Friday, August 15, 2014

     Thursday's trip home from Bukavu was much slicker and quicker.  On the way home we stopped and bought tomatoes, pineapple and papaya from a roadside market.  Then we all came here,  and we threw together what we could for lunch for everyone.  We dropped the President and the Clawson's at the airport at 1:15pm and went home, spent.  But as we were semi-dozing on the couch, the phone rang.  It was Aimable, the young man getting married, and he invited us to his "dot" party, which was to start at 6:00pm.  We dragged ourselves over to the dot (pronounced dote) party and were glad we did.  It was a real Burundian wedding tradition, the giving of the "dot", or bride price.  The bride-to-be was not present at first,  and the dialogue between representatives of both families was kind of an ancient traditional game of "Who are you seeking?"    African drums, woven bridal baskets filled with different foods given to the bride's parents by the groom, the sound of a cow mooing when the dot was presented and accepted (dots used to be cows), and a grand entrance by the bride-to-be, complete with singers culminated the ceremony.  Fanta drinks and juices for all!

This is a wedding basket that they fill with food (rice, avocados, etc.) for the bride's parents.

     Two days after the dot was presented, the wedding took place.  The couple got married civilly at noon and then came to Branch 1 for what they called a Church blessing.  This consisted of advice being given to the newlyweds by Jean Paul and his wife Egenie, a couple of songs, and then advice and a prayer given by President Mabingo, the Branch president.   Frida looked beautiful in her wedding dress, and of course, Aimable is as handsome as he can be.

                             I got to wear my official Burundian dress to the wedding.

     Their reception began after the Church blessing and, boy, was it boring!  All the reception consisted of was everyone sitting in chairs listening to men from both sides of the family bloviate.  Refreshments again consisted of a Fanta drink.  The event began about 3:00pm (at least that is when we were told to be there for the blessing), the Van's made their exit at 7:00pm, and we stayed till Aloys told us to go up and present our gift to the happy couple at about 8:00pm.  No fun had by anyone at the reception!  Aimable and Frida had warned us about Burundian receptions, and they were right!  No socializing, so dancing, no eating, no singing. no drums.  This is definitely something we do better in the States!

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