21 September 2008

Batting .250...

I made it to one of the four wedding events this weekend...

I have officially decided that I enjoy introductions over weddings... so I just skipped all 3 weddings...

They both take long and are terribly inefficient when it comes to time management... but as I slowly begin to understand the banter involved in the introductions they have become rather enjoyable... and occasionally I understand what we are all laughing at...

Being on the grooms side is also has its benefits... we meet up before the introduction to "carpool" and arrange the gifts... there is never enough room so this time I put 11 Ugandans in my 5-seater Landcruiser... 5 women and a baby in the boot... I'd much rather be overstuffed with humans than the alternative... they ran out of room for the gifts so half a freshly slaughtered cow was thrown on top of the gifts in another car...



When the grooms party arrives the brides side acts as if they are having a meeting and weren't expecting us... they initially refused to let us enter the property saying that we were government officials coming to collect illegal taxes... Uganda humor... they let us enter when it started raining... but they all acted annoyed as if we were spoiling their gathering...

In effort to get rid of us... they quickly give our spokesman a glass of water... hospitality... and bring out the young daughters and sons to greet us... to show their importance around 10 daughters and 10 sons come out so we think they are rich... pretending to have 20 kids... realistic in Africa but also funny...

Then they tell us to leave... now our spokesman starts paying bribes... he says he is a Christian and starts passing his bible over to the spokesman for the bride and asks him to read obscure passages about marriage in the bible... every time he turns to a new passage he finds cash and we get to stay longer... and again the obscure verses make everyone laugh...

Finally we announce that we are here to take his daughter... seriously I mean "we"... she is considered the bride of our entire clan... I'm multiplying wives and didn't even have a clue...



The father says his daughter is not expecting a husband to come for her... then he calls out the girls aunties... this part is my favorite... they send the fattest aunt to walk through each row of our tightly packed chairs to find the groom... as she is shuffling through the chairs and smashing our toes she is dancing and you get some big Ugandan booty shaking by your face... we all laugh.... finally she gets to the last row, finds the groom, ignores him and then showers him with hugs and kisses... the crowd goes wild...

This all takes about 2.5 hours and finally it is time to go out and gather the gifts to pay for our bride...



Ugandans are convinced that Americans are weak and can't do anything... primarily because culturally we should hire help to cook, clean and garden because it helps their economy... but when we went out to gather the gifts a few of my students remembered that Christine raises chicken so they had me carry in the birds... I played along much to their enjoyment and the bride's side laughed hysterically when I came... in efforts to raise the stakes on my next trip out they placed a 15 kilogram sack of salt on my head and I gracefully made my way through the crowd...

By hour 6 of the party the grooms side was officially given permission to have the bride and certificates were exchanged between the fathers... we had officially won over our bride with patience, charm and innumerable gifts...



By 8 PM the began serving dinner and it was officially dark enough for the white guy to slip out without being noticed...

Congratulations Charles and Ritah... who were married the next day... here's hoping we don't see either one of you in class on Monday!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff!

So Dan and I are just now discovering the whole blog world! We've never had internet at home until we moved here to Ecuador, and now, when we have time, it is fun to check-up on friends' blog sites and see how and what they're doing. We really enjoyed reading some of you blogs and seeing pictures. Dan especially liked the picture of your face in some African woman's fro picture! Pretty awesome!

We liked and agree with your 3 reasons why Ugandans would make such great missionaries. When you say them, it makes me wonder why there are so many North Americans who are missionaries because we have the highest standard of living AND barely anyone speaks more than one language! Anyway, interesting thoughts and points.

It seems like you all have really immersed yourselves into the Ugandan culture, which is awesome! That is something we desire to do, and yet feel that since we are working at an English speaking school, our community consists of predominantly North Americans. It makes it easier in the sense that you can get to know people easier and don't feel as lonely because of the language barrier, but at the same time, it makes it more difficult to get to know Nationals and truly embrace the culture. Something we're thinking and praying about.

Thanks for your comment on our blog regarding my blog about homesickness. I really appreciated your words, especially because I know you speak from complete experience!! You guys really have had it MUCH more difficult than we do even too!! Having been to Uganda, I KNOW that Ecuador is NOTHING like Uganda in terms of poverty and difference than the US. In many ways, we actually live better here than in the States. The fact that you guys had two little kids and went for an indefinite amount of time, as well as endured so many trials the first year, it really is an encouragement to us as we're here struggling, and yet it also puts things into perspective and when I think of what you guys have been through, I am reminded that it could be worse!

Blessings to you and your family!! If we're all in A-town at the same time, we'd love to get together!

-Emily Weatherby

Michael said...

you are hilarious!! from kristen & michael too!

Jen said...

way to go chicken man... you really know how to woo a bride!