This past weekend was quite the cultural experience! On Friday, I attended the introduction ceremony of Pastor Charles, and his intended bride, Maureen. Here in Uganda, when two people wish to marry, they must do an introduction of the families. It's a very lengthy process with the groom's family choosing the intended bride from among many 'fake brides.' Then the groom's family presents many gifts to the bride's family, and they all celebrate with cake and feasting. After the introduction, the couple must wait about another month for their wedding ceremony.
Taylor, a fellow muzungu, being presented in her gomas (traditional Ugandan dress) with other 'fake brides'
On Saturday, I was also invited to attend the wedding of Denis and Agnes. As much as the introduction ceremony is purely Ugandan, the wedding ceremony was surprisingly western. The bridal party was composed of bridesmaids, groomsmen, and flower girls, all dressed in formal wear. The ceremony itself was also in the western style, the most noticeable difference being how loud and enthusiastic the audience was! After the wedding came the reception with the cutting of the cake and singing and dancing by a well known performer here in Uganda. All of this was finished with food for all the guests (my guess would be about 400 people).
This week, I have also been making friends with Paul and Flower, two of my next door neighbors. Paul is 19, and Flower is 14, and they both speak the best English I have heard to date in Uganda! Flower reminds me much of my sister Michelle, as they both have wonderfully kind hearts, incredible intelligence, and eager affection. I am so glad to have such wonderful neighbors who are quick to love, and not afraid to teach and correct me in my language and cultural propriety. Praise God for giving me such friends and neighbors!