early in my home time zone - but I was ready for bed at 10:00pm local time (1:00pm in Arizona). I fell asleep with little trouble despite my chilly room and single bed... However, I woke up - wide awake at 3:40am. I laid in bed thinking about many, many things until 5:15am. I told myself that if I was still awake in 15 minutes that I would just get up and start my day. The next thing I knew I received my wake up call and it was 7am!

Being at the half way point in my trip and not wanting to bring as much luggage as I did on my last trip - today was laundry day. The laundry costs are roughly 1/2 - 1/3 US costs.

I thought for sure that it had snowed last night when I looked out my window. There was frost on the ground and it looked like the lake might freeze over! It really isn't that cold but it's a long way from the 107F temperature of Arizona today! I was able to get ready and grab a quick breakfast at the hotel restaurant (coffee #1) before heading out.

Belinda picked me up at the hotel around 8:15am to begin our very busy day. Our first stop was to meet with the CEO of one of the national laboratories for South Africa. While we waiting for our appointment, the receptionist brough coffee (coffee #2). Our purpose was to answer any final questions regarding their national contract with ThinPrep. The meeting went very well and despite a few loose ends to tie up, should be completed in the next week or two.

After the meeting, I met with Belinda and the distributor's chief financial/finance person to discuss another national contract - we met at Wimpy's - I would place it as a cross between Jack in the box and Denny's (coffee #3!). We spent about an hour working on spreadsheets, pricing, etc - good stuff!

Then Belinda and I met Herman at another laboratory to review their current market evaluation of ThinPrep and to discuss their plans with implementing both gyn and non-gyn cytology using ThinPrep. We had a very positive meeting and the lab is excited about moving forward.

After this meeting, we headed across town to meet with a final laboratory for the day and stopped to discuss the plan for non-gyn training and to catch up on phone calls (coffee #4). From here we headed over to the lab where I conducted non-gyn processing training for 2 pathologists, 3 CT's and 1 prep tech and did a non-gyn morphology review at the multiheaded microscope. The lab was very pleased with the results they saw from our quick demonstration and looking forward to getting started tomorrow.

After our training, we went to another coffee shop to finish up a national contract, pricing, differentiation from the competiton, etc (coffee #5). Lots of numbers - I get a new appreciation for putting together contracts only in US dollars when you have to convert from Euros to South African Rand to US Dollars - fun stuff! Talk about checking and double checking your math! Especially when putting together a $6,000,000+ proposal!

We finally finished that up between 6 and 6:30pm and headed over to Belinda's house for dinner. Her husband prepared a nice Brai (BBQ) for us and we were joined by Simone and Herman. We had a great evening with a good meal and great friends (and coffee #6!) - we rounded the evening out when Arno brought out his guitar and Arno, Herman and I took turns playing songs and we all sang along - good fun!

I finally made it back to my hotel room around midnight to catch up on email and some phone calls and will start again tomorrow around 7am with another fill day. It was a very busy yet productive day in Africa.

(I apologize for yet another day without photos... I actually do have photos for today but am having problems with my camera card reader - hope to have it fixed tomorrow :-))

Posted by mquick70 15:37 Archived in South Africa Tagged business_travel

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