Friday, December 26, 2008


With the experience of purchasing and shipping under my belt I am feeling bloated. I have long forgotten the hardship of the first encounter because I am off to another adventure. I am thinking that I am on EASY STREET but I had a rude awakening. I have googled{this is my new way of figuring out things} and found out where this distant village is located and garnered satisfying background information. The marketing manager has filled out the required application and has stated the amount of soccer shoes needed in each size. I am all revved up and ready to go shopping for 45 boys under 11 years old, living in the Songeni Village, South Africa.

Then I hit a roadblock. Try as I might I was unable to get the correct answer to what I thought was a very simple question: Are the shoes sizes in South Africa, the same as the sizes in USA? If not what is the equivalent? After numerous E-mails, all I have ended up with are conflicting answers. Even when I googled to the various web sites and there are plenty, I did not get any closer to the answer I sought. I took my question to the "man in the street"{people from the same Continent} and this is the answer I received: "In Senegal we use the European sizes but as for South Africa we are not sure if they go by the UK or European sizes." I am getting warmer and I thanked them for the warmth and honesty.

My steadfast search took me to a great web site in South Africa with mention of Nike as a sponsor to a few of their events. This I thought was my AHA moment. They invited you to E-mail if you had any questions. I gambled, thinking that if I gave a little praise about the wonders of the web site, it would elicit a response. I posed the same pressing question and almost instantaneously there was a reply. This was the dry response: The sizes are according to age.

Now I am in real trouble, I could not decipher what this terse message meant. I have read it over and over, I have shared it with high powered, knowledgeable persons{people who live in sneakers, buy sneakers backed by NBA players, people who do not own a pair of ordinary shoes, by choice, etc.} They too stumbled.

I am starting from ZERO. I cleared the commotion from my head and had a conversation with ME.
Your mission is to put a smile on the faces of these young boys and a brand new pair of soccer shoes on their feet.
You are ready to purchase, package and mail the goods.
You are ready to remove all obstacles and let this happen.
So I took matters in my hands and went to the other expert, a household member who googled and let me read about the purchasing of shoes in South Africa, there was the information I sought, in plain daylight. How could I have missed this? And now, I even have in my possession an International shoe size Conversion Charts/ Converter Tables for shoes sizes. After all sending the wrong sizes would do no good.

I continue to learn valuable lessons, having lots of patience is one of them. Watch out for updates in the Songeni Village Soccer Club. Who knows what lies ahead! What I know for sure is that if the shoes fit you can wear them.

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