Girls will be Girls


Lalu and I had an adventure going down to a nearby village because she wanted to show me what a pulo tree was (more about that adventure later). The pulo tree is covered with fuzzy red pods containing seeds that can be used as face and body paint. The seeds use to be used to paint “bilas” (decoration- both verb and noun) on the skin during traditional singsings or other celebrations. This shows up beautifully on their black skin but just gives me a red-tinged jaundice. Anyway- Lalu and I brought back a branch of this tree to Kapawa in order to show Steve and whoever else wanted to see it. When I got back, I sat down below my house and just storied with the women who were around. Their children were all playing in and around the classroom and some of them were very curious what this red fuzzy plant was (it doesn’t grow in Kapawa so the little ones had never seen it). I broke open a couple of pods and showed them that it could be used to paint their skin- then after convincing them that it was not edible, I went back to talking with the mothers. I watched out of the corner of my eye as these young girls proceeded to paint their finger and toe nails with the seeds. Then one of the older girls painted each of their faces. It was very cute to watch these beautiful little girls bilas themselves and each other.


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