Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Beautiful Wedding

We were blessed to be able to attend the wedding of one of our watchmen, Fedreck. We wanted to share some of it with you. There were some beautiful parts and some funny parts, all around God used this time to bless us and for us to bless our employees. We brought the other three full time watchmen with us and the Coppedges house help to the wedding. Our car was quite full plus we had to bring our present (see below!)

When we got there we were greeted warmly by Fedreck and the Priest. After a little while, the bride showed up. There was much singing, dancing, yelling and celebrating at her arrival. The wedding started with the African version of flower girls which was really young girls who danced out. It was fun and festive. After the girls came the women of the church. They came in wearing simple yellow or white cotton dresses. Each had a piece of fabric called a kitenge around their waist. As they came in they laid their ketenge down to make a "runner" for the bridal party. It was such a show of service, it was one of the highlights for me (Meg).
Next the bridal party came in and they were so formal, more dressed up in western ways than I expected. As they came up the "aisle" the dancers and singers continued.

The service seemed a lot like what we are used to. There was a time of the Priest speaking, there was a time where he asked the couple questions and the couple responded with various forms of "I do." Most of the service was in the local language of Lugbara so we did not understand much. I was quite thankful that we had brought Mathew, Simon, Joel and Jane along, they were quite helpful in translating at times. Benjamin wasted no time making friends. He did not like sitting still so he would crawl around until he found someone to play with.

After the ceremony the bridal party and "honored guests" were invited into the church building for a light meal to hold us over until the reception. Yes, we were the honored guests. I was so humbled to be included in such a special time with the bridal party. The reception was amazing. A couple of highlights, part way through the wedding party left for pictures, when they came back the groom hid in the crowd and the bride had to walk around trying to find him. It was a fun game. The other highlight was the way they give gifts. It is a big party and celebration.

People get into groups based on how they know the couple, the groom's family, the bride's family, the groom's friends, the bride's friends, the groom's company (that was us) and so on. Again, much of this was in Lugbara so we did our best to understand. Each group took it's turn going out of the reception area, getting organized and then forming a conga line to bring their gifts to place before the couple. It was a lot of fun seeing the different gifts coming it. In the picture above you can see a mattress all rolled up and a large metal cooking pot. To the right is the presentation of a goat. Some people brought money and they put it in the bucket when the got to the front of the line.

We also brought a gift. We gave him a goat, yes a goat! I feel so African. :) Our watchmen decorated it, isn't it pretty?! It was a lot of fun to present our gift to the couple. It is not done in a flashy, look at me, kind of way. The gift giving is a celebration and  a joyous time.

After gifts came the eating. It was a feast! And it tasted so good. There was meat, rice, vegetables and cassava bread.

You must know that cassava bread is a staple here. Everyone eats it. It is the cheapest food and it is filling. For lack of a better way of explaining it it is like mash potatoes but the consistency of play-dough. They take it and mold it and use it to scoop broth, rice or meat. When you come to visit us we will provide an opportunity for you to try it. The picture is the amazingly huge pot of it. There were a lot of people, and there was a lot of cassava bread.

We ended up leaving before the very end of the reception because the boys (and us) were getting tired. We were told the only part left was the cutting and giving of cakes. They have the cake that is cut and eaten at the reception but they also have a few small cakes that the wedding couple gives as gifts to thank people who contributed to the wedding. Another fun tradition.

When we were leaving we ran into a traffic jam, African style. This big truck ran out of gas. So, he was stuck in the middle of the road and therefore the road was blocked. We got to this point, asked some questions, turned around and found another route home. Always an adventure!

1 comment:

Philip and Kara said...

super post! Thanks for sharing! The wedding sounds awesome! Glad you all got to go...and here in Russia it is always an adventure too...:) but we aren't actually driving like you all!