Scene 4: Cooking with the Wonderbag

Tuesday, October 28th
Earlier in the day, we met with Cindy. She gave us a short tour of the Office of Sustainable Livelihoods’s building, and we had an hour meeting with her to discuss our progress, findings, and next steps. Then she introduced us to the Office of Sustainable Livelihood staff. Before we left, Cindy gave us a Wonderbag to cook with and use as a demonstration.
Cast of Characters
The Energy Team cooked dinner with the bag. Alex, Jing, Rachel, and Tati purchased the ingredients and then used the product.
This took place at Saint John’s Waterfront Lodge. This is where the team and the other WPI project teams are living. There are 10 rooms which house the 26 students. Also, Saint John’s Lodge has a pool in the back and a deck overlooking it. The picture below shows the Energy Team on the deck with a Wonderbag.

Energy Team

The team with the Wonderbag

Alex and Jing purchased ingredients on the walk back from Long Street, where the meeting with Cindy was held. Rachel and Tati arrived at the lodge first, and set up the stove, found the cooking utensils, and selected a pot that was large enough to use. We began by filling the pot with roughly two liters of water with some olive oil and salt, and then brought it to a boil. This was time consuming, as this was a large amount of water and the stove was not strong. After this was at temperature, we added the pasta and let it sit for several minutes. Once the pasta was partially cooked, Rachel and Tati drained the liquid. The lodge does not have a strainer, so they used cups to ladle out the water. Then the pot was placed inside the Wonderbag and sealed with some butter to add flavor. After twenty minutes, we checked to see if it was done.  The pasta was fully cooked and Rachel took some of the pasta out for herself. Then we added meat sauce to the pot and resealed the Wonderbag. Roughly five minutes later the rest of the pasta was ready to eat, so Alex, Jing, and Tati served themselves from the bag. After everyone had eaten, there was minimal cleanup to do, just washing the pot and the bowls and putting the Wonderbag away.
Reflection and Learning
The first use of a Wonderbag was a success. Although pasta is cooked very quickly, this provided a good example of how effective the bag can be. The ease of cooking and quality of food was reassuring, as it demonstrated that the Wonderbag worked well. After using the product, the team has firsthand experience, allowing for an improved sales pitch and a thorough explanation of the product. Also, this allows us to connect with Wonderbag users. Overall, using the Wonderbag to cook was beneficial to our project and a good dinner.

Continue to Act 2: Finding Distribution Centers