Posted by Matt Bush

If you have been following All Things New for a while, then you know that for the past 3 years we have had a school shoe shopping day for our older kids a few weeks before school starts.  It is really fun, really hot, and really long.  Just to set the stage (you can click here to read last year’s blog) we shop at an outdoor market in a nearby city called Leogane.  You walk through the market and you can buy anything including “fresh” fruit, vegetables, padlocks, irons, machetes, clothes (used and new), rice, meat, etc.  It is really hot and there is shade that people have put up to keep themselves and their products out of the sun.  However, this shade was clearly put up by people who are less than 5’6 for people who are less than 5’6…Unfortunately I am 6’4 and this makes it much more difficult to get around.

With that said, the kids were excited about seeing what type of products we could find this time.  Inevitably, they find something they like and the sellers ask for more than double the price that they will actually get.  Every single year, the kids come back and tell me that everything is too expensive.  Every single year I tell them to go back and offer a lower price.  

This year, our boys were specifically looking for Nike, Adidas, and Converse.  Our girls just wanted to buy something “beautiful.”  It was really funny to see how ready the girls were to grossly overpay for a product of low quality while the boys haggled relentlessly for the brands that they wanted.

Misthafa and Dinna really wanted a boot with a small heel this year.  They were willing to pay all of their money for one pair of shoes (they had enough for 2) just to get that specific look.  Luckily, before they purchased, I saw them and told them to offer 750 HTG instead of the 2000 HTG that they were about to pay.  They got their shoes for 750 HTG.

Tony, on the other hand, found some Nikes that everyone else was paying 1,250 HTG for and he would not pay more than 1000 no matter what.  He just kept asking, the guy said no, and Tony walked around a little more and came back and asked again.  In the end, I just gave him an extra 250 HTG (about $2.75) to get the shoes he wanted.

It is really fun to see their personalities come out.  Some of them are determined to get exactly what they want for exactly the price they think they should pay.  Some of them will pay any amount of money for the style they want, and some of them just don’t really care (Herbison fell into this camp this year for the first time).  They just find some shoes and buy them.  Kervinson, for some reason, was really determined to buy 3 pairs of shoes with his money.  So he found 3 pairs of shoes that fit in his price range and bought all 3.  

At the end of the day, we stopped by the local convenient store and I bought them all (we took 17 shopping this year) a drink and a snack and then we went home.  They were all, maybe for the first time ever, extremely happy with their purchases.  Nobody left disappointed, and it only took about 3.5 hours for all 17 of them to find shoes.


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