Today I just want to share a happy moment for Yoba with you. For the past few weeks, Chris and me have been busy in the laboratory trying to produce frozen starter. This frozen starter is produced by inoculating the bacteria in milk, letting them ferment for approx. 9 hours and finally freezing the outcome in small containers.
While both the PH tests and the cell counts indicated a successful production, our most important indicator was not giving us a green light: After every production, we asked our colleague and friend Jean to smell and taste the Yoba yoghurt. Since the first time that Jean has tried Yoba, she is very fond of the Yoba taste and has become very apt at identifying it. So Jean simply takes a spoon of our product, closes her eyes, and by the look on her face we can instantly tell if we were successful or not. In the first weeks of January, Jean’s face usually took on an expression of mild disgust, as if we were torturing her sense of taste. In the last two weeks her face usually displayed neither joy nor dismay, and she told us that “a little something” was still missing. Yesterday, I could see Jean’s smile widen and widen with the white Yoba yoghurt smeared all around her mouth. Emptying almost half of the only bottle we had, she did not need to tell me that we struck the mark.
When you are developing a product there is no better reward than such a big smile. I now know that the tedious experiments of the last weeks were not in vain, and the thought of putting that same smile onto the faces of consumers all around Uganda gives me all the motivation I could wish for.
By the way, if you want to be the person making Ugandans smile in the future, please feel free to apply for the position as Project Leader of the Yoba 4 Life Foundation in Uganda for 2012. As Chris and me are leaving at the end of this month, we are looking for a successor to manage this project and finally launch the Yoba yoghurt. If you are interested, please check the “How to contribute” section on the left for more information.
I hope the sunrays I have attached to this text will reach you in the cold.
Warm greetings from Kampala,