Beauty school with the Bits begins again! This time on my birthday!
Once again, I have the privilege of sharing knowledge with 20 ladies at 31 Bits. Today, we learned about chemical relaxing. On the grass they sat as I relaxed Agnes’s hair, one of the jewelry makers. When I learned her name, I told her Agnes was my grandmother’s name. After that all the women called her Grandma for the rest of the day!
As the class went on, their curiosity and interest peaked. It was so beautiful to me. The questions going back and forth from English to Luo, their native language, it was clear that they have a yearning for knowledge.
Knowing that running water is one of the few luxuries of Africa, we did what we could with what we had. That means we rinsed her hair with buckets of water. Four buckets to be exact. Janet poured the water while I took the relaxer out of her hair as Pamela and Jackie caught the water in an empty bucket below her head. It was a sight to see. Teamwork at its best!
Not once did I miss having a shampoo sink with warm running water with water pressure. Being able to be with these ladies teaching them how they will do hair in their own element was such an indescribable experience. Having them pay such close attention to every detail of my lecture was so much more rewarding than teaching on any platform in the States. They valued everything I said. They were grateful just to have knowledge.
In the 2 days I taught in Uganda, I learned so much about a culture of women I never thought I would meet. I have done hair for the seasonal catalogs and fashion shoots for 31 Bits in America for the past year and only heard about these incredible hardworking women. To have, not only the opportunity to meet them, but also to really get to know them and hear about their lives has been life-changing for me. Seeing such undeniable strength and diligence in women who have seen the world at its darkest is so inspirational.
Thank you, Kallie, for your vision and passion to help to lost, the hurting, and the suffering. These ladies have looked to you for so much support and you have given them so much more. You have empowered them to stand on their own. Independent. Strong. Courageous.
As we leave Uganda tomorrow, I am feeling more than ever like there is more work to do. I would love to come back here and continue the education of the lovely ladies. They are so determined. They are all so willing to learn. They all want so badly to be successful. And I want so badly for them to succeed!
In Kisses From Katie (a book that I think everybody should read!), Katie Davis talks about her life in the red dirt in Uganda. She says that everyday her life in Uganda has been filled with unforgettable experiences. Every day she has been there she experiences something heart-breaking, yet she has such a sense of fulfillment and purpose. In my 5 days there, I have a small understanding of how she feels. I know I am here to help women provide for their children in dignified way. I know that I am to make people aware about the injustices of this world. Whether they care or not, now they know. But, for me, knowing is not an action. I hope and pray that my friends and family and anyone else I meet at home understand that.