Saturday, April 19, 2014
We started on Tuesday with a dinner fir all the visitors from overseas. But things quickly got more elaborate & interesting. Lots of ceremonies, lots of fun, lots of food.....
Official Engagement (the 2 families actually sign a certificate in the temple). The bride was nervously watching....
then afterwards she was given many presents to welcome her to the family.
then the Chuni Ceremony, where the bride is given her official ceremonial sari. She will be expected to wear this whenever there are ceremonies in future.
The women of the grooms family come in singing carrying the sari on their shoulders
then they put it on the bride
then she got her bangles from her mother in law
After many blessings etc. finally the moment she had been waiting for: her groom walked in for the official engagement. He came in style bearing flowers and, yes he did! He went down on his knee before her.
Here the Hindu put on the wedding ring during this ceremony. This is actually the second engagement, since the first one is between the 2 families, not the bride & groom and happened a few months ago.
Now this is followed by more blessings:
then finally food, food & more food.
Here is my outfit of the day:
That evening we also did the Mendhi ceremony. Where the women decorate their hands with Henna. I forgot my camera that evening, but here is the result:
the henna is still on, but slowly crumbling off & I had applied some oil to make the color more intense.
Next day were more prayers & fire ceremonies
then the women danced again, bringing some holy water to bless the relationship
Then the big day came.
Sorry picture is a bit wobbly. But here I am ready to go
First I went to the African WEdding in a little Salvation Army Church outside Nairobi. I had not charged the phone, so no pictures inside. Bride & groom reached 2.5hours late, so I didn't stay until the end of the ceremony either. Just waited for the vows to be exchanged and dashed back to town.
To show you the difference:
Here are some of the bridesmaids of the African wedding
and then I went to the Hindu temple
Where the mother of the groom & her niece were happy to see us.
The ceremony was going on already
After lots of prayers, fire ceremonies, rice being thrown etc. finally the bride & groom walked the required times around the fire & were married
The presiding Brahmin had a great sense of humor and I wished he had talked in English throughout
Here is my good friend Geetha, who is the aunt of the groom and through whom we became so close to the family. Geetha is the one standing, the one in green / red is the mother of the groom & Geethas sister in law.
Even BF had dressed up for the occasion.
Now we remain with the reception tomorrow. In Indian weddings the reception is often the enxt day, since the ceremonies take so long.
So tomorrow evening we will have another fabulous party with colorful clothes and lots of fun
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Next week I have 2 weddings to attend. One will last a week and one the usual 1 day. Both religious ceremonies are on Saturday.
Now how is someone expected to find time to work inbetween?...LOL
Ok First the simple 1 day wedding: A friend from my time at German School is finally tying the knot with his long time life-in Girlfriend with whom he has 3 kids. So I will go for the church wedding and then excuse myself. His Relatives will have to figure out themselves, why this white woman shows up in church in an Indian Suit.... LOL Because I will have to rush from there straight to the temple (other side of town) for the next ceremony.
the Indian wedding is in the family of very close friends. So close in fact that the groom considers BF & myself as family and he introduced me as his aunt to his bride.
He is a cute guy who will make her a wonderful husband.
They are Hindus, so I will be priviledged to participate in a full Hindu wedding.
It all starts on Tuesday when they will have the first Family dinner. Lots of relatives are coming over from England, so it is easier to have family dinners at the grooms families house. They will be serving 3 meals a day there, but I am excused for breakfast & lunch since I am working - which is good, since I would blow up like a balloon with all the goodies they are going to serving. I mean the smell alone puts about 3 pounds on your hips.... LOL
On Thursday there will be the official engagement. Indians have usually 2 "engagements, the first where the families officially meet and make the connection official, that was several months ago. Now the actual engagement. I understand the Hindu actually exchange rings.
I will be wearing this:
t comes with the grey trouser & headscarf you can see peeing out on the hanger. Bought it last week
In the evening I will change back into normal clothes, since we will have the Mendhi ceremony, where the women put Henna on their hands - will be messy.... Problem is always you get the food after the Henna has been put, now you have problems eating...
On Friday there are several other ceremonies, not sure what they are, but I think we don;t need to dress up.
On Saturday is the wedding in the temple. And on Sunday is the wedding reception. I will wear the following 2 outfits, just not yet sure which on which day:
It will be another amazing experience
Friday, February 21, 2014
Wow this is a different expereience all together.....
When I finally got the job offer after the long wait, I kind of deflated. It was all I wanted, but instead fo being Happy I was just tired. Must have really been under tension.
At my old job, everything was going crazy as well, so i was more sure than ever that the move is the best thing for me.
Well the happiness did set in after a while.
Now I am winding up at the old job. Only today & Monday left, then I am done. But I am glad that yesterday I finally had a feeling of success:
We finally did the presentation of the PM Methodology we developoed to the Senior Management. It had taken me for ever to figure out how to put it on graphs. But it was worth it! We had the full attention of those present, but did not get all to attend. There were lively discussions, but in the end they agreed with us, only suggested some minor changes. Yes! A buy-in! Now I can leave in the assurance that all the hard work was nto in vain and the team I am leaving behind will have the Senior Support they need to take things further. I know it will not be smooth sailing, but at least it is a start.
I am also glad that I decided to take my leave days next week instead of having them paid out, since I need a few days to compose myself and get internally ready for the new job.
Sunday, January 05, 2014
I was privileged to go on another wonderful trip with BF.
We started out with a nice lunch in the Trout Tree Restaurant near Nanyuki. A restaurant build into a tree like a tree house on a trout farm.
From there we went to Nanyuki, we stayed at the Sports Club, one of the quirky old Clubs started by the Colonialists.
Poli played a round of golf and I walked with him.
Then we had drinks and a nice BBQ dinner. That evening Mt. Kenya was hiding in its usualy clouds.
Next morning we found bright sunshine and a cloudless sky, so of course I took lots of pictures of the beautiful Mt. Kenya.
The road from Nanyuki to Meru National Park basically goes around the mountain and then down towards the next mountain range near Maua over which you have to drive as well. It was a beautiful drive & we stopped every once in a while to take pictures. It looks like the snow fields on Mt. Kenya have grown a bit during the last heavy wet season, which is a good sign, since global warming is depleting the snow on both Mt Kenya & Mt. Kilimanjaro.
We reached the park at 1pm and went to the banda where we were staying, unloaded the car, had a quick lunch and off we were for a game drive.
The Park is one of Kenya's wildest, but after the good rains it was very green and had a park like feeling.
Bushes were blooming with flowers, it was green and all the dry river beds still had some water. But the roads were more or less dry, so it was easy driving.
First we drove all the way to Tana River at the end of the park to see Adamson's Falls.
then we started meandering through the park. WE looked at Pippa's Grave,
then Elsa's Kopje and all the other reminders of the Born Free story,
and saw lots of wild life. Even though we did not see any big cats or rhino, we saw almost every other animal you can see in the park. Lots of birdlife, big herds of elephant & buffalo etc.
That evening as we were cooking our stew for dinner, a Gazelle with a young one came out of the bush and passed our banda, what a beautiful sight!
The next morning we drove around some more and saw lots of animals again. For some reason they did not open the gate for the rhino sanctuary, so we couldn't enter, but maybe that has to do with the heavy poaching we are experiencing every where in Africa.
We had to be out of the park by lunch time, since the tickets are valid for 24 hrs, but we also had another 350km drive back home.
It started out as a cloudy dull day, but cleared up and driving down to Nairobi, now on the other side of Mt Kenya was fun.
We stopped several times at road side stalls to buy fruits, rice etc. at very cheap prices. Price increase as you get closer to Nairobi.....
Here are the rice fields around Mwea
Here a view from Maua Hountain Range up into the North of Kenya
It was another wonderful outing and we came back quite refreshed.
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