December 15, 2008
The Rest of the Story....

Plenty has been said about the wonderful festival in Cape Town this October. There have been write-ups on KiteLife, in Kiting, and of course, here in the Update. But most of you did not hear the story of what happened the day after...

Personal security in South Africa is much like you would expect in any major metropolitan area. You lock your doors, don't leave stuff lying around, and try to avoid certain neighborhoods unless you belong there.

Vehicle Damage

So after the event finished, we brought our vehicle back to the Inn, parked against a wall inside the fenced area, tucked the kite bags down out of sight, and locked the car and gate. I suppose I should have brought everything inside, but the bags were big and heavy, we were tired, and nothing could be seen from outside the fence.

Early the next day, I opened the gate and pulled the car around front to load up for the airport. Then I went back to lock the gate again. It was there that I noticed some broken glass near the wall. And I thought to myself, some poor dumb SOB got broken into here! A moment later, it occurred to me who that dumb SOB was...

We had three 70 pound bags in the back of the car. And amazingly, one had been pulled out through the window in the small space between the car and the wall. A quick inventory determined that we were missing three Fish, a Jaws Shark, two Pilots, our Racing Bols ... and the brand new Mega Meanie!

It might have been fun to see the face of these guys when they opened our bag and found a huge pile of fabric. I'm sure they were hoping for something better and had no idea what they'd got was $5000 worth of kites! I did a quick tour of the neighborhood with an eye on dumpsters, while Susie called to police. The reporting took an hour and both the Inn owner and the Cops were startled when we told them what the bag was worth. We decided that things could be worse -- kites can be replaced, the car was insured, and no one was hurt. We went to the airport, expecting that on our next trip to Cape Town we'd see disadvantaged kids from the local area all wearing bright blue ripstop shirts and dresses...

CT Kites

So this is where the story gets really surprising.

Ten days after we came home, a young fellow knocks on the door of the Inn. He says he saw some other kids break into a car, followed them, and stole the bag back. He wants to know if there is a reward!

Our innkeeper takes the bag and tells the kid his reward is that the police will not be called! Because he's convinced the good samaritian is also one of the perpetrators.

We had already begun ordering replacement kites when we got the email. We were stunned. I think the word is gob-smacked. Because we never expected to see those kites again. All we needed to do now was arrange to ship the package back to the States.

Bag Arrives Safe

Our friends in SA brought the bag to a parcel service and our FedEx account number ensured that things were properly paid. Then we sat back and anxiously followed the tracking reports.

Five days later, a bag arrives here. Not a box. Not a Wonder Duffel. A bag. A big stuff sack barely tied closed with a shipping label taped to the side. I quickly dug in, found the Pilots and Bols. All the stuff sacks had been removed. And just below I saw the bright blue fabric and knew we had the Meanie back.

Now frankly, I'm surprised the soft bag made it home without further theft or damage. But my faith in South Africa has been restored and I'm looking forward to some dry weather to test everything out. The story ended well.

Lesson learned? Next time I'll ask Susan to carry all the bags up the stairs and inside! ;)

Today there is snow falling here on the Oregon Coast. We're hunkered down , shipping holiday packages, printing gift certificates, preparing for a major inbound shipment, and organizing our program for the Kite Trade Show in January.

Susie's birthday was tasteful, as always. But we have delayed the annual Surprise Birthday Trip until mid-January to take care of year-end affairs. So the annual Birthday Sale will also be delayed a month.

Meanwhile, we've loaded four new videos to YouTube that feature a lot of big kites. Enjoy them!

Stay warm, remember to check the Factory Outlet for special savings, and check back next week for more news!

Cape Town International Kite Festival English language coverage from China of American Kiters in South Africa. Not bad!

Cape Fear Kite Party A perfect flying day with no rules, no boundaries, and no limits. Just come on down and join the fun!

PL Caillat Video

Colbie Caillat and Schiller Janis and Jay Sabic, Lyle Walter, Susie and I bringing our flying Octopus to a whole new audience.

PL Caillat - Making

The Making of "You" What a video shoot looks like on production day. Can you please move the five Octopus 20 feet to the right??

Sport Kites

Sport Kite Sale!

Super Savings - Ten days only!! Order any of our four Sport Kite designs before the end of Hanukah and we'll take off 30% Add line to the purchase and we'll discount that as well.

Check out the Temptation and Firefly, Charisma, or the Gull. These are great prices on great kites! And we can have one to you before the end of any of the December holidays... ;)

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