Thursday, June 29, 2006

Saturday....a Wedding

We had the opportunity to go to our first local wedding. It was quite an experience and one that we will never forget. Weddings for this particular people group are a three step event here. 1st the bride has a gathering at her house with all her friends and family. Every room of the house and the patio are filled with tables set carefully with an array of foods, which include salads, fruit, tomatoes, cucumbers, fried bread, bread, chicken, and of course caviar. The bride can be found walking around greeting all her guests, then midway through the party the groom arrives with an entourage of his family members. The women bring the bride's family presents, and then the men offer an exchange of food and drinks in a symbolic joining of the families. After these presentations the groom's family is treated to a meal. The bride's female relatives during this whole event are busy cooking, serving guests fresh food. Song and dance follow the food, and finally the bride emerges from the house and the groom sees her for the first time

2. The bride and groom travel to the marriage office where they make the marriage legal.

3. After this step the bride and groom rush away to the groom's house for another party. Only this time it is for the groom's family and friends. The bride only takes one of her relatives with her to attend to her needs. She must remain solemn and stay in a corner throughout the evening. We were only able to attend the first two steps, but enjoyed being a part of such a neat tradition.

Wednesday...a trip to a hot spring

Wednesday our language teacher invited us to go to a hot spring near his village. The drive was stunning as we encountered lush green foothills the entire drive.
The Hot Spring was hot! We were glad the weather wasn't extremly hot because it would have been a little toasty. Needless-to-say we had a good time, despite the abundance of speedos and binkinis on people of all shapes and sizes.

Our language teacher enjoyed it so much partially because the last 2 months he hasn't had water at his apartment.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tuesday...a trip to a village

Marvin had the opportunity to go to one of his student's village. Some of the things he experienced were excellent food (the meat kabobs are a local favorite), more food, and a little more food. Combined with excellent hospitality people sure know how to treat guests here. The picture above is of a few of the gracious hosts.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Fortress

Upon moving into this house we affectionately named it the "Fortress". You can see why from these pictures.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Theatre in another language

Tonight we were invited to a play put on by the art school here in town. It was a great experience and turned out great for our language. We were able to follow the plot with the help of the actors. It was an interesting comedy about an African who wanted to marry a local person’s daughter. It followed the family’s process of finally accepting the inevitable. This is a picture of the curtain call at the end there are no Africans here so the actor was coated in dark paint. I am sure that was fun to get off.

Inherited Pets

Upon moving in to the house in the village we also inherited three pets: two cats and a turtle. I know we must be shocking all of you out there who know Erica well enough to know that pets are not her thing. We have successfully kept the cats out of the house and we hope they are enjoying the freedom of the great outdoors. (Erica is enjoying breathing). One of the cats, our favorite, loved to sleep in this flower pot when it was an inside cat, so we thought we would give it a try on the porch. Sure enough the next afternoon we found her snoozing away in the flower pot.

We also wanted to introduce you to Pippen Tort. He is such a spastic little fellow, and always gets excited when someone stands up in our living room and walks near its aquarium. It splashes like crazy to get your attention. It has provided hours of entertainment for us as we create voices for it and make up things it might be thinking.

A little plumbing problem

After moving out of our apartment we recieved a call from our landlord saying we were flooding the person below us. We dreaded going back to the apartment, but this time the grandmother didn't cry and her caretaker was friendly. So a plumber was called and soon they were tearing apart the tiles in our bathroom and the one below us to get to the pipes. Here is a sight of what our toilet room looked like after they had ripped the tiles out. The plumber had to leave and get the part he needed so I snapped a picture before I began hauling rocks and bricks down stairs. (Cleanup is not included in a plumber's job description, so what can I say at least I got a workout out of the deal.)