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.
Hi Wendy, It is good to hear of your humanity towards the people you encounter during your voyage. Keep up the great writing. Robert Testerman
We love you and your posts! Great to hear that all is going well and that you are enjoying La Paz!!
Chantil and I are in the market for a iSUP. The Kayaks are great but are cumbersome, heavy, and take up A LOT of deck space. We are considering some Tower 6″ thick Inflatables and wondering if you have any insight. Do you store yours rolled up often? What kinds of additions are necessary for using a iSUP for cruising? Thanks so much!
Travis, I completely endorse the inflatable SUPs. I love mine, and have inflated the dink for serious provisioning or taking laundry in only, at this point (3 times in 8 months). The additional ‘gear’ would be some good dry bags. I’ve even taken my laptop and camera ashore when wrapped up in two of them. I would get the tougher rubberized dry bags and not just the treated nylon. Then, have some dedicated bungees or line to secure the bags to the D-rings that hopefully are installed on the forward deck of the board. As for brands, I have the West Marine cheap-o, and you could go for that, or there are now racing inflatables made upward of 2-3 thousand dollars. In the marina, because I enjoy the exercise and convenience, I keep the SUP in the water, and clean the bottom easily every couple of weeks. On a lengthy passage, it’s rolled up and stored in the ‘garage bag’ on the bow. It inflates in 5 minutes. I don’t know if you have the ‘board racks’ you see attached at the stanchions that some boats use for either surf boards, SUPs, or kayaks, but those work also. In my humble opinion, the paddles that come with the cheapies are good for learning, but not good for regular use. Many of the SUP warehouses carry packages, including board, bag, and paddle. I recommend an adjustable paddle to get the correct height, carbon fiber if you can swing it, and a bag to store the paddle. I don’t have room on Willow to store the paddle down below, so the paddle bag is secured to my wind generator bracket. I recommend the adjustable paddle as neighbors, friends and the locals see how much fun you’re having, and want to try it. Additionally, I got my paddle from a warehouse, used once, for fifty bucks. Regular 4 hundred and change… I use the board to paddle ashore in the evenings to meet friends on the beach, cup of beverage between my feet and snackies in a dry bag. So far, so good. It works great going and visiting boats through the anchorage. If you’re taking it in to go for a hike or walk, pack your shoes and socks in a dry bag and off you go! When it’s really windy, I either don’t go in, or kneel or sit on the board and paddle ‘choked up’ like in baseball. Or, inflate the dink! If you want to cut down on your gas usage, get some fun exercise (you can make it as hard or easy as you want), I don’t think you can go wrong. A bonus: as opposed to kayak-butt, once you’re comfortable, you get ashore with only wet feet! I just googled inflatable SUPs and found more info and packages online. See if any of the local warehouses would let you demo and/or give you lessons. Have fun, and let me know what you come up with! Best Fishes, Wendy
On Wed, May 15, 2013 at 6:24 AM, wendyonwillow