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Published: November 8th 2011
This place is absolute amazing and the scenery is indescribable, and it is why Fort Portal has been called the mother of pearl (if Uganda is Pearl of Africa), but our bad experiences, which we will describe in next blog, hasn’t changed our view of this amazing place on the earth but definitely changed our opinion about Ugandans. In the middle of Uganda’s mountains surrounded by crater lakes you will find lush forests, wild animals and view towards Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is a small village where did we stay with a family for one week.
Fort Portal is a small town but the biggest in this area and it isn’t a big deal. When you need to charge your mobile phone, laptop, make shopping or you have some troubles to figure out (which was daily for us) when usually you go to Fort Portal. The best part of this fantastic corner of the world is around the town and you can have eye to eye contact with your closest relatives - chimpanzees. It is possible to see mountain gorillas as well if you are willing to spend quite lot money. Every morning we took a refreshing dip
in the crater lake Nkuruba which is literally surrounded by jungle (which is a rainforest), and it is amazing to enjoy the wild life (jumping monkeys, birds etc) while you are taking the morning swim. Actually it is just one of a few creator lakes around this area which are free from dangerous wildlife like hippos and bilharzias (bugs which is coming through your skin and continue to your organs, and destroy them). Always it is best to ask the locals about the situation of the lakes (but remain skeptical to the advices and think few times before you are plunging into the water).
In the mornings you will be pleased to take a long walk to “Top of the world” (it is one of the highest point in the area with 360 degree view) and enjoy one of many amazing sunrises. Of course nothing is for free in Uganda but if you will talk a little with the guarders it can work don’t pay enter fee.
On our arrival to the village we got know that we are invited to a wedding. Well we didn’t have a clue who is these people but since we are staying
in the village so we were a part (or the main guests) of this big party. We were placed behind bride and groom parents’ seats and behind us the other family members. Of course we felt really uncomfortable since we have never seen these guys in our life. In this wedding party was attending over 300 guests and everyone told us that this party is pretty small but according us it was the biggest wedding party we have been on.
Diana did an excellent entrance down the hill on the muddy roads since it is short but heavy rain season in Uganda right now. Everyone had a great laugh when she slide down the hill and hold in Chris all the time. Some African women made artificial steps so it was much easier to get down and up for the hill. Well for the bride with a nice, long, white and quite oversized dress was a bigger trouble to get down the hill. The bride maids made sure that she won’t lose the balance but the dress became darker and darker for every step, and shoes muddier and muddier for everyone. The groom had less trouble and he looked
quite happy about his situation.
The wedding music was playing loudly and everyone stand up to welcome the bride and groom to the party. The MC talked without stopping and we really were wondering what he was talking about because he didn’t have time to breath in between almost. Sometimes he said few words in English so we could understand as well. People looked quite bored and it was an unemotional ceremony at all. We think that we were the main attraction to everyone. The bride was incredible unhappy and sometimes she created a false and sweet smile on her face. The bride maid was drying her face with a tissue every two minutes and the best man was doing same with the groom. It did look that they have the worse day in the life but this still was a wedding.
People were sitting on the chairs, ground, grass, 360 degree around the bride and groom. Everyone in the village has to witness the ceremony and if people don’t arrive it means shame and this couple isn’t really important. The amount of people in the party shows the respect the village has for the new married couple
and their families.
According our tradition of wedding at home, this wedding was quite in different order. For example they did cut the wedding cake first and share a small peace to everyone. Of course they begin to share the cake to important people and later on the left over to the whole village. As well they have to save two big pieces of the cake to groom and bride families.
After some time and more talk for MC man, we were invited to eat. Since we were “important” guest we were served our food and other people needed to serve by themselves. It was a great African buffet with many different dishes. The alcohol wasn’t served at all but for some reason the young attainders of the wedding got drunker and drunker before the day became a night.
We have noticed that it was quite a big argument about the bride price between the families. Maybe the groom parents didn’t give enough cattle, who knows. In a later stage of the ceremony groom or bride relatives just stand up and left the party without any words which was quite strange of course.
The darkness became
darker and darker, and the disco began. The fireflies lit up the sky and ground, and it became really cozy around. The new married couple opened the dance floor with a strange dance. The music was playing loudly but times to times were some technological problem. We were dancing and having fun as well but since the music went on and off, we decided to leave the wedding. The music stopped to play 5am in the morning and the village was dead whole Sunday.
It was a great opportunity to attend an African wedding and see a village celebration of it. Of course it is quite different than ours and it was a life experience.
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