Thursday, April 11, 2013

headed to the chapel. or village.

A huge lesson I've learned these past couple of months is that often times concepts get lost in translation from culture to culture. For example, none of my friends here understand the concept that sometimes a girl just wants a bacon cheeseburger. In fact, many of them don't even know what bacon is. (And, for those of you living in the States who don't crave bacon you know what you're missing out on?! Jump on that wagon, right now.) 

However, if you look closer..if you get involved in people's lives, you see so many things that hold up under translation. Little boys will always be little boys. They joke. They play. They wrestle. They always manage to get into mischief, then weasel their way out of it because they are just so darn precious. 

Women will inevitably find each other and have "girl talk." Now, this time with women may look different from place to place, but the root of it is the same across the board. They talk clothes, babies, and about things going on in the town. They laugh, cry, and comfort each other in so many of the same ways.

 People will always get together to celebrate the fact that a man and a woman are choosing to spend the rest of their lives with each other. They enjoy celebrating this precious union. No matter the differences in these celebrations, a wedding is a time to be joyful and have a party. 

I have also come to realize that no matter which culture I find myself in, my room will always get wrecked getting ready for said celebration, even though I only have two possible outfits to wear to this event. Being a girl is tougher than one may think.

This past weekend I was offered the chance to experience a wedding in a village firsthand. What do you do when you're offered something like this? You take the offer, of course. So Saturday morning I found myself riding along on a saret (horse cart) bopping along (do people even use "bopping along" anymore?) to a small village, having no clue what the day held. The only thing I figured, though, is that it would be a PARTY. These people love to have a good time, so combine that with a wedding, and I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.

When we first arrived, I saw a tradition that may just make it into my wedding day. What is this tradition? Everyone sat in a huge circle and just gave money to the groom. At some point, while they were standing in front of the lucky man, they would break out into a little "happy dance." I'm thinking I almost have to do this one day. All for the sake of remembering times like this, right? They didn't just give money, though. They would also impart some of their wisdom and other words they deemed important. 

After this time, a truck drove through the village honking it's horn. Everyone would finally get to the bride. She stepped out of the truck, and she was absolutely beautiful! 

After the bride made her appearance, it was time to eat. Not only did they feed the whole village, they had plenty of food left over. These people know how to cook an amazing meal, and do it for the masses. After we ate there was more visiting, the bride came around to take pictures with people, then it was time for the real party to get started. They sat up a band and dancing commenced. We left around 7:30 for the long trek back home, but I was told they would continue dancing all night. You had men and women of ALL ages getting into the middle of the circle, and, honey, they could dance. I did attempt these dance moves, but let's just say there will be no posting of a video anytime soon. 

Like any day in Africa, this day held many unexpected surprises, but I'm so glad I was invited to partake in this special time. Moments like this cause me to pause and realize that although I sometimes think there are vast differences in culture, people are people. We are all intricately designed with the same innate desires. Isn't it amazing how God can merge two completely different cultures together to form friendships so that His name might be known around the world.

I guess I'm just trying to say I'm so thankful that He is a global God, and that His vision is so much bigger than ours.

1 comment:

  1. I love all the bright colors of the clothes. They also look very comfortable. You make a good point...with all of the differences in cultures, people are very much alike. Continue in the Father's love. Mrs. Sue