Monday, June 3, 2013

Painting the tomb

Every now and then, I capture a moment with this silly little point and click of mine that just takes my breath away! This photo is one of those moments. In the stripes is my girl, Phillipa. I have spoken about her before. She's significantly younger than I am, but she and I just sort of click. She's got an open spirit without naiveté. Some would say she's an old soul, but that's too cliché for Phillipa. Phillipa lost her mother at a very young age and, as a result, also lost her chance at a formal education. (I have great big crowdfunding ideas for her...I hope you all will help her when the time comes.) We've had touching moments where we shared our crocodile tears, and have formed a sisterhood bond. (She gets my quirky, dry humor, and I enjoy her witty sarcasm.) The girl in blue is Shantay. I just met her today. She's quite striking, very pretty face. She and my friend Phillipa have been friends since childhood. This little girlie is more reckless and wild. She's a little more fast and loose. Delightful in her way, I am too aware of the age difference in her to bond like I have with Phillipa. This moment was after the work was complete, I was taking some after shots. Phillipa said something clever and Shantay burst into laughter! The photo does a good job of showing the two. and suave. Shantay...vibrant, young, and careless.

The work for today was to paint Phillipa's mom's tomb. She and I had our moment when we cried together, orphans, several months back. At that time, we made a plan to honor her mom (and honor mine in kind) by painting the tomb as is the custom here. The morning that we were supposed to do it...I waited and Phillipa. I went out and walked about looking for her. I went past her house. No Phillipa. I went past the little store where we met and she hangs out. No Phillipa. I went to her friend's house...where she sometimes stays if her boyfriend picks a fight. No Phillipa. I did finally get information though. I was told that day that Phillipa's brother came and carried her off to Caye Caulker.

When Phillipa returned to Dangriga, I saw her walking past my house. I must have looked like a loon I was so happy to see her! I have friends here, don't misunderstand. But to have PHILLIPA back! YEAH! Phillipa explained that it was not her brother who came for her. She had fought with her boyfriend the previous night. She gathered what money she could, and when she had bus fare, she left Dangriga to stay with her Aunt in Belize City. I would say... "She split for the coast on the back of a Harley." or..."She got the hell out of Dodge!" ...She was afraid I would be angry with her for not coming as we planned that morning. I assured her that was not the case...and we made a plan to try to paint the tomb again Monday morning at 8am.

I woke on time, sent my morning Bible emails, showered, dressed and waited...and waited...and waited. Sean woke up about 9 and he jumped in the shower. Then, he was going to walk around and pay bills, so I left with him at about 9:30...I have noticed that there are 2 types of Belizean time. For the first type, everything starts before 5 in the morning. For the second type, everything runs 2 hours late. And so, as if arriving on time, Phillipa arrived about 11am. We missed our shot at using Sean's truck to haul the paint, but is was just one gallon. We walked up to Uncle Harry's Paint Shop. (Should have taken a pic...mental people Uncle Harry's...) I had priced paint in Habet's Hardware, and so I knew ballpark what I was going to spend. Uncle Harry has some deals! I ended up buying a second color, in just a quart, to add flair! I am so glad I did...keep will be glad I did also. Even with the second color, I spent less than the shelf price in Habet's. Uncle Harry's is THE place for paint for me! lol We carried the paint from Uncle Harry's to the cemetery on the outside of town. (About 1.25 miles.)

Phillipa's mom is the very last row where the cemetery stops. She is on the sea side and tucked in sweetly where she lies. Her tomb had never been painted. (The lady at Uncle Harry's said that if it's not been painted, she would recommend a water based outdoor paint. If you use oil based paint once, you must continue to use it. Again... Go Uncle Harry's! The kind she sold us was more affordable.)

That is our before picture. The plan was to paint the top and sides with the dark pink that Phillipa had chosen. She selected the color based on her mom's favorite. I love that. If I was doing my mom's, I would have to pick yellow. Pink was for the top and sides, and the white accent color was for the rim. When we finished the color, it looked GREAT! Then Phillipa suggested writing her mother's name on the pink top, with the remaining white. AWESOME! I'm a control freak...Well...not a control freak as much as just...bossy. My lesson today was in standing back while the craft takes form. My lesson was to allow this project to belong to Phillipa.

 You see the wet pink spot? In crafting...there are no mistakes. If you are not happy with your project, then it's not finished! We painted over Mom's first name when it didn't fit. By the time the rest of the lettering was finished, that spot was dry enough to try again!

 What do I do when I don't want to interfere? Try out my groovy camera settings of course! This one gives you the view toward the sea. I particularly like this shot. It's one of those "moments".


Second try...
Phillipa is still not satisfied...I'm starting to hover.
 SURE! I'll help!
 Restraint. Phillipa's project...

 Just a dab...

 It needs something more....
A girl needs a BFF to count on....

(Told you she was pretty...)
Phillipa is beautiful also!
 NOW...we're done.
 And boy! Was it fun!
I'm exhausted from the hike to the cemetery, and from the heat. There were a bunch of mosquitoes, so we even made a small fire to shoo them away. (THAT was a welcome heat source on the equator in June!) In spite of the heat, I had a wonderful day! I can't visit my mom's grave as often as I would like. I have a true and loyal friend who goes for me and keeps the flowers nice. To be able to be part of this...To honor Phillipa's mom...To allow someone else to be the boss of a crafty project...To add a splash of color to the cemetery that has intrigued me since day one....I am truly blessed.

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