It was a very rewarding day. After a nice breakfast of steamed fish in the Mercado I stopped on my way up the hill to visit with my favorite parrot, Matteo. Then another block up where I dropped in on my designer and picked up the first colored prototypes of our women’s moccasins, the Rhodes.


We still need to refine some of the finishing details but overall I am very pleased with them. These shoes continue our signature style bonding handwoven leather that is double lock-stitched to a reduced thickness version of our trademark recycled airplane tire soles. Making for a incredibly light, supple, long wearing and attractive piece of footware. My guys are now firmly convinced that we can now compete both in quality as well as style with the best of Europe but at a fraction of the price.

Afterwards I stopped by my neighborhood birria place that cooks up out on the sidewalk a big vat of goat stew twice a week over a gas fire. The meat is cut into manageable sized chunks then thrown into a huge stainless steel pot where it cooks for hours in a broth of cumin, chilies, garlic, bay leaf, onion and a bunch of other spices that are only native to Mexico. The cooked broth – called locally consommĂ©, and nothing like the bouillon based stuff I grew up with – might be the tastiest part of all. It is red and so unctuous that it is probably a meal in itself. And I didn’t forget to bring a big coffee mug with me so that I could have some of that decadently delicious brew to sip on my way back down the hill.

I bought a half kilo of chopped up meat. I got some of the rib meat, a piece of shoulder, and some of the butt. To which my friendly young neighbor threw in a nice big chunk of some of the tubular intestinal track and a few small plastic bags of salsa, chopped onion and cilantro and the ever ubiquitous limes.

I love my life here in beautiful old Michoacan. The people, the food, the perfect weather, and all the cute little kids I hear screaming with happiness as they play unsupervised across the street. If I were to die tomorrow I want you to know that these last two years have been two of the best years of my life. And I have absolutely no regrets.

For the record, for those of you that live in places like Ohio and Michigan, and take your 2-3 weeks of vacation every year, you have just no idea how people that possess so much less than you yet somehow manage to live so much better.

I just hope and pray that this shoe and sandal business takes off and these people get some payback (more jobs) for all of the kindnesses that they’ve extended to this old gringo.

And could it be – if I can’t build a viable company – that they could deport my sorry-assed self back to the United States? Damn. That would be a real kick in the pants. Because if I had my way I’d never step foot in the United States ever again. That last trip was enough for a lifetime. The thought of getting deported back to the land of plenty is positively frightening.