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Saturday, September 03, 2016

The Namibia Wedding

As promised, I've put together some of the pictures from the wedding in Namibia.  For those of you who may not know what this is all about, son Bill's wife, Monika, comes from Namibia.  Her sister, Tangeni, our granddaughter's namesake, got married on August 13-14.  Yes, that's right - it took two days to get all the ceremony and celebrations in.  Tangeni asked Monika to help with flowers for the occasion, and Monika asked if I would help, which I was really happy to do.  It was a great experience and I had fun with it.  Because it is very hot and dry in Namibia, real flowers are very expensive and don't hold up well, so we used silk flowers which went in a suitcase with Bill, Monika and the girls on the plane.  Just to be on the safe side, Monika took the bride's bouquet and the groom's boutonniere in her carry-on luggage.  However, all the flowers got there with them ok.

There was a great deal of last-minute planning to do when they got there - Monika's sister was home from medical school in China for just a few short weeks, so there was lots of work getting ready.  I've watched a video of the wedding days and here's how I believe it went:  The bride and groom have to do a lot of paperwork before the ceremony.  Never mind our custom of the groom not seeing the bride in her dress until the ceremony - after the usual girl things - makeup, hair styling and getting dressed with help from her attendants, the bride and groom go to do the paperwork, which may have been at the church.  Everyone in the wedding party seemed to be there, milling about as they signed documents.  In the sanctuary, the ring bearer and flower girl go down the aisle first, then the groom with his attendant and finally the bride with her brother.  There are lots of pictures taken in the church and outside the church.  Then everyone went several miles to a reception put on by the bride's family.  That is the first day.

The next day everyone gets dressed up again and they all go several miles away again to the reception put on by the groom's family, taking flowers and decorations with them.  I believe the groom's parents do not attend the first reception and the bride's parents do not attend the second - although the bride's 104 year old grandmother seemed to be at both.  It's all according to tradition.  

I know I got some of the pictures mixed up and there may be one or two repeated, but after looking through literally hundreds and trying to get them into a movie, I confess I was kind of confused.  I'm sure you'll understand.  Also, I couldn't find really appropriate music, so feel free to just turn off your speakers - my feelings won't be hurt one bit. On the DVD I watched, there were lots of sounds - the ululation the African women do, people shouting and blowing harmonicas, as near as I could tell that's what the sound was.  Sorry I can't reproduce all of that.  The young men who danced for the bride and groom kept rhythm by clapping and shouting.  It was a very joyful two-day plus event.  Here is the slide show

One more thing - the bride went almost immediately back to China to finish her studies to be a medical doctor, and the groom went back to his job as an airline pilot.  Tangeni will return to Namibia to do her internship in February.  

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