Wednesday, 8 August 2012
Today I got to thinking about shoes - its is pouring with rain here today and my "waterproof" boots are soaked through - so cannot feel my feet from my knees down - why on earth do they advertise waterproof as a selling feature when they are anything but! I wouldn't be moaning now if they had just told me the truth, but then I wouldn't be blogging either. Living in Africa has its challenges as we have no central heating and my office has a tin roof so it's either sauna or fridge. Today I feel like I am sitting in a chest freezer and I started thinking about shoes - it started with my boots and my brain jumped to Lindy's chews/shoes. Lindi is a fabulous woman who arrived at the Hillcrest centre about four years ago as one of the Thursday beaders these are crafters who have a long lineage of beading their mothers beaded, their grandmothers beaded and their great grandmothers beaded. You just don't get better than that! These are women who for them beading is part of their everyday fabric of life, their life is connected by a series of dots.... the beads that have carried them from one generation to the next. Anyway Lindy had great talent and one day a heap of Ostrich eggs came into the centre and we asked Lindy to bead one - what came back was truly amazing - it was like her soul had been laid bare on that egg. Since then Lindy has beaded a lot of eggs and we have had a few close shaves, as once when I ordered eggs on line - the farmer from the Eastern Cape nearly sent me fertilised eggs, I had a few moments where I panicked at the thought of 30 baby Ostrich's hatching at the centre and all of us trying to contain them.
Then a pair of shoes was brought into the centre and I thought I wonder if Lindy could bead these.....and yes she did, they were amazing, incredible we nicknamed them Jimmy Chews, our Chews with an African twist. We have had several customers come in and order shoes from Lindy and she now has a thriving business and cant keep up with all the orders for shoes. One pair of shoes was so outrageous that I asked Hle who had taken the order if she was a young woman trying to get a handle on who would order such a shoe- Hle said no she in her 50's. Ive never had a major shoe fetish that some women seem to have, I have several pairs of homemade beaten up leather types- half puppy chewed! The day this woman came in to pick up her shoes she put them on and to my unbelief danced around the shop - so was her joy in her shoes- It made me reconsider how I look at shoes now - I see shoes can be incredibly powerful ,or in my case disappointing, but now I want to get me a pair of those - shoes that make you scream with delight and make you want to wiggle your bottom, and that have also transformed the life of a incredible little woman- Lindy. www.dreamsforafrica.org.za