Jislaaik!! Better Pasop! We're headed to to Cape Town South Africa in September. That means the office will be closed from the 9th to the 28. Now, now -- don't tune us grief. We'll be back to send you all kinds of lekker goodies in the mail and have a skop, skiet en donner Update for you too!

Need some quick Africaan lessons? Click here and you'll be talking like a real Boet in no time! Jawelnofine...

September 14
Four Days in Dieppe

We've got a seven hour lay-over in Frankfurt. That's time enough to check email again, upload the Update, and beg for an upgrade.... By dawn, we'll be over South Africa and headed for Cape Town.

Dieppe was a real pleasure this year.

Being a tourist instead of a formal guest gave Susie and I a chance to relax. We didn't have to staff tables, fly scheduled performances, or make the morning meetings. Our hotel overlooking the field and beach served breakfast in bed, and the French rain was even graceful enough to only come at night.

A flier in the crowd

The international kite gathering in Dieppe takes place every two years. The city is set back from the beach by wide, grassy fields which are perfect for flying. A medieval castle dominates the cliffs at the edge of town. And from our hotel, we can see a long stretch of tents featuring the thirty-nine countries represented.

South Africa Australia Korea

Part of the magic of this event is the broad spectrum of cultures, traditions, and flying styles present. Each year, the Dieppe organizer seek out more unusual kites and kiters who bring creations of nylon, tissue, washi and silk to share.

India USA Ukraine

It is also a gathering of fast friends. The Gombergs have been at the festival six times. That's twelve years to get to know the fliers. Each time we return, everyone takes time to tease each other about graying hair and growing waistlines.

Tasmania Viet Nam Belgium

But we also take time to meet new friends and to appreciate their unique contribution to our global kite heritage. Tents take turns during the week hosting parties so that the festival becomes a smorgasbord of ethnic foods as well as ethnic kites. And each night, the small groups drinking wine in local restaurants stay out later and later.

Chile Japan Germany Columbia

Dieppe isn't the massive show of Berck or Long Beach. But the kites are works of art. Kitemasters delight in showing off older showpieces or unveiling new ones. Large inflatables vie with appliquéd edos, darting fighters, or long Asian dragons and centipedes.

Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites

Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites Dieppe Kites

With such a show in the sky, and so many good people at the end of their lines, we almost hated to leave. But there are more adventures to be had on the next leg of our journey.

The sun is setting in Germany and we'll soon be boarding for the overnight flight. Cape Town is a mere eleven hours away. And this time, we cross no time zones. I probably wont sleep well, but at least there won't be jet lag to contend with too.

Check back next week for news of the South Africa festival. See you then!

Auctioner in Action

Have I got a deal for you!

We recently brought in a Mid-Size Peter Lynn Fugu. And as long as a box was on the way, it made sense to order two and save some shipping costs. But now I have an extra one that needs a home.

These bouncing Fun Puffer Fish are 13 feet tall and about as much fun as you can stuff in a kite bag. The list price is $2000. But I'll take $250 off for the first person to email me.

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