May 5, 2010

The Sendoff

We had Julia's bridal shower\"sendoff" Sunday afternoon, and it was amazing.  
 The table looked beautiful!

I had gone back with  Mrs. Stephanie to her house after services so I could help with some last minute preparations.  Mom and Julia got there at 2p.m., and then Mrs. Trina and the Gee girls came a bit later.  The Arusha ladies were about an hour late since services went longer than normal, and they had to get presents.  I was the "gate-girl", so when I heard them at the gate I went to get it.  When I opened it, all the ladies were in single file, standing in two rows.  They were figuring out who would stand where, and what song they should sing.  {NOTE: Please keep in mind that it was all ladies at the shower - no men were present!!! :)}  Once they had that figured out, they started singing and walking\dancing through the yard and onto the front porch.  After they'd taken their shoes off, they went inside and starting walking in a circle around the table in the dining room while they sang.  I was so glad to see them all come!  

After they had finished their song, they went into the living room and sat down.  At that point, some ladies from Moshi arrived.  It meant alot to us that they came - it's a long way from Moshi...I was so glad to see them!!!

We ate a nice lunch of little sandwiches, roasted nuts, fruit, and cake {nom nom}.  After all the dirty plates and cups were cleared away, Julia {looking absolutely beautiful} opened her presents from the missionary ladies.  The African ladies sang a little bit while she opened her gifts, but everything was very reserved. 

Then the ladies asked Mom to sit in a chair to the left of Julia, and told us that they weren't leaving, but had to go outside to get organized.  Mrs. Trina and the girl had to leave, so I went out and opened the gate for them.  When I got back to the porch, all the women were crowded close, holding their gifts - wooden spoons, khangas, baskets, etc.  Then, forming a line, they starting singing "It's a present for the girl, it's a present, even if it's small, a present!", and dancing into the house.  It was too crowded to get back in, so I joined line, and started singing and dancing as well.  Since I didn't have my present in my hand, I made my way to a empty spot, slipped out of the line and danced there instead.  If I would have thought of it at the time, I would've snatched up my present again, and continued in the line.  Oh well!
They went in a circle around the coffee table, until Mkunde (The lady at the beginning of the line) was in front again.  She danced, and waved her big basket around, twirling it in front of Julia's face, and above her head, then set it down at Mom's feet.  Each woman in line then, would demonstrate what her gift was {for example, if it was a khanga, wrap it around Jewels or themselves}, then put it in the basket.  It was loud.  Really loud!  Everyone was so happy, singing, dancing, and showing their gifts, along with the constant steam of "Aiyee! Aiyee! Aiyee!" sounds.  {Those sounds are so great to make, by the way!  Mom was able to edit some of the videos to make them decent to post a sample of} 

After everyone had put their gift in the basket, they all came and stood near me, and asked her to stand up and present the basket to Julia.  So, Mom took the basket, and handed it to Jewels.  All of us started singing, clapping, and swaying behind them.  If someone outside hadn't have known better, they would've thought that some indians were on the war-path with all that was going on in there!  

Once again, they asked Mom to sit in her chair, and said that they were going outside to "refresh".  :)  Then, they came in as before - singing\dancing single file, but this time held a long khanga over their heads.  This they brought and wrapped around Mom with much whooping and clapping.  Mom, Jewels, and I were having a really hard time keeping ourselves together.  After everyone sat again, a lady from each congregation took a turn making a little speech.  Most of them were about how well Mom has done with raising Julia to this point of her marriage.

Then people started going home, and after cleaning up a bit and stuffing some leftover cake in a tupperware, we went home as well.  It was a wonderful shower...none of us will forget it in a hurry, and Julia has wonderful presents reminding her of the people here.

*Love you Jewels!*


  1. "Julia {looking absolutely beautiful}"

    You got that right! :)

    Thank you Linz for your account of the "Sendoff". I enjoyed reading it very much.

  2. this sounds like quite an experience...
    i hope i can sing her a present when she gets here :)

    the table does look lovely.

  3. Aww Linz, you're sweet! I love you. :)

  4. Just remember - I've got the unedited video with all the evidence. ;)

  5. This is so neat! I'm glad you had such a good time. :) Thanks for sharing!


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