In my attempt to record what it is like to be the “best man” of sorts I had to include the latest event. This past week Jason’s friend stopped over with an invite to his Uradi, or special prayer service event. They have these events at madrasas before the actual wedding to pray for blessing on the marriage. Only the man was there though so we have yet to meet the bride to be. J’s friend told us the suggested dress code for which we are always grateful so we can avoid odd (well, even more odd) stares for being Wazungus AND not wearing the appropriate attire.
We arrived about 30 minutes after the invite said it started but instead on going to the madrasa Jason was quickly snatched by his friend to meet people and the girls and I were escorted to his Mama’s house where there were women bathing, dressing, little girls putting on shiny and sparkly dresses, preparing food, and chaos. They grabbed a mat for us and we sat amidst the craziness. I have said it before: the people here especially the women LOVE to dress up. Turns out I did ok in the ensemble department which I consider a bit of a miracle since I had to find something I could easily nurse in AND was blinged out enough. I got lots of compliments on my headscarf (I managed to pin it correctly without drawing blood) but they still attacked me with black eyeliner. Yikes! I looked crazy scary but they were quite pleased with my 5 minute makeover. And Anni got some lipstick so she was thrilled. Then we headed over to the party and the waiting began. WAITING is epic here. I decided that instead of slaying a hyper Anni I would allow her to take pictures. This actually was one of my more brilliant ideas and her pictures even turned out pretty great. She also ran amok with the other kids there while the madrasa students chanted and prayed. Jason and his friend finally showed up and they were escorted right in front where Jason had to sit the entire 3 hours as a guest of honor. Lots of people held and kissed Miss Evy who was very popular. After about 2 hours they passed out food and Miss Anni quickly guzzled her sugary juice and ate lots of fried and or sugar cakes in the little brown bag (hey, I was just trying to make it thru at this point). Then they passed out this really strong coffee which I drank while saying a prayer that an espresso shot at almost 7pm would not mean no sleep for me or Evy that night. I met some really nice women who promised to come by this week and visit. We talked a bit about marriage, blessing, and God. Anni was also asked to receive the gifts with 2 other girls. After a ton of pictures we were off and after having some of the women carry our things and escort us to our car we headed home. Every time we attend these events I am exhausted but I am always grateful that we are invited, welcomed, and have an opportunity to share with our friends.
check out Anni’s pictures:
Jason and the soon to be groom
a little blury but Anni took this of the women sprinkling the incense
the waiting did not seem to bother Evy who quickly made lots of friends. Anni did a good job taking pics right?
and I took this one of Anni receiving the presents