Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rwandan wedding!

Well this is a bummer. Since returning from my trip to Eastern Uganda 3 weeks ago, my stomach has been fighting something (each day, practically). After multiple tests this week, the doctor isn’t 100% sure but she thinks it’s a parasite. All I know is, SOMETHING is attacking my stomach and it’s no fun. I’m able to eat a little but not as much as usual, so I’m rather weak/lethargic. Plus I’m incredibly dehydrated—in the past two days, I drank 9 liters (more than TWO GALLONS) of water. And I’m still thirsty…bizarre.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying. I’m hoping I can go back to work on Monday feeling like a new person. And also, I appreciate Marsali who took me to the clinic…and also my other friends/co-workers who have popped over to my flat to pay me a visit: Lauren yesterday, Katy today, a surprise visit from Solomon/Richard/Dennis/Eddy this evening, and Maria tomorrow!

Now, for something more cheery: I recently attended a Rwandan wedding here in Kampala. My dear friend, Laticia, told me her cousin was getting married and asked if I’d like to come along. It was a lovely and very classy event. When the bridal party entered the reception hall, they were lead by a display of fireworks as well as traditional Rwandan dancers (incredible!) Not too shabby!

After about two hours of wedding speeches (which were in the Rwandan language which I don’t understand a word of!), Laticia and I slipped out and sat in the cool evening air. We talked a lot about our growing-up years, our families, etc. I appreciate friends like her who challenge me and aren’t afraid to ask blunt questions such as, “Ashley, what has made you sad in your life….” Definitely opens doors to some honest, deep conversations.

I brought my small point-and-shoot camera and my flip-cam, so here are a few photos from before and during the wedding.

Pre-wedding: Laticia and I (she's one of my closest friends here in Kampala, and I'm so thankful for her! She lives right outside my gate which is awesome :)


Two of my lovely friends, Laticia (different shirt this time) and her older sister Natasha.


The next 3 photos were taken by Laticia on my point-and-shoot camera which does not take impressive indoor photos. sigh.


My other friend (the third sister) was a bridesmaid and she looked stunning! Sylvia's in the purple dress (I have no idea who the others are!)


Phenomenal traditional Rwandan dancers. My favorite part of the reception.


um I tried to give her the memo to make a silly face. Instead, she looks scared of my goofyness :)


My friend, Natasha, and I in front of the lovely wedding cakes. [Don't you love her traditional Rwandan dress?]


Oh and by the way, if you're the only white girl in a crowd of several hundred Africans, you can expect something unusual to happen---such as the two men (one was quite intoxicated w/ alcohol) who spent ten minutes trying to convince me that they needed a photo with me. They literally refused to take no for an answer, so when they called the wedding photographer over, I just forced a grin while he snapped a photo. The one man said he was a teacher in the village and couldn't wait to show them my photo....I definitely felt like an animal in the zoo. A good lesson for me to remember to have photo etiquette when I walk around with MY camera! It's important to be sensitive so that others don't feel that way.


the queen said...

Ashley, I pray you feel better and can return to work! It is great to get a glimpse of your journey over there. Love it! Thanks for sharing!

Joshua and Stephanie said...

You sure look beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Praying for that parasite to be gone!! We are thrilled to see how you have immersed yourself into the culture and made so many international relationships!! Your life is now richer because of all those relationships, and their life is SUPER rich because of spending time with ASHLEY!! Cheers! Joe & Kim