Notes from the field:
Painting with primer: At first the usual thing occurred – boys on the ladders, boys with the paint brushes and rollers and the girls looking on. None of them made a move to paint. I had given them all paint brushes, but they seemed like they didn’t want to participate. Then my assistant did the most unexpected thing, he playfully attacked one of the female participants with paint, his younger cousin it happens, and I couldn’t believe it but he put paint on her beautiful wrap! I was horrified, I know that some youth here don’t have more than a few change of clothes, so getting paint permanently on something I don’t think would be a casual thing. I don’t know why but this broke the girl’s hesitancy some – I guess the fact that if they were already dirty with paint, then they might as well participate was the logic. I didn’t think it would work but it did, they all approached the wall with their brushes and started painting, some of them for the first time, and it was mayhem with the boys on the ladders above and splatters of paint falling on us girls and we took the lower level of the wall. There was a lot of playing around with the paint, and I’m not sure how happy they will be after this day is over and one of their clothes is no longer paint free and will never be, but the spirit of it was good and we all got elbow deep in the work today.