November 26, 2015


Given that I had lived in Encarnacion for over six month and the town is pretty small, everyone knows everyone, pretty much. I met friends of friends, one of whom, Mari, had visited India and her friend, Liza owns and runs her own vegan restaurant. Her mother owns a beautiful spa down town. Mari bought back several packs of henna cones but neither she nor Liza knew how to apply it. Now, there are no Indians living in Encarnacion so there is no Indian food or clothes. Henna is traditionally done on Indian and Arabic women especially when they get married. This has however changed and many people in western countries get henna tattoos done, not just women, men too. It is deemed as fashionable, pain free, cheap and within a week or so, it will fade away. Very different to a tattoo.

I was asked if I could do henna on some of the clients that come to the spa. Sure, why not. It was something else to try. Whilst, I have had henna done on my hands and arm, I had never really done it on anyone else. So, yet another new experience. I was more than happy to share the henna culture in Encarnacion, who knows, perhaps it will become popular amongst local women. Some clients hoped for some rather, large detailed designs which would have been possible to achieve with more time but also what clients were not aware of is, henna needs to remain on hands or feet for six to eight hours. The longer you leave henna on, the more the colour comes out. For us, it is quite normal to put henna on before you go to sleep that way, it will stay on for eight maybe more hours .

I had good fun doing henna on women and for the most part I think they appreciated the end results. With more practice and different henna cones, you can make it thinner and more detailed. Liza’s mother was on a local television channel promoting her spa and I was invited along. It was a little awkward with my limited Spanish but the presenter was real nice. I then did a henna design on her arm – amazing! This would never happen back at home which is partly why I loved living in Encarnacion – anything is possible. There are endless possibilities and scope to plant seeds and try new things. There is little bureaucracy and barriers. Provided you have the money, energy and dedication, you have nothing or no one stopping you.