For the past few days, our village has been alive with people preparing for a big wedding tomorrow. I've stayed far from the house where the wedding's taking place due to projects on my plate. But today, I went to help arrange the flowers. (They got 1,000 roses. But since they bought it from the rose farm in Ilula, it was $35 for all the roses!)
In the front yard, a group of at least 30 men were meeting, discussing details of the day. (This is the umpteenth meeting of the past few weeks. Several other meetings had been held by the men since in Kenya, the groom is responsible for the reception. And this being a culture that relies heavily on community, many, many people have been involved.)
At the back of the house, as many women were gathered. Some were cooking dinner for the 100 or so guests who have already arrived. Some were peeling potatoes for tomorrow's meal. Many have been working for days now, sorting through 200kg (440lbs) of rice. Today, the men slaughtered another big bull. (In this culture, some tasks are distinctly just for the women, and some only for the men. Slaughtering is a man's job over here.) They also killed a goat. Because they're planning on feeding 600 people tomorrow. Maybe more. Many people will be coming simply because it's the first mixed marriage in our village. A new ELI staff member is marrying a Kenyan staff member. They met when she came on a team two years ago.
I'm the official photographer. As I was reading up on wedding photography tips, almost every single site I visited said, "Convince your friends to hire a professional." Oh, well, that's not an option here. Tomorrow, I'm pretending to be a pro. I have my shot list for the day.
Sometime in the afternoon, I'm also the chauffeur. I'll be driving the bride and groom to the post-reception reception at Kerio View.
Since it's not too far from Ilula, I'm going to spend the night at my home in Ilula and take the Sifuna kids shopping on Saturday. We need to go and buy their school uniforms. I hope to upload some of the wedding photos from Ilula tomorrow night. And some photos from yesterday's event, too. If we have power in Ilula, that is.
I should sleep. I think I might be dreaming of rose petals tonight... Rather that than the seven (or more!) giant pots of freshly-cut bull meat that stared at me from the kitchen.
I know, I know. You all want to be at the wedding tomorrow. You're welcome to come, I'm sure. The rest of the village will all be here!