Monday, January 10, 2011

My Bus Driver's Wedding

Mats presented as gifts.

My brother, one of the groomsmen.

The happy couple

The flower girls rolling out the white carpet.

The groomsmen and the groom in the front of the church.

My Bus Driver’s Wedding
I try to be loyal to the busses in my village and use them over the other district busses when I have the choice. My family is good friends with the bus driver, and he is like a brother to me, so when I heard that he was getting married, I jumped at the chance to go and congratulate him in person.
The bus driver was marrying a girl who lives about 8 villages away, and as the norm, the wedding was in the village of the female. My sister came with me to the wedding, since it was my family’s Sabbath, and they were going to church.
We showed up early, and sat with people from my village. Throughout the wedding service, it reminded me how much some Samoans complain about the heat. It makes me feel like the few times I complain, it is completely justified. The woman was using a piece of paper to fan herself, and it was often going in front of my face with a few taps.
The groomsmen (There were at least 10) came in the side door of the church and immediately sat down with the groom. When the wedding was to start the bridesmaids walked in by themselves. They then rolled out a long white fabric for the bride to march in on. There were several flower girls, to place the flowers on the end of the fabric as they marched with the other young girls to spread the fabric across the aisle of the church.
The wedding ceremony was similar to most ceremonies here. However, towards the end of the service, people started leaving. They said it was because they were hot. I didn’t understand the real reason for leaving, until later, so I stayed until the end.
The reason why they left early is to secure a seat in the hall. There were not enough seats for as many guests as they had. So my sister and I sat on the edge of the hall. It was strange because this was the first major event I was not getting the “special Palagi” treatment. A few people felt bad, but no one could secure a seat for me. I didn’t mind too much since outside was less crowded with a breeze. So I enjoyed the view from outside cheering on the dancing and speeches.
Then, they had the presentation of gifts, and I always love watching this as some Samoans make the most wonderful presents. There were so many fine mats with colorful feathers that were magnificent. There was also plenty of food, such as cases of corned beef and sardines, and fabric to be presented as well.
When that was over, my sister found me and told me to tell me it was time to go. I didn’t mind, because later that night the family would hold a dance to celebrate the union of the couple.
My parents had reservations about me going to the dance, since I would be going far away from home, and they wouldn’t be there to ensure my safety, but finally let my brothers be my chaperone.
At the dance there was one corner filled with people from my village, and in the true junior high fashion I took turns with dancing with each of them, when they asked me to dance.
Throughout the night the power wasn’t stable, and we had several (at least 3) power outages, leaving us in the dark with only the glow of people’s cell phones to keep us from tripping over one another. For the longest one, me and my brothers went out to the cricket field to relax in peace.
When the dance was over, we forgot to secure our ride home. A group of 8 of us walked for over a mile before we found a ride to take us home. One of my brothers was screaming out “Taxi!” to each incoming car.
It was a great celebration for my bus driver.

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