Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Day of Wedded Bliss

Today we awoke, loaded the van and traveled to a village about 2.5 hours from Mbarara. We stopped at a Petrol station at a crossroads to wait to meet up with Richard and Generous. The,re Sue, Holly, Dale and Ashley donned traditional Uganda gowns to wear to the ceremony! As Ugandans came and went at the Petrol station, they cheered at how beautiful and Ugandan we looked! We killed about 2 hours waiting for the groom to show up. We had been told that the introducing ceremony of the bride to the groom, the final stage of three stages of marriage, was to begin at 11:00am. The groom showed up at the station at 1:30pm and we finally left for the bride’s home some 50 km more.

We drove way into the hills in the mountainside to a home in a village much like Ikamiro. We all pulled over on very narrow muddy roads to have the wedding coordinator instruct the whole group of 35 or so guests from the groom’s side. We stood in the rain and mud as he instructed us when to walk in and when to sit and stand and so on. Then we all got in our vehicles again and drove a bit longer to the bride’s home. There we found about 7 multi-peaked tents set up! It was a huge party. The coordinator told me at the meal that he estimated there were about 500 people there! The ceremony was way cool with dancing and haggling between the families over the bride and groom – all in great fun! Us girls even participated when Generous did her part of the ceremony to go to the other side of the tent to identify the bride. We then danced/walked around the tent. It was GREAT fun. I can’t wait to share more and pictures about the event. Our team presented a gift to the bride that we bought in Mbarara. It was a thermos and some glassware. Then they asked me to say a few words to the crowd about our team and the work. Soon after we left there at about 7:30pm.

As it turns out, we were supposed to be at Lydia Komugisha’s house in another village about an hour further by 6pm for dinner! We got there at 8:45pm. She was so incredibly gracious. Lydia is one of the ACT-Muko Board members and a social worker. Can you even imagine being almost 3 hours late for dinner at someone’s home! From there we drove into Kabale and finally arrived at Cephas Inn at 10:15pm. Oh dear. So tired. It feels good to be here now where we can even unpack a bit and stay for 6 days. Tomorrow we will worship at four different churches splitting up as a team. The four churches are pastored by ACT-Muko Board Members. The villagers will prepare a lunch for us and then we start the ecumenical worship service at 2pm. This is still a very new event for the Ugandans to come together as different denominations and worship together. ACT is very proud to have promoted this as part of our work. Charles Tuhaise and I will be preaching at the service. Oh, David Pierce! Where are you when I need you!

We hope you had a relaxing and warm New Year’s Day. We are feeling a bit homesick but are rolling up our sleeves to begin the real village work tomorrow!

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