But since that time, my blog has managed to generate feedback in a surprising number of ways. I have been touched along the way to find out that I have some dedicated followers and I have been pleased to learn that my posts have presented learning opportunities or that I have managed to share a new and fresh perspective on a tired topic, experiencing life overseas.
Every once in a while I will hear from a friend who casually mentions something I know I have not told them directly, and it quickly becomes obvious they have read about my experiences on my blog. Thanks for reading friends and family.
But there was one time, when I received the below message in response my post entitled East meets West, and Back Again:
Thank you for blogging yours truly and the SFW [Swahili Fashion Week] on your blog...much appreciative.
Fashion Guru/Managing Director
Mustafa Hassanali HAUTE COUTURE
Thank you Mustafa, this message was truly inspiring.
Then there was the time when I received a personal phone call from the owner of Le Corsica, he informed me that when he read the contents of this post to his mother, she cried tears of joy and pride.
Thank you, P.F. I remain dually impressed with your culinary adventures in Dar es Salaam (and a superior darts player).
But two weeks ago, in response to my post Fanciful Excuses, I received perhaps what is the best form of feedback possible. A mere sidenote mention of a broken Lululemon messanger style bag, generated the following message from Lululemon's Online Community Educator, she wrote:
"I’m sorry to hear about your experience with our bags. I would love to know what bag specifically you have had issues with, as it sounds like something worth passing along to our Quality Assurance team. We are dedicated to producing quality items, both clothing and accessories and I’m sorry to hear that you have had these issues.
Have you gotten a chance to return the bag to a local store? If not, we’d be happy to offer you a refund or replacement bag. As an alternative to the style you have already tried, I’d recommend our Cruiser Backpack. It is extremely practical and durable and my personal favourite of any of our bags: http://shop.lululemon.com/
Cruiser_Backpack/pd/c/620/np/ 620/p/1046.html. I look forward to hearing back from you and working to find a solution to your bag dilemma."
Now seriously folks, this is customer service at its finest. Not only was she proactive in reaching out to me in the first place, but she was creative and thoughtful in her approach to helping me find a replacement bag, even offering to overnight ship a new backpack to my mother who could carry it with her on her recent visit here. And so it seems, I no longer have a viable excuse for not riding my bike straight to the gym after work!
But the best part, is that this backpack is AWESOME! Upon laying his eyes on it, a good friend said, I am buying one immediately upon my return to the U.S. A gentlemen in my office spotted my new backpack on my desk at work and immediately started thumbing through all of the secret compartments in deep adoration. Thank you Lululemon, I am now in possession of a highly coveted object and remain a truly loyal customer. Many, many thanks.