Africa

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Wedding!!
No not my wedding! Relax Dad!
On Saturday the 22nd of July, I was given invited to one of my dear friends weddings.
Felix, the driver of the little red bus was wed as 2:00 on the Saturday afternoon the the beautiful Nembrus, Nembrus is Masia from the Kilimanjaro area.
I know Felix so well, and am such good friends with him, because he is the main driver who helps me with my work in town. Maybe cause his English is the best or maybe because he is just a really nice guy that always smiles and loves to talk to people, like me!
So after lunch a group of the Volies and a couple of the school teachers jumped into the little yellow bus and we all headed down to an almost nonexistent town called Kiserian. We were actually the first ones there which made some people a little nervous, but that was because the family was being picked up also by the little yellow bus. So George (little yellow, driver) dropped us of and raced down the hill to pick up Felix's family.
When the bus returned out of it piled all of these young kids and the next thing we knew they were all singing and dancing the oldest would have been ruffle 12 and the youngest may have been 6. Then Nembrus's family arrived and once again the younger female members of the family joined in the singing and dancing, but it was as if they were doing all of this singing and dancing against each other as if in some kind of dance off. The two groups were facing each other on the two sides of the church doorway. This beautiful exhibition went on for about 30 minutes until the bride arrived. So we all moved into (more like cramped into) to little church.

The Dress really wasn't my style but Nembrus was a beautiful young lady, especially when she smiled. Unfortunately it is tradition for the bride to be or look upset at her wedding, because she is leaving her family.

The service went for a good hour and of course it was all in Swahili, but you can get the general idea when they say "I do!" It was a wonderful service full of singing and blessings. Once the rings were on Felix and Nembrus signed the wedding papers.

Once the service was completed the closest family and some friends (I was invited by Felix as a special guest) jumped back into the little yellow bus and drove down to the newly weds new house. They new house, just next door to his family, is a two room building. Each room would be no bigger than your bathroom though. So firstly the new house was blessed by the priest and then the bride and groom entered followed by the brides maid and best man and then both sets of parents, lastly the priest went into the small house.

All of a sudden out came the best man, who came straight up to me and asked my to join the family in the house, apparently Felix requested that I join them. So in I went, only once I was inside could I really see how small their new house was. There was ten of us squeezed around the outer edges of what I guess would be the lounge room, with a small coffee table in the middle. After a few minutes of different blessings, a crate of Soda was brought into the room and placed on the table. The thing that happened next was the most odd and interesting thing that happened all day. The priest took up a bottle of soda (all types of soft drink come in 350ml glass bottles, and once empty they are returned to the manufacturer to be refilled). He then proceeded to raise this bottle up and bless the newly married couple and with a bottle opener in the other hand he opened the bottle, it was then pored into two glasses and one was given to the bride and one to the groom. And then they took it in turns to not only feed each other the drink they also held the glass while both the brides maid and groom drank from it. Now that I think about all of this blessing and offering of drinks we do, do a very similar thing back home but we drink Champagne instead of Sprite or Coke.

Once we had all had our soda, we got back into the bus and drove back to the church where everyone was waiting. When we arrived everyone moved back into the church and the bride and groom were lead up to the front. Now it was time for the giving of gifts. People lined up all the way down the aisle and out the door of the church with their gifts. All different things from Masia blankets and different types of local material, to pots and plates. When they got up to the bridal table they handed their gift to the brides maid and then shook hands with and blessed the newly married couple. My little gift was a locally made red shirt (for the driver of the little red bus) and a Swahili/English Dictionary. Felix loves speaking English and would love to help his wife to learn how to speak English.

By the end of the day I had take 180 photo's and little clips of movie. It was a simple but beautiful wedding. And I wish all the best of luck to Felix and his gorgeous wife Nembrus.

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