Today I had the most delightful experience with my new daughter. I decided it was time to take out Ethel's braids. For all of you m'zungus out there who know as little about black African hair as I did, here is a little lesson. Ethel's braids in these pictures are not her hair but only black yarn that has been braided into her hair at the roots. Her hair is about an inch and a half long and then it's just yarn after that. Braids like this look very nice and last in your hair for months if you like. Here is the problem I found, they can start to get a little smelly. Even if you are rinsing them and putting hair cream on her scalp, I noticed they get very dirty and begin to be rather unpleasant in my opinion. So, even though I could have left them in longer, I really wanted to take them out today.
While Mutale and Lucas took naps I had Ethel sit in front of me in my lap as I snipped off the braids and started to undo them. After about one minute I heard a big yawn. After another minute she started doing that head-nod thing where you fall asleep for a second but jerk back up. It was adorable. So, I had her lay down on the couch with her head in my lap and she just konked out while I took the braids out of most of her head. When she woke up I just had to finish the ones she had been laying on.
It was a very quiet and pleasant time for me and a great opportunity to pray for this girl who is my new daughter!!!! Thank you God for naps. And thank you God for good hair!!! I must admit I love Ethel's and Mutale's hair! Now I just need to learn how to plait it.