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We went to Kenya to renovate classrooms.

This included washing the walls and floors, painting a first coat, waiting for the paint and floor to dry, cursing ourselves for getting so much paint on the floor, painting a second coat, waiting for it to dry, cursing ourselves for tracking so much mud onto the nice clean floor, mopping the floor again, and then decorating with educational materials.

It was a very busy two weeks.

Those of you with any kind of common sense probably realize that painting is very messy business. I know that when I paint so much as a pinky toe, I get nail polish everywhere. You can imagine what happened when eight girls were given paintbrushes and told to “have at it.”

By the time we were done, Kelly looked like a smurf, Tesia looked like a ghost of Christmas past, and Meredith looked like a poppyseed bagel.

We weren’t very good at keeping the paint on the walls.

The only thing that removes oil based paint is turpentine so on our last day of painting, we all took turpentine baths.

For some reason I decided that getting Kelly paint-free was my personal project so I took a towel, soaked it in turpentine and started scrubbing. Some of the paint started coming off, but most of it was so dried onto her skin that it started to turn red from the scrubbing. This was when I had a brilliant idea: pour turpentine directly onto Kelly’s skin.

I’m sorry, did I say, “brilliant idea”?


Turpentine is alcohol based, meaning that by pouring it directly onto Kelly’s skin I was essentially making her a molotov cocktail. Had she gone anywhere near an open flame she would have lit up like the Fourth of July over Parma.

Kelly, I am terribly sorry.

Please still be my friend.