We were legitimate wedding crashers this morning.
Sizo asked us to come watch him and his quartet sing at church, and that’s always a highlight of these trips so we immediately agreed. Little did we know, the service was combined with a wedding ceremony. After the bride walked down the aisle, the pastor told the entire wedding party that there were special friends there from America and had us stand up. How embarrassing. 3 and a half hours later (no exaggeration although I wish it was), Sizo finally stood up to sing. He sang one 3 minute song and there was still another hour to go in the wedding service. I told the girls we would have to try to sneak out without being noticed, but they laughed as we were getting more pictures taken of us from the wedding paparazzi than the bride and groom. I learned two things from my first Swazi wedding experience for if I ever get married:
1) I will never have a 4.5 hour service. My dad falls asleep at the regular 1 hour service… pretty sure my entire family would be snoozing by the 2nd or 3rd hour. Although it was pretty hard to do so with the volume from the microphones turned up SO LOUD. And the pastor yelled into the microphone and frantically moved about the front of the room with such ferocity that there were beads of sweat flying off of him like tiny horizontal streams of rain drops (the room was freezing cold).
2) My wedding party will be required to dance their way down the aisle to some sort of hip hop…perhaps Jay-Z while continuously booty popping, while Katy does Indian calls from the sidelines. That actually happened, although the song was something in siSwati and Katy was actually a large family member of the bride. And it was awesome.
After the wedding, we stopped by Selula Sandla HIV orphanage to play with our kiddos. In January we collected donations of used Christmas cards from friends and family (THANKS SO MUCH!!). Today we gave all of the cards to the kids and they cut off the usable parts (a santa here and a Merry Christmas there) and created a collage on a new card stock. The kids definitely were thinking quantity over quality finishing each card in less than a minute and shooting their little hands out yelling "MORE"! If someone walked by you would think we were running some kind of sweat shop... but the kids were so proud of their cards! Some were better than others but my favorite were the ones where the kids cut out things that should not go on the Christmas card – such as “MADE IN THE USA” with a picture of an American flag… and one card actually had a letter written by a mail carrier thanking someone for a kind tip. We are thinking about using the less attractive ones as goofy cards to send to friends… or maybe to thank our housemate for his beats we hear constantly through the thin walls of our guesthouse at all hours of the day and night. The best of the best will be for sale at our November First Friday Hope Art exhibition at the Athenaeum ArtSpace downtown Indy. 100% of the proceeds will go to programs at the HIV orphanage. Email me if you are going to be unable to make the art exhibition but would like to purchase a pack of Christmas cards with handmade envelopes (they are all mailable with one stamp) - 5 for $15! (firstname.lastname@example.org)