So last Sunday the other volunteers and I were invited to a wedding by Mama Gladness, and of course we couldn’t say no. The bride is employed by Mama Gladness, and she and the groom have been living together for many years and have three children – this was just to make it official. First, we had to climb a mountain in a distinctly unimpressive car to get to the church, which turned out to have only about 15 people in it, including the three of us and Mama Gladness. Slightly intimidating.

Beautiful church, though.
The inside during the ceremony

The priest stopped on several occasions to translate for us mzungus, which was nice, although the whole thing was fairly simple.

Afterwards, we got a ride with the pastor to the bride’s house, where the party was being held. I then got a lot of awkward questions about whether I was Christian… always interesting. The party itself was nice, lots of food and dancing. The KKKT on the back of the chairs refers to some kind of community organization that rents them out – I still have a moment of double-take every time I see the logo, though. Then an, oh right, I’m in Africa moment.


Feeding each other the first bites of cake

African wedding cake – and they do refer to it as such – is, um, a little different than what we’re used to at home. In fact, it consists of a whole goat, with head and hooves left intact, the rest skinned and cooked. Honored guests are brought up to the front to be personally served a piece. Thankfully, Christine’s vegetarianism saved the day and gave us a convenient out.

Sorry, Meghan! Also that guy’s face pretty much sums up how I felt.

Dancing the presents up

I really liked the way the presents were done – instead of being heaped on a table, the presents, mostly unwrapped, were danced to the front of the tent and given directly to the bride and groom. Lots of beautiful fabric, some furniture, cooking pots, and a big old pot for money.

Our white horse?

So remember how I mentioned the not exactly totally confidence-inspiring car ride up? Well, turns out that the car wouldn’t actually start for the way down. So instead Mama Gladness sent Eric, her other son, to get another vehicle. This is what arrived. Oh, and the ground? At least 6 inches thick with dust the consistency of flour. This picture is, in fact, the car while it was stuck in said dust. I don’t have pictures of us all in our wedding finery getting behind to push, but I can assure you it happened.

Upon climbing into the van, we realize that seats are for sissies, and this ride is going to be a little bumpy. And did I mention dusty?

Hakuna Matata?

All in all, a truly unique wedding experience, one that there is not the slightest chance that I will ever be able to forget. Note for the future: When/if I ever get married, definitely want a mzungu wedding cake.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.