An excerpt from the journal of Molly Welch (an intern at Made In The Streets, Nairobi, Kenya)
Salon Day With The Mothers…
On Monday I put together a day of relaxation for the mothers in Eastleigh. I had supplies for washing and drying hair, facials, and manicures and pedicures. I took five girls from here that work in the hair salon to help me out; Nancy, Halima, Lucy M., Lucy W., and Patricia. We get there, set up, and just as we are bringing in the women the electricity goes out! T.I.A. (This Is Africa). The day was planned to be outside in the open courtyard, but it meant there would be no washing and drying hair. Oh well, you do what you can. Truthfully though, God knew what he was doing. We had more women there than ever before, almost thirty. We spent over three hours just doing nails and facials. If we had tried to wash and fix hair like we had planned we would have been there at least another four hours. For the first hour I kept praying for the electricity to come back on and then I realized that sometimes unanswered prayers are really good.
Including Ann and I we had a total of seven people working on the mothers. We had three people scrubbing hands and feet, two people cutting and filing the nails, and two painting the nails. I helped paint the nails. It was amazing to watch the girls scrubbing the women’s feet. They spent so much time with each lady, they were gentle, and they did not rush to get it over with. These girls once lived on the streets and they know how special something like this is. The feet were dirty (the American thought of dirty does not even come close to African dirty) and many of the nails were black and brittle. Each mother was made to feel special.
They have done manicures for the woman before, but most of them are new since I have been here so the majority had never had anything like this done before. The only person that had washed their feet was themselves. The only color that had ever been on their nails was black from the dirt and dead nail bone. The women were grinning from ear to ear and no one left without saying thank you. Ann was filing and cutting nails and afterward she told me that she had scrapped years of dirt and dead skin off of some of the women. Also several women thanked her because they had never had their nails cut before. Can you imagine?
Hollye Conway kept the kids in another room while we were with the mothers so it was nice and peaceful. I have never heard it that quiet at the center before. The women were quietly waiting around, smiling, and watching in amazement. Although I was painting nails non stop for three hours, it was the most peaceful day I have had in Eastleigh. The mothers were happy and carefree, at least for a little while.
This challenges me to want to something like this here for single mothers. Possibly we could do this for some of the mothers at WRCCC.