So most people know about TOMS shoes. Ya know, the hipster shoes that are not in reality that cute, but cost a bundle which is justified by the fact that a child in the third world (presumably barefoot) gets an equally ugly pair of shoes whenever you buy yours. Kind of cruel if you ask me.
I’m not bitter. Really, I’m not.
Here’s the point, we’ve told you about the boys that live in the leprosy/TB community and make carvings, baskets and other crafts. Well, we have a system with them that we help them out with small money once a month in exchange for some of the best pieces that they can make. Last month we gave them their “contracts” and their small money. They know that technically they aren’t supposed to ask for any more money until the next month, but there is always some reason they find to come and ask for some more. We’re used to this so it was no surprise when Elijah came to us and said (with pouty, sad eyes), “Someone stole my school shoes from my house and I need money for school shoes”. Kyle looked at his feet and said that he was wearing shoes so he didn’t see the problem. The problem was that they were slippers (otherwise known as flip flops in America) and not proper school shoes. Kyle then proceeded to inquire about where the other money went. Elijah had used it to pay his rent for the next year. Great, in theory, but in reality when you live in a place where people steal shoes from your house you should probably put some aside “just in case” something crazy happens- because crazy things do happen here! So there Kyle was denying money to Elijah for shoes- man, how anti-hipster of him.
Fast forward two weeks- the boys bring their monthly supply of carvings, baskets and the wild card-that could be anything- craft (we’ve got a lot of gifts for ya’ll when we get back- and not all of you will like them!) and Kyle went to meet them out by the gate. They always try to sell us additional items and when Elijah (Mr. I don’t have any school shoes cuz someone stole them out of my house) pulled out his most recent creation Mr. Kyle couldn’t wait to rush back to the house and dig out the needed money to make a purchase. Kyle comes back in the house where I am making dinner with a ridiculous grin on his face and announces that he has found his Birthday present (April 6th in case you are wondering- the big 3-0 for him!) and that I should go buy it for him. We dug up the money and I sent Kyle back out to buy it for fear that I would get roped into buying something else.
I’ve learned that Kyle’s taste is well…how do I put this delicately…interesting.
It came as no surprise when he came back through the gate carrying this:
Yes folks, a duck/basket- dasket if you will- constructed out of palm. It’s actually quite amazing. Our friends here thought it was pretty awesome and we all agreed that it was kind of like something you would find in Ten Thousand Villages. So there it is folks. We got a dasket and Elijah got his new shoes. Kind of brings a tear to your eye.
Really though, TOMS are ugly, overpriced shoes. I’m gonna have to check on Elijah’s purchase and make sure they are decent, durable, sensible looking shoes- and I draw the line when he starts asking us to buy him girl’s jeans. Please don’t leave comments defending TOMS. I’ve linked to their website about a million times so that should be enough to prove that we’re not trying to steal business from TOMS.
Although we will take orders for daskets.