you are lost?

17 01 2012

This is a totally fascinating phrase used by Ugandans when they have not seen you for a while.  I am not sure exactly what it means – as I am perfectly sure I know where I am and where I have been when I have been greeted this way – but it is another of those endearing/frustrating/perplexing phrases that makes a language personal.

It seems like some of you may ask “You are lost?” as I have been silent for longer than I would like. There is a whole spectrum of reasons.  One is that we are in a bit of a slump with where we are going.  A few things are uncertain and it is a challenge for me to say anything with certainty when my world is not perfectly set out before me.  (It never is this way… but I love to have some sense of how long we will be in a place and have a little clue as to what will be happening.  I am letting go of being in control and learning the constant lesson of holding God’s hands where He leads.  It is not easy but He has never let us down before. It frustrates me that I even think that things may just go absolutely horribly wrong when I know Who holds the future. )

Part of the fun of the last weekend was attending our first Ugandan wedding.  Denis and Patience are both from the cream of Ugandan society; they are educated, have good backgrounds and it was rather good for me that my limited knowledge of political figures in Uganda kept me from recognising ‘famous’ faces at the wedding.  Both of the newlyweds are humble, though, and the wedding was not one to draw people’s attention just for the sake of it. 

Surprisingly, the wedding began right on time. Africa Time is a well known phenomenon, but the wedding march was played, the bride entered grandly… and very few guests were present!   The church was about 1/6 full as the procession took place and crowded at the end.  We left off a few events on the programme… I soon saw that the next bride was sitting in the car outside the church door, waiting to enter!  Obviously this is a popular church and Saturdays are full of weddings!

It was not easy to get photos, unless one is willing to totally go paparazzi style and push others aside! (which is not in my nature, not really…)

But there was joyful singing

Gorgeous bridesmaids

Atmosphere from really hot lights

Proud display of marriage certificate

Totally jazzed up vehicles

And my fascination of the day: these outrageous bridesmaid shoes.

(How they made it through the day and night in those is WAAAAAY beyond me!)


Then there was the reception.  Several hours later, in the evening, back into the zooty clothes and off to an AMAZING spot on Lake Victoria, at the Serena hotel.

This was a splendid, tasteful occasion in a massive marquee.  The décor looked awesome and the dessert table attracted us all from the beginning!

There were several speeches, and then a number more.  It was clear that this couple is well loved, admired and they are wished several babies.

I loved one set of speeches:  Patience’s father passed away when she was young, and there are several matronly carers in her life.  In most of Africa a person does not just have one mother: all aunts become one’s mothers.  Although I could not understand what they were saying, these mothers obviously shared deeply.  The bride’s family is from the far west of Uganda and the clothing style is similar to that of Burundi, who wear garments similar to an Indian saree.  This has to be a circle of love!

Weddings are very special community events in Africa. To have been invited to share in this one will be a wonderful memory forever.




2 responses

18 01 2012
Allan Sutherland

What a lovely wedding experience. Glad you got to go. Fantastic memories.

21 01 2012

Wow, thanks for sharing! The clothes and atmosphere look really interesting. Love those funky red shoes.

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