Thanksgiving Thursday was great fun as we had over 40 missionaries (including kids) at the GSF guesthouse for a feast. Everyone else on the compound continued work as usual and were very respectful of us and our holiday. This was our nurse Katie’s first Thanksgiving as she is from England.
|Some of the "Groom's Family" all decked out in our traditional garb|
The next day, Friday, was the wedding introduction for one of our staff members who grew up at GSF. The introduction is the time when the groom gives the dowry for the bride. It is a HUGE deal and each side hires a “speaker” to represent them—a drama of sorts. The neatest thing about the introduction in my opinion is that the groom had worked very hard at the dowry but still did not have as much as usual. The speaker spoke for him saying he was still young so he was not able to have as much for the dowry. They asked the bride if she would still accept him and she said “Yes!” Beautiful. At the end, the groom’s guests/family bring the dowry gifts in. Amy helped carry in the leg of a cow. Ha!
|The Happy Couple|
Saturday was the wedding for Isaiah, GSF farm worker, and Norah, his bride. The wedding was beautiful and took place in our chapel. All the GSF kids also got to go which was fun. Amy helped them find clothes to wear to dress up. Our girls helped all the GSF girls get their nails painted on Friday. Over 350 people attended, which is more than double the number expected, yet there was still enough food for everyone.
‘He gives and takes away’
The morning of the wedding, as we were all getting ready, Big David, our tailor, called Mark and told him that his 2 year old needed to be rushed to the hospital. Mark could tell it was an emergency and one of our drivers was heading toward the hospital at that moment. We got word about 45 minutes later that 2-year-old Simeon didn’t make it. Simeon was developmentally delayed and medical exams had not yet turned up the reason. He may have had a heart defect. It was so sad, but David (who had been very instrumental in planning the wedding) said the celebration must go on and they would have the burial the next day. Big David said, ‘The Lord gives, and He takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’
|Little Simeon in May; Big David is in the background|
Sunday was a tough day. We had a shortened prayer service at the church. David and his family live on the GSF compound so all the kids knew Simeon. Some of the older girls were very close to him and cared for him often. We loaded our bus a two other vehicles with 45 people to attend the burial. We went about an hour away to David’s home village of Kakira for the burial. It was somber ending to an exciting and packed 4-day weekend.