besides seeing our friend after more than two years and attending his wedding we also had the awesome privilege to reconnect with his family members – people who are very close to our hearts.our friend looks very much the “city boy” part but he’s got countryside roots – as do many of the people here. the home is simple by most standards – two bedrooms conjoined by an entry way that also hosts the wood burning “stove” (just next to me). in spite of the home’s simplicity, the view makes for a perfect place to visit!though the dining area filled up most of the courtyard, it required no less than three rotations of people to feed everyone. during the reception the bride changes into a red dress (or in this case, two red dresses) and together she and the groom serve the crowd. as is custom, beer is plentiful but the groom also offered a toast of hard liquor and the bride is usually repsonsible for offering and lighting cigarettes. in exchange for their acts of service, the bride and groom are usually given red envelopes filled with money by those attending. because the reception time also includes various performers (think: variety show with comedians and musicians) and LOUD speakers we mostly stayed inside with the sprouts.
this kang is where liberty and i spent most of our time. it was by far the safest place to put her, provided i keep the sunflower seeds out of reach and watch carefully that she didn’t actually open the hard candy that they kept giving her.
when sterling needed a break from dancing in the doorway and entertaining the masses, or when he wanted to partake of some candy, he’d join us. and though liberty wasn’t always free to crawl around at will she was surprisingly happy to oblige those who wanted to hold and touch her.
as usual, everywhere sterling goes he is sure to make a friend. and this day was no expection.
eventually we ventured back outside. sterling needed to potty and so we excited the premises, took a little trek to the community toilet down the lane… and eventually settled in another (supposedly quieter) house next door in hopes of giving the sprouts a nap.
but that idea didn’t come to fruition as house #2 wasn’t conducive to our sprout’s sleep needs. either. so, we decided we simply needed to make the most of the situation. look! there’s dirt! and sure enough, sterling beat us to the punch!
eventually it was our turn to grab a stool and enjoy the onsight feast. not sure how they did it, but everything – from the service to the food was awesome! only negative was being that we were in the third rotation of people sitting down to eat we had to clear the debris from around our feet as everything that had been cleared from the table conveniently landed on the ground below.
the set-up was quite impressive. women stoked the fire under large cauldrons which in turn cooked the food. the lady in this particular picture is cooking sticky rice – which i find totally fascinating since i can’t even do it one little pot! (the pink rags were damp and served as protection from the sun and heat. did you notice her heels?)
needless to say, we were not in want for food! this caudron is full of large meetballs. impressive, ay!?!
at the end of the cauldron line was spicy fish and the tubs of soapy and clear water for cleaning dishes. they had the system down to a science!near the dining area a separate cooking area was set up where several people worked diligently creating vegetable masterpieces and tofu dishes. everything was absolutely delicious!even with all the fun, the perfect weather and the beautiful skyline eventually we had to pack up shop and begin the three hour trek home. but before we did, i took one last picture of “the boys” in what will be the most natural environment we’ll see in a long time.
in close, it seems appropriate to share with you the symbol for (double) blessing that is normally posted in the home (or in this case, on the door) of a bride and groom. i especially love the symbolism of the modern day version with the double hearts.
as much as we were blessed by our time at our friend’s wedding and reception our hope and prayer is that they will continue to be doubly blessed!