Monday, July 30, 2007

Guess who I met in Maryland?

I will blog about the entire DC trip before the week is up, but I didn't want to go too long without sharing that I got a visit to the hotel the night before we departed from two LHBE blogger sistahs in the DC area. Ms. Ayankha and Ms. Sunsail! I called Sunsail and she called Ayankha and we then made plans to meet up. It was such a blessing to finally meet them. Next time I'll have to meet the rest of the DC/MD ladies.

You know the first thing we did after hugging each other was to dig in each other's hair! You would have thought it was a high school, college, sorority reunion. We all have different hair textures and are in different stages of our lock journey, so it was very special to have some of the girls on the trip see Sisterlocks up close on someone else's head other than mine. I got plenty of flack from them about nappy hair being ugly so most weren't feeling my locks. As I've stated before, Waco is braid, weave, perm city.

When they saw the three of us together, they were mesmerized with what they saw. The ladies were a delight. We talked about blogging, school, our hair, their SOs and other random topics. Next time Ayankha and Sunsail, I'll have to make a trip where I have the freedom to get out and about so ya'll can show me the town. Ya'll know you need to go ahead and have a natural hair gathering ASAP! But for now, I'm happy for the fellowship we shared.

These kids, boys and girls a like were super exposed to the world of real natural hair and locs. Most all boys and girls alike were encurlturated (my made up word) on the difference between traditional locs, loc extensions, Sisterlocks, freeformed locks, twists, etc. I had my Sisterlock journals passing them around as well as the No Lye book, by Tulani Kinard. The biggest immersion they experienced was Sunday afternoon in Hanover, MD at the BLVD., for those of you who know where that shopping strip is. Now ya'll know black folks on a Sunday afternoon...Church goers too tired to or desiring not to cook piled into Golden Coral. And I tell you it was locks, locs, locz galore. From men, to women, in all shapes and sized. They kept saying, "Miss Evans, what are those? Are those Tradional, Sisterlocks? Freeform? His locs are sexy (referring to a brother who's traditionals were tight)." It's like over time, they softened up about the idea of wearing natural hair. There were lots of younger brothers with locks to and past their shoulders. Now there were some folks who had their locks pretty unkept (mostly men). But it was their total package that displayed such a site. Most everyone else had their locs in check. I had to remind the kids that for every kind of hair style, you have some jacked up looks, perms, naturals, whatever.

The big question was, "If you don't want it anymore, you have to cut it off, right?" I kept telling them that if they had a perm and decided they didn't want a perm anymore, they'd simply cut the perm off, with regard to those of us who lock. That seemed to shut them up. When it rained or they went swimming, it took a toll on lots of the girls' hair. I kept smiling and reminding them that benefits to having locked hair was freedom from "wet hair" drama.

I'm just glad they were exposed. Mind you, you can count on both hands the number of locked folks in Waco, Tx. So this was a big for many of them. One thing I did learn was that it will take more information, self-love and positive expression naturally to turn the titanic mentality around with all generations.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Month 43 Slideshow

I took these pics somewhere between my Mexico and DC trip. No curls, no styles, just free stylin. I think I was taking a break between retightening. There's a little bit of photo editing with HP Premiere.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

From New York to Mexico to Washington, DC

Well, I guess I can say that this is the summer of travel for me. It all started in May when I told my cousin Chris that I wanted to share in the celebration of her getting her bachelor's degree from Monroe College. The graduation was oddly on a Monday, June 11th, but since school was out for us, I was determined to be there. She and are are the same age and I've watched her from a far work two jobs and raise her daughter as a single mom and go to school. She's got a lot of strength and when she has her eyes on the prize, she goes and gets it! Jen decided she'd join me and what do you know, they overbooked our flight from Waco to DFW! We were given $500 in travel voucher and a nice free trip in a white stretch limo in return for giving up our seats. We had a nice relaxing time hanging out with family and just chillin' lazily around good ole' Money Earnin' Mt. Vernon, NY. We even got to check out my cousin's daughter, Jade play a few games of minor league baseball. She just turned nine in May and is a little athlete, I might say!

We spent quality time with my aunt, uncle, and my other cousins and before you knew it, it was time to go! The graduation was beautiful, even though it poured down raining afterwards. During the trip however, I spent a good amount of time chatting back and forth with Sunsail who had planned a trip to see her mother in Brooklyn and Cluizel, who just happens to be a native of Mt. Vernon, about how we could all hook up at Carol's Daughter and perhaps go out to eat in the city. Unfortunately, Sunsail and I didn't get to meet, but we had so much fun chatting and going back and forth about blogging and Sisterlocks. I think I even spoke with her after the quite interesting conversation she had with her mother and aunt. I'll be in her area this week and hope we can get together. Jen and I did get to meet Miss Cluizel and Mr. Nicolay on our last night in town. Please view the slide show.

My trip to Mexico seemed to have flown by. It's hard to believe it's over. Hopefully the pictures will express the beauty of the area I stayed as well as visited. Now all my photos from my Mexico trip aren't organized, but if time permits before school starts, I'll put together a whole video. If not, what you see is what you get. Of course I know eleven days is not enough to soak it all up and return fluent and all, but it was definitely a kick in the pants to get serious about getting my Spanish back. I shall be enrolled in night classes this fall and doing private study on my own. Photos from my fotki album are here.

Now on to Washington, DC. I accepted a position at a school in our district, G.L. Wiley to teach 7th Math. I am scared, nervous, anxious, excited, and all those feelings 1st yr teachers have, I suppose. The school was on the brinks of closure this year but the state is going to give them one more chance to get their act together. The principal was a 6th grade Math teacher and the person I am replacing was promoted to Instructional Specialist at the same school. Also, on top of that, the 8th Math teacher was moved to that school specifically to help improve TAKS test scores because of her experience and expertise. She really turns students around. I say all that to say, he (the principal) assured me I was going to get good support. The school has had several years of a black cloud hanging over it, so it will be a challenge as well as a motivation to do my job and do it well. The student population is predominately black in a cyclical low income, high crime, drop out, high drug etc. area. Even with the negative stigma that has been placed on the school, I am hopeful.

Well in the morning, a group of about 40 of those students from the school will be taking a nine day Civil Rights Heritage Tour. Most of these children would never have an opportunity such as this to leave their home town and visit places in geography and history which focus specifically on Black History. The County Commissioner, Lester Gibson, who organizes this annually, counts it a pleasure to serve this particular black community's youth by exposing them to this type of excursion.

We will depart at 6:30am in the morning en route to West Memphis, Arkansas by tomorrow evening. Friday (20th) we depart for Lenoir, Tennessee by way of Franklin. Saturday (21st) we leave Tennessee for Roanoke, VA, and by Saturday night, we should be in Landover Hills, MD. I'll be calling Sunsail cause she said if I got close, she'd try and catch up with me. We will spend the next three days from Sunday-Tuesday in the DC area with our state Senator, Chet Edwards, Capitol area tour, and a visit to Howard University. We may go to church, too, but I am not sure where. By Wednesday morning (25th), we will make our retreat back to Waco via the same route arriving back home into Waco by 5:30pm Friday July 27th.

Well as usual I have to do the dreaded packing, which I totally abhor, but since we meet at 6:30 in the morn, I guess I'll stay up til I can't stay up no more.

I'll have to attend to the requests in the Locked Hair Blog Exchange in August. I'm too tired right now. Blessings.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Catedral, Las Mananitas and Taxco

Yesterday we visited Catedral y Convento Fanciscano de la Asuncion. Thankfully we arrived just in time for pray and a few pictures before they closed for la comida.

Last night we had dinner at Las Mananitas. It was once a part of El Madrigal, so the ambiance is pretty similar. Check out the peacocks. The picture may be too dark. They really added to the occasion.

Today we will visit Taxco. Hopefully we will have lots of shade to check out the shops. It is about an hour and a half drive from Cuernavaca, where we are staying.

Photos from my Mexico trip can be found here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Four Days left in Mexico

Thank you to everyone who has checked in me while I am away. This is a picture of my roommate Irene and me at El Madrigal, a beautiful hotel/restaurante in town. I´ll write more later when I get to the internet cafe. They give students limited time while at school. Today is my last day of school. The rest of the trip will be outings and the such! Blessings!

Oh and having Sisterlocks on this trip has been great!

Photos from my Mexico trip can be found here.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I Passed!

On my way to Mexico! I'll try and update when I find an internet cafe! Thanks for the prayers!

Monday, July 02, 2007