Tuesday, January 8, 2013

African Party - Mbise Wedding Part 2

After the service everyone filled outside to greet the young couple and get a breath of fresh air (it had been a long wedding). After a bit it was time to head to the reception. Anne and I did not know what to expect from a Meru reception, but we were ready.

So we both rounded up the people we were taking and headed off. It was not too far, but the roads were pretty rough - Anne did wonderfully well with her 4X4 driving skills. I was very proud of her.

We got to our destination and were directed to the parking spot and then we made our way down to the family compound.

Anne and I were given the honour of accompanying the family into the wedding house (the couple had been given this house) and took part in the prayers and the toasts pronounced.

It was then time for the presents to be given and the food to be served. I don't really know how many people there was there, but I would estimate over 500! And they were all fed.

The first up was males on the father of the brides family. We all lined up and gave our gifts and greeted the couple. Then we were given tickets that would enable us to get our food. I was amongst this number. Next it was the men from the grooms side - then the women from the grooms side and last of all it was the women from the brides side. All this took about 2 hours. After the family was feed all those visiting came. They had a lot of food!
This was the "goat" cake.

We were very impressed with the presents! I already mentioned the house.They also got 3 cows, furniture, appliances galore. They did really well.     . Those who did not have gifts gave money. A lot of money!

We left about 5 o'clock - wanting to get down the mountain before it was dark. Anne once again did wonderfully driving her 4X4!.444

African Time - Tanzanian Wedding Part 1

The invitations said the wedding was to be at 10.00 a.m., so that is when we thought it would be...

There is an understanding here about "African Time". That is - time is

different. What ever has been planned "probably" will happen, but not necessarily at the time first said. Then again there is Swahili time. Here the day starts at sun up, so the first hour is at 7.00 am. 10.00 am is therefore the fourth hour, or "saa 4". You see is CAN be confusing.

Brother Mbise, the father of the bride had asked Anne and I to bring both of our cars to provide transport for the wedding party. When I asked him at what time did he want us there, he told me 10.00 a.m.! This confused me, because that is when I thought the wedding was to start, but he assured me that was when we were to be there.

So the day of the wedding came and Anne and I headed out. We were about 5 minutes from our destination when Mbise phone me and told me that if we had not left yet, don't worry and come at 11.00! Are you starting to see what African time is?

We dropped one car off at Mbise's house and then went back down the mountain for a cup of coffee. Just before 11, I phoned and was told not to come until 11.30. So that is how it went.

We finally got to the wedding and it was wonderful! Everyone else seemed to know what time to be at the church builging and eveyone was very happy.

    Bro. Mbise (in the middle) with his wife on his right.
 It was a Lutheran Wedding in a large church building in Nkoaranga. By the time everything started, there were very few people, but 2 hours hours later towards the end of the service, the building was FULL!                                                                                              

The couple were finally wed and the singing and dancing followed the out of the church.Weddinh