Monday, March 4, 2013

Salon Lisa

Tabita came into our house the other day, looking for a book to read.  She does this from time to time.  She stood at the edge of the porch and, when we waved her inside, pointed to the back room where we keep our large collection of children's books.  

"Esse livro?"  She asked.  "Esse ler?"  This book?  This read?

Normally, nobody is allowed to rifle through (much less enter!) our house, as it's our own personal sanctuary.  As Romao's seven-year old sister, however, she has more privileges than the other kids in the neighborhood.  I gave her permission to go into the back room and pull out a book.  When she re-emerged, three minutes later, she was carrying eight books and a bottle of blue nail polish.

"Esse livros," she said.  "e esse azul!"  This books, and this blue! 

Tabita flipped through the books for about ten minutes while I got dressed and put up my hair. Then, suddenly, I noticed the smell of nail polish.  I came running into the living room.  Tabita had evidently tired of reading to herself and was now perched at the edge of the sofa, painting her fingers blue from base to knuckle to tip.

"No, Tabita!"  I said.  "That's not how you do it!  And use that outside!  Outside!"  I shuffled her out of the house.  

"Here," I said, settling down on the front step.  "Do you want help painting your nails?"

"Sim," she said.  Yes.

We sat there together, facing one another.  I was crouched down, low, trying to squint and paint within the cuticles.  I was in the middle of my second or third nail when Tabita's older sister showed up to watch.  

"Eu, Lisa," she said.  Me too.

"Sure," I said.  "You're next."

As you can imagine, word spread quickly around the neighborhood.  Suddenly I had ten or twelve little girls begging to get their nails painted.  Even the boys wanted to get "just one or two."  Before I knew it, I was hosting a regular salon.  

It was pretty silly, considering the fact that I don't even paint my own nails.  I was way out of my league, but the girls couldn't tell.  For most of the younger ones, it was their first time wearing nail polish.  

Angelina's first manicure
Blue nails!
Approximately twelve different sets of hands
Tabita shows off her pretty blue nails

It was a cute little Peace Corps moment in an otherwise quiet Zobue weekend.  

Thank you, Chelsea, for bringing that nail polish.  It didn't exactly end up with Rabeca's family, but it is being put to good use!  I'm saving the purple for later.