Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Braids, Beads, and Pimp Suits

Every week I meet with Tamyra for Partners in Discipleship.  She is learning about taking responsiblity for herself - pray that she will desire to make good choices. 

I've also been braiding her hair.  Braiding is one of my favorite hobbies.  It gives me an excuse to be in the home of camp kids and to have them in my home.  And since it takes a minute it gives me an opporunity for lots of time and conversations with kids.  It works out great because I see a chance to braid as a privelege and since just about everybody else thinks it's quite the chore there is always somebody's mama willing to let me braid their child's head.

This is Tamyra - she wanted a mohawk.  I had to explain to some friends how exactly this is a mohawk, but just trust that it is. :-)
The top of the mohawk.  We were all pleasantly surprised it came out like this! Hahahaa.

So anyway, the other day me an Myree decided that we were going to put letter beads into her hair.  You can buy beads a dollar a bag, but we went to Michael's and bought $5 dollar a bag beads just so we could do this idea.
Of course, we had to plan ahead for what words we were going to spell on her braids.  It was a little challenging since the design I did had 48 braids ... but we only had like 11 of the letter "e", which comes up a LOT.  So we were trying to think of words that didn't have "e"s, but we wanted nice words like "princess" and "rainbow" and "Jesus" instead of just random words like "box" - we never did get an x in there. :-)  And of course we had to use her brother's names, so she had a braid that said "Tavaris" and a braid that said "Tavontay" ... and a braid that said "MissMegan"! 
It was a lot of fun and we loved how it turned out, but it definitely took us a ridiculously LONG time!  She had 3 bangs with her first, middle, and last name on them.  Tamyra said that people on the bus ask her if they can read her hair.  :-)

When I go to do Bible study with Tamyra there is sometimes a man standing on the corner at the beginning of her housing community.  I've only seen him a couple of times but I remember him because he has some spectacular suits.  He walks up and down the same piece of sidewalk every day.  So far I've seen him in a peach suit with gold strips and an all pink suit.  And he always has all the trimmings.

Well, today was certainly the best suit so far.  And since nobody believes me when I tell them about the kinds of things that I see in the city, I decided to try to take his picture.  So I made Nakeisha walk to his corner with me so I could ask him if I could take his picture.

He introduced himself as "I'm Percy, the retired pimp".  Really, that was how he introduced himself.  We stood and talked for a few minutes about where he gets his suits and how he's retired and how he likes to still come out to this corner so everybody can see what a real suit is like. 

I told Percy that where I'm from most of the suits are boring and some people don't believe me when I tell them that there are suits like this out there ... and would it be okay if I took a picture?  I actually think I made his whole afternoon, cuz he started posing and pointing out details of his suit.  He was very friendly and told me that I could stop by again for a picture of his next suit (which I will surely do).  He has 283 suits and wears one every day.
Now I realize that in this case a picture really is worth a thousand words.  But let me just point out a couple of details that are my favorite:
* His pimp cane has fur on it!!!!!  Who has that?!
* His shoes, pants, jacket, and cane all have matching purple satin.
* Notice the white glove ...
* His hat has craft rhinestones on it, and there's red feather you can only sorta see.

But for sure my favorite part has got to be the glitter glue!  Yup, that's a glitter glue butterfly!  And just in case you can't read it his suit jacket says (in glitter glue): Percy, Top Dog, Chicago, and King.  I really wanted to ask how much his specially-made suit cost, but since we just met and all....  So the next time I try to tell you a story about something that I've seen in Chicago I'm gonna need you to believe me. :-)

I've been trying to convince my friend to let me mail her a Easter suit from Chicago for her son.  I wonder if I can get this in a little boy size 5? :-) 

More Winter Blasting

The second session of Winter Blast was great!  We had the perfect weekend for winter camping.  Which you wouldn't really think exists, but with almost 80 great kids, packable snow, and temps in the 40s we had a blast!  Enjoy the pics!
This is my friend Nakeisha's son, Tavaris.  He is every bit as sweet as he is cute.  When I took this picture I told him that I was going to show it to his mom and she was going to be upset because he doesn't have on his hat and gloves.  (I was right.)  People here are constantly fussing at me for not having on a "respectable coat" and my hat and gloves.  Little do they know that the fact I've given up my flip flops for the winter is a recent advacement!
The Great Klondike Derby.  Teams pull a dogsled along a trail in the woods and do team building activities at stations throughout the race.
Autumn, me, and Jalayah
So... what do you do when your boots get all wet?!
There are a lot of great sledding pictures.  Nakeisha's other son, Tavontay, is in the back.  I'm not all the way sure she's going to let me take them to Winter Camp again since he's not wearing his hat either.  But he is sure having fun!
This is me being unsure about sledding.  It's a surprisingly big hill - and I doubt very much that Autumn knows how to steer any more than I do.  But I had to go, cuz, well.... camp is for the campers.  And Miss Jessica made me.  Not to worry - we didn't crash.

My friend Elizabeth and our new friend Jamar.
Ivelisse and Jalayah at the park.