A couple of weeks ago I was back in Africa. The purpose of my trip was twofold. First I went to Kenya to visit Patrick and to pick up inventory for a new business we are starting – selling Maasai Beaded Dog Collars to raise money to send the children of his village to school (A lot more detail and information to follow very shortly). I also went to meet clients on the coast of Tanzania and Zanzibar to help out with the kayaking portion of their safari (stay tuned for that as well).
One of things you notice many of the Maasai wearing are sandals made out of old tires. What is interesting about these shoes is they have no heel or toe. Patrick told me that the reason for this is that unless you are an experienced Maasai tracker you can’t tell from the foot prints which direction the wearer was walking.
In looking at the shoes I thought they would make great water/kayaking shoes to wear and asked Patrick if we could get a pair. In typical Patrick fashion he said no problem! He told me we would get them at the town of Namaga, which is the border town between Kenya and Tanzania and where I would be crossing over.
I thought we would just pick up a pair, but soon learned that is not how it is done. They are custom made for you! You select a pair of treads that looks good for you. You then step into them and the shoemaker than fixes the straps at the right place for your foot. After attaching them with nails he then trims the rubber and voila! A pair of African Customized Shoes ready for wearing! Check out the video!