Saturday, 13 December 2008

The Gambia

I thought that I would share with you some pictures from my recent holiday to The Gambia.

It is only 6 hours flight away from England and with no time difference and a place to go for Winter Sun. Temperatures go up to around 38 degrees in November. I stayed there for 2 weeks in a Hotel which is situated on the beach.

This was the "Roots" trip. I went to a place named Albreda and Juffure which is where Alex Haley was inspired to write the story called Roots which documented the life of a slave named Kunte Kinte and where his ancestors still live to this day.
Beneath the statue are the words " Never Again" to describe the atrocities which occurred during the slavery years in the eighteen hundreds. No one can count the numbers of slaves who died during these years from either the direct or indirect results of the slave trade.
I also visited a slave museum which documented the whole history of the slave trade in the Senegambia up to the present day with icons such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey having their own place.
Before entering any village in The Gambia it is customary to visit the village Chief first to get their permission and as a mark of respect. Above is the village Chief for Juffure.

This lady is the seventh generation relative of Kunte Kinte and we met her in the house that he used to live in. She gave the interviews which informed Alex Haley's Roots film.

This island is called James Island and this is where hundreds of slaves were taken before making the long journey to the Americas and else where once sold. This island was much fought over by both the Portuguese and the British as it was felt that who ever held this island would dominate the slave trade.
This is a punishment cell on James island where more than 30 slaves would be locked in with only a small window for light and the door was closed with Iron. There was no room to sit down and it was very oppressive with a low ceiling. Even though in this cell slaves would still be manacled. The idea was to break their will so that they would stop trying to escape from slavery. Slaves were seen as subhuman so any punishments would be justified.
Cannons on the crest of the hill on James island.
This trip reminded me of what man can do to man and the justifications that can be made. At the end of the day it was all to do with economics and the sugar plantations. It is important that we never forget this part of history to ensure that it can never ever happen again.
I visited a monkey park in Kololli and the monkeys were very friendly if they thought that you had some food to give them. They would crawl onto your shoulder, jump up to your hand and even look in your bag if you gave them a chance. They were really intelligent as they knew where to wait for visitors on the trail through the park and that this meant food for them.
I fed them bananas which they took even though they preferred nuts. They very gently took them out of my hands. They even fought one another to get to my hand first with the fittest over powering the young and the weak to get the food. Needless to say I made sure that I fed the young and the weaker looking monkeys.

This Bird was in the monkey park and I took this picture because of its colourful beak.

I also went to the crocodile park in a place named Kotu which is said to be a sacred place even to this day. The crocodiles live in a lake and there is a stone hut where infertile women can sit and bathe themselves in the sacred waters and apparently women have got pregnant from this ritual.

Finally the Sun was setting on the beach and I had to take this picture.
This is a slice of my recent holiday. I hope you enjoyed it.
Please do not copy my pictures or my blog without my permission.

Comparison Pics

Me before the start of my locks journey and finished.
As you can see it was a really happy day for me.
I was so pleased to be leaving the world of braids and false weaves behind me.

1 Month



6 Months

8 Months and I have developed some length.

9 Months and this looks good if I say so myself and I am starting to style my hair more.

11 Months and lovely!

This is me 1 year later after dying and washing my hair which has thickened up nicely.
I have learnt how to braid/twist my hair in order to achieve different styles.
I have tried using pipe cleaners but did not like the look which was too thick and tightly curled.
Now that my hair is settling in I wash it more regularly still not weekly though and continue to use only my own home made spritzes.
I hope that you enjoyed these updates.
Some times the fear of success means that we don't attempt new things. This is not going to be me in the future.
Please do not copy my pictures or my blog without my permission.

One Year

Hi I have had Sisterlocks(TM) for one whole year and I am still loving them.

Sorry that these pictures are a little bit late as I was on holiday in Gambia and have just returned. I also dyed my hair whilst there. Yes you did hear right. I used Garnier Nutrisse cream in number 6 Sandalwood brown. It was really easy to do especially for a novice like myself and my hair was very soft afterwards when I used the conditioner.This was the end result. It covered all of my grey hair. I had wanted my hair to be a bit lighter than this but I think that I will go lighter in stages. This is me about to go to the beach in Gambia.
I did not experience any slippage but I did notice that one lock at the front is becoming very thin and I think that I will lose it. I think that I may have been a bit rough when washing and did not braid or band.

This is a bit greasy because it was very hot there.

An evening out and I tried a version on an up do and twisted a few strands at the front to keep my hair out of my face.

This is the side view of my hair.
I thank the Lord that I discovered sisterlocks(TM) and look forward to many more years.
I have found the blogs and fotkis very interesting and inspiring as well as getting a lot of very useful after care information from them.
This is a side view of my newly washed hair.
and a back view.
Another going to the beach shot.
Comparison shots will follow.

Hair Styles

Hi all I thought I would try to capture some of the hair styles that I wear. These were taken just before 12 months.
above is the end result of a 2 strand twist with the sides taken up. Worn to a dinner party. Everyone loved it.
Twists taken out lightly.

Side view.

Front view.

Shoulder view.
This is how the twists looked when I put them in. I kept them large and loose as I wanted a larger, thicker look.

I just spritzed my hair lightly with water and essential oils before twisting them and took them out a few hours later. Even though they were not in all night they really held well and I was pleased with the results.
This is my favourite style worn for work and is a twist out of single braids,around 10 and worn all night.

Me trying to look studious.

I have one very long lock. My friend Spiritlocks says that I should cut it. What do you think?
So instead I just tuck it in.
To all of you ladies out there I really love my sisterlocks(TM) and I am trying to become more adventurous. I have never regretted my decision to lock and cant wait to see how my hair progresses over the months and years.
To any one contemplating locks go for it!
I shall be back with my one year anniversary pictures.
Please do not copy my pictures or myblog without my permission.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Book Review

This has got to be the bible of all hair books for me. It starts with a great historical, political and economic history of African American hair. It is very informative with regards to the structure of black hair and the stages that it can go through as well as how to damage your hair and how to protect and nourish it. There are many close up colour and black and white pictures and this book reviews everything that can be done to our hair. There is a good section on everything locks.
This book concentrates mainly on processed hair and is advocating a particular hair care system. It gives very good advice on how to protect and maintain hair to ensure the maximum hair growth and recommends some very good hair care products.
This book charts a personal hair journey with many mainly black and white pictures. This book does not concentrate on locks.
This is so far the best book that I have read related to natural hair. Whilst giving a personal hair journey it focuses on natural hair and the stages that locks will go through and also gives an estimate chart of how long ones hair will grow and in what time frame. There are many pictures mainly in colour and there is much advice on how to care for hair. If I am ever in doubt I take up this book and always discover something new in it that I had not seen before.
These are a selection and I intend to continue reading any books related to locks. If any of you have any recommendations I would be very grateful to receive these.
My next post will be on my first Nappyversary and I will be celebrating this on holiday in The Gambia. I do hope to take many pictures in the sun and cant wait to see how my hair will react to the sea sand and sun.
Until next time Kittylocks
Please do not copy my pictures or blog without my permission.

11 Months

It is great to never have any bad hair days. As you can see from this picture I have a very long lock to my right shoulder which seems to want to do what it wants. Spiritlocks keeps teasing me and telling me to cut it. Should I?
Pictures above show the waves that I achieve from braiding my hair at night after spritzing with my favourite home made mixture. Water with peppermint to take away any itching, possibly Rosemary, Lavender and I love Marjoram.

This is a side view as my new colour is running out.

Sorry that this image is a bit dark. This is me going out on a girls night and before any alcohol!
As I look forward to my first nappyversary I am blessed that this journey has been so good to me. I put this down to my hair regime which includes not washing my hair too often. Before Sisterlocks(TM) this was my pattern. I get re tightened every 8 weeks.
I do have some balls at the end of my locks and a few are starting to seal. My hair remains soft in texture.
I am so happy that I made this decision I wish I had done it before but as Mum says"nothing happens before its time".
Sweet Kittylocks to you all.
Please do not copy my pictures or any extracts from my blog without my permission.