Reflection 2 Bright Lights, No City
So far in the book they have not convinced too many people to get involved with their battery scheme. I really enjoy that they have not discussed how the batteries actually work yet. I looked it up on Google just because I was dying to know. I think that is an interesting writing technique, to leave your audience guessing. The entire point of the book really is not about batteries, I think it is more about charity. There is only one line in the book explaining how much money Whit actually has. He and his partner sold Cranium to Hasbro toys for $75 million in 1990. He is a millionaire many times over but has not offered a single penny to the people of Africa. He truly believes in his endeavor to offer a step up instead of a handout. It is a radical idea, and one that is not catching on very quickly. Whit is married with children but spends a great deal of his time in Africa in tiny little villages trying to sell the idea of renting his rechargeable batteries for a dollar. It seems like an insane idea. I have no idea where this book is going but I like being along for the ride. When it is all said and done he better not be a snake oil salesman or I will be incredibly disappointed. This section of the book talks about a man making micro-loans in India and in parts of Africa for native people to start their own small businesses. You get a few more details of what it is like living daily in Ghana. There is no electricity in town. There are no telephones anywhere in town. There are very few businesses and people generally barter for what they need.
Max Alexander makes some really interesting points about poverty, saying that the people are not really poor in this part of Africa. He describes being poor as a relative idea. The small villages are kept clean and tidy and everyone seems to have some sort of responsibility during the day. He said there were no children with big tummies starving to death in the streets or anything like that here so there really was not true poverty in this area. Both brothers seem to have other businesses going in other parts of the world and are very busy. You think they would be too busy to go to these tiny meetings under mango trees to try to personally sell their battery idea to local villagers 20 villagers at a time. Whit simply cannot let Ghana go and he continues to try and sell his batteries village by tiny village. The section of the book is about other people's experiences in Third World countries with capitalism instead of charity.