Hi Everyone! I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful spring, and looking forward to summer… I am!
The last time I had my haircut was 3 months ago when I took a quick visit home. My hair is still short, but as it grows out of the short cut, it becomes quite shaggy and unkempt, driving me crazy and shedding all that extra hair all over the boat. And I thought the cats were bad… I asked one of my dockmates, Jeanne, where she suggested getting a haircut, as she lives here full-time and has a pretty nice short cut. Jeanne told me she was going to Dulce’s that day and I could tag along if I wanted. Perfect!
We drove way out to the outskirts of town to Dulce’s salon. It was a small, one room rental that she had recently taken over in order to open for business. Jeanne and her husband, Tom, had helped Dulce spruce the place up with better lighting and some creative painting. The small salon has two stations and one shampoo sink, along with a neat waiting area, counter, and rack of donated clothes for sale to benefit the local women’s and children’s homeless shelter. This beautiful little shop was nothing like what you’re used to in the States, but I think I loved it even more. The enthusiasm, creativity, and hard work that Dulce shows in order to make this small business successful was beautiful to see. And even better, she does a great cut!
Dulce first asked me what I liked and wanted out of the cut. Then she told me she has “magic hands” and would take good care of me. She wasn’t lying. In about 20 minutes, I had a really nice cut evidenced by the smooth way my hair laid when I ran my fingers through it. Then, I got a shampoo. This is kinda a fun process, with a little information thrown in. In La Paz, the residents and small businesses get water from the city every other day, from sunrise until about 1400. And sometimes, depending on infrastructure issues, the water only comes every three days. This is for everything, including toilets. That’s why as you are travelling through Mexico, you’ll see the small houses with huge barrels on the roofs. This is a cistern, and the water is then gravity fed down to the structure upon demand. Okay, explanations aside, Dulce has another 55 gallon drum of fresh water inside the bathroom of the salon so she can always be able to shampoo a client’s hair. But, this was done with bucketsful of water carried from the bathroom to the shampoo station. Jeanne and Tom to the rescue! They took one of their non-essential water pumps from the cabin of their boat and wired it in on a board above the drum of water, and now Dulce has plumbed freshwater to her shampoo station! She still has to dump the grey water from the station, as the water drains into a bucket. But, this water she uses to mop up the sidewalk outside or water down the dust when it’s really hot. She’s found a use for everything! I got a great cut for 100 pesos ($8 US), and a fun opportunity to learn some new Spanish words. It was really a fun afternoon! (Sorry there are no photos. I need to take my camera with me to more places!)
Responsible for her own kids, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews, Dulce’s a hardworking woman who, after all is said and done, still finds a way to donate time and funds to the shelter. The next time someone disparages a culture as “dirty or lazy,” please consider the source and, the individuality of the statement. There are always exceptions, but again, all of the stereotypes I have been exposed to here have been shot down. I have met beautiful people and consider myself so fortunate to have had the opportunity to do so.