Most of us gringos from North America own far too many shoes. When all five of my children were living at home I had two huge racks set up in the garage that could hold at least twenty pair of shoes each and they were not large enough. My youngest son Scott had a weekly task of cleaning up the shoe racks. There were LOTS of shoes!
When we moved down to Ecuador Mary and I went through our shoes and selected two or three pair each to bring with us. Somehow over the years we have accumulated more and more pairs (mostly beach shoes). But, even though I have a wide selection of sandals and beach shoes, I still reach for my trusty Teva sandals almost every day.
This is actually the second pair of Teva sandals I have had here in Ecuador. The first pair lasted almost three years and simply wore out. We got this new pair a couple of years ago and I have worn them at least four days a week since then. A few weeks ago I noticed that the left shoe was getting a bit loose and then last week the front strap on the left shoe pulled out of the sole. It had been glued in place and I did not know if they could be repaired.
I took the shoes down to Jose’s shoe repair shop in San Jacinto. He looked them over and told me he could fix them, so I left them with him last Friday to repair. Since the left shoe had gone bad, I left the right shoe too and asked him to check that out while he was at it.
Today I went back over to San Jacinto to pick up the shoes. Jose had gone above and beyond and had not only reglued the strap, but had sewn it to the sole as well.
Then Jose proudly showed me that he had reglued and sewn all of the other straps on both shoes.
The heavy stitching goes up through the sole and the strap and into the inside sole area securely fastening the staps far better than simple glue would do.
As I took out my wallet to prepare to pay Jose for the excellent work I noticed that I only had eleven dollars. We had not discussed what the price might be, so I wondered if I might need to go over to the bank to pay him. But when I asked Jose, “Cuánto cuesta?” I was amazed to hear, “Dos doláres.”
That is right, just two dollars! I splurged and gave him a dollar tip and wore the repaired sandals home.
Once again we heartily recommend bringing all of your shoe repair work to our friend Jose. His shop is located directly across the street from the bank building in downtown San Jacinto.
Thanks to Jose’s excellent work, all of my other shoes can rest easy in the back closet for at least another year.
Life is good in Ecuador!