Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Eight Pregnant Cows Later!

This past week-end we got to go to our favourite place in Rwanda... Gisenyi.
Gisenyi is a small town on the north shore of Lake Kivu in the west of Rwanda, bordering Congo.
LOTS of Serge's family lives there so we get to go there a couple times a year for various wedding ceremonies or other family functions.
There are FIVE ceremonies to a Rwanda wedding.

1. Gufatirembo - bookin' the bride
Serge just did this last weekend with a small delegation of 8 people, for his young brother who is going to get married in March 2011. The brother is now allowed to come through the front gate / door and sit in the house AND the family is not to accept any other offers for marriage for the girl.

2. Gusaba - Dowry Giving
This is the ceremony that we were at on Sunday afternoon. It is a very traditional ceremony where the grooms family comes to ask the girls family for her hand in marriage AND work out the dowry price. Can be pretty entertaining! Guess in the old days, they would dig up all the dirt on the grooms family to have lots of ammunition why they don't have to give them the girl! Can still happen sometimes today... then it's hot!

Here comes the bride...

The Bride.. worth EIGHT PREGNANT cows!!
Highest Bride price I have heard.

The interns looking all lovely in the traditional Mishananas... and Isabella too

Our family at the end of a very long afternoon.
Isabella doing faces, Beni playing peekaboo and Prince being cool.
Kids had TOO many people wanting to hold and greet them as they were the stars of the family.
Would we PLEASE have one more kid.. NO!!!!

What's next you ask..
3. Civil Wedding
All must have a civil wedding to be legally married here
4. Church Wedding, Reception - for about 600 people! Very westernized. Followed by an invitation only dinner with about 150ish people.
5. Gutwikurura - The ceremony when the bride's family brings all her stuff the home she is going to live in with her new husband. Quite the procession sometimes I tell you! All her belongings, all the stuff she has bought for her new home AND food for about three months. Can happen the night of the church wedding (I do NOT like this as I am never in bed before 2am when this happens!), the next afternoon, or after the honeymoon.

Then....honeymoon and hopefully happily ever after.
This was the first of FOUR 'important' weddings for us this summer, meaning we must at least go to the dowry giving and the church wedding. CRAZY!!
Guess it's better than two years ago when we had a wedding ceremony booked EVERY Saturday from May to the end of August except two.
At least they serve fanta! Blessing when it's cold...


Oh Fiddlesticks! said...

So good to catch a glimpse into your amazing life - what an adventure God has led you on! We had a super visit with The Dougans last week. Isobel & Clayton were here for a wonderful few days. Lots of laughs (British style)!!

Kirk Bartha said...

learned a lot here... fun fun