Monday, 21 November 2011

Jambus in Somalia

        On a trip to Somalia I knew it would be hot and I would need to dress comfortably and have comfortable shoes on. I remembered I had a fantastic pair of J-41’s that I owned almost 7 years ago, I went on a search for something similar. What I found was my new pair of Jambu Odyssey’s in Grey – comfy, sturdy and versatile enough to use in meetings with officials or on the trail. Although I loved the brown and Oreo colors, I knew the dirt and mud I would encounter would blend a lot better with the Grey, especially if I needed to meet a Minister following a particularly “dirty” day! 
       With having only one paved road that runs the length of the country, south to north, Mogadishu to Hargeisa – our vehicle had to make many 4-wheel excursions into the dry, drought laden desert of Central Somalia. The furthest destination for our team was the village Eyl, located on the Indian Ocean. Here we experienced the fruit of our labors and funding!3 While visiting the school, women’s training center, income generating activity of selling fuel, water well and 4 water points we covered quite a lot of ground.The temperature outside was a soaring 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit and the sweat would run down my face and back with the multiple layers of clothing I had on, but my feet were always dry and comfortable! The small holes and semi open nature of the Jambu Odyssey’s allowed for sand to enter but it also allowed air and that same openness allowed me to shake the sand out quickly and easily without holding up our schedule!                    
             Following a particularly large crowd gathering, when I stopped to visit a water point, shake the sand from my shoes and hold a baby goat,4 I was informed that we needed to move quickly and drink our cokes in the car, because if not, we would be drinking them in the company of pirates, who had just entered the periphery of the village to see what was causing all the commotion! On a daily basis I knew I had made the right choice for footwear. From the moment I put the shoes on when leaving my home in Oslo, Norway to the moment I returned, these were the only shoes I wore and I was just as happy on the first day of the trip as I was on the last day! Thanks Jambu for making me presentable and comfortable all with one shoe!