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Saturday, December 11, 2010

I now pronounce you...

Today Kaitlyn and I had the great pleasure of attending the wedding of Zamor, one of our kids' tutors, along with a group of our girls. Mikerline, Cherley, and Isguerda were greeters/ushers and bridesmaids at the wedding.


Yesterday I asked Mikerline and Cherley what time we should arrive at the wedding. You may be thinking, "Shouldn't you arrive at least before the wedding is scheduled to start?" In the states, the answer is a fervent "yes." In Haiti, its "not really." From what I'd heard, weddings to do not start on time here. The bride, groom, bridal party, or all of the above may be horribly late. Mikerline and Cherley debated about the time we should arrive, then agreed 9:30 am. This morning I received a test message from Mikerline, who was already at the chapel, that we should get there by 10:00am. Right before I walked over to the girls home to round them up (at about (9:40), Monis, who works at the girls home, showed up at the guest house looking for soap for the girls. "The girls who are coming to the wedding are ready, right?" I asked her. "Two are and the rest are bathing," was her answer. I went back to my room to read for a bit, hoping that we wouldn't miss the start of the ceremony. When I arrived at the girls home I found two girls planning to go still in the shower. The others were running around fixing their hair. I put on my best stern voice and essentially told them to get their butts outside. After multiple rounds of this, I was informed by Jessica, a Haitian girl doing some of their hair, that she had just seen Zamor (remember, he is the groom) walking to the chapel on her way to the girls home. She approximated the time that she had seen him as 9:45. Ookkkaayyy... We were in good shape then. Eventually the girls got their butts outside and we began walking down the street. Kaitlyn and I were wearing sensible, but cute, sandals, whereas the girls all wore snazzy high heels. They didn't want to walk. Markenson was just pulling up at the boys home so we flagged him down to drive us to the chapel. When he finally arrived, he told us that he didn't have gas to take us. Like me, Markenson and most of our staff ignore my dad's instructions to leave half a tank of gas in the car. Isn't there a bunch more miles in the tank even after it goes to the empty sign, dad? We walked.


These are the models who live next door and we walked with to the wedding

We arrived at the chapel to maybe only five pews half filled by people. We were sooo not late. Kaitlyn, the girls and I walked out to the balcony to get some fresh air. While we were there, Enrique Pierre, a teacher at our school, asked me to take pictures as the choir walked down the aisle to their seats. I did so, then stood up again to take pictures once the music started for the ceremony. Apparently EVERYONE brought their camera to take photos and I would have to fight for my place to see the bridal party.

Wedding paparazzi

The nervous groom

To my utter horror/amusement, the first two flower girls who walked in slowly sauntered down the aisle to the tune of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." I tried to restrain myself from looking at Kaitlyn, but I completely failed. She hid her face behind the program. Next, the music switched to "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas. Hopefully everyone thought I was just smiling and loving the ceremony. Isguerda and Cherley were two of 6 girls who lined up side by side in two lines, danced slowly down the aisle while crossing back and forth, making one line then two. After that, someone (have no idea about her title) walked in wearing a short white dress. Next, the bride. She was wearing white gloves, a frilly gown, and a white veil. Look at her:


I took some close-up pictures of her, the music stopped, then I sat down with the girls. I received a few looks from the other photographers, but whatever. I chalked it up to my severe WHITENESS and the fact that I was the only female amongst a bunch of male photographers. Katiana, sitting next to me, gave me a funny look then whispered, "Why did you sit down?" I answered, "Because everyone is at the front of the church now and I can get better pictures from here." "That lady wasn't the bride. Durlande (the bride) hasn't walked down the aisle yet," she answered with a giggle. WHAT? I snickered along with Kaitlyn then picked my white self up off the pew and stood up again. Sadly, the bride did not walk into the church to the tune of a Disney song, but she was beautiful. Here THE ACTUAL BRIDE IS, with her father:


The pastor preached, the choir sang, and then two women moved to the front of the church to sing. The song was "There can be miracles, when you believe... (I don't know the name of the song.) Its from "The Prince of Egypt", I believe! As the duet ended, ALL the photogs (it seemed like 20) began making their way to the front of the church. I knew from the last (but not as entertaining and beautiful) wedding I attended in Haiti that the excitement about THE KISS was building. Apparently, according to our girls, this is why most Haitians go to weddings. I fought my way for a good view, as before I left the house, this was Erta's request: "Get a picture of the kiss!" I really hoped that "Kiss the Girl" from The Little Mermaid would play, but alas. Zamor gave his bride a little peck, then was reprimanded by the crowd and commanded to give her another, better kiss. Here it is:


After this, we left with the girls who were not in the wedding and headed home. Kind of a boring end to a delightful morning, but we didn't have a car and didn't really know what was going on with a reception. Mikerline, Isguerda, and Cherley did go to it though. I'm sorry, but all future weddings I attend will have a lot to live up to now.

This evening Mikerline and I laughed about how I'd thought the wrong woman was the bride. It turns out the first woman I photographed was the bride's sister AND the godmother (its a Haitian tradition to have a godmother for a wedding ceremony. I'm not sure what her responsibilities are beyond that). If MY sister shows up wearing a beautiful white dress for MY wedding, causing people to mistake her for the bride, there's no telling what I will do to her. I know she would feel the same.

FYI: Obviously, I am not really a photographer. Sadly, the pictures turned out gross. The lighting was difficult to work with blah blah blah. I wanted you to get the idea of the wedding so I put them in anyway.




33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Brooke, Thanks for the pictures and funny story! It was so great to see Isguerda and Shirley and the rest again, all dolled up. I miss Haiti! Please say Hi to the girls for me!! Love, Marijane

Andi said...

Scheduling in Haiti sounds similar to Uganda! We went to wedding while I was there in 2008, and we were told it was starting ON TIME and we should be there by 10 AM. It didn't start until 12:30. We should have known....

@silveira_julio said...

the Haitians are very beautiful, congratulations to the newlyweds
nuvenus chovendus

Mollie said...

This is amazing! Found you via Blog of Note. Keep up the brilliant work!

ABG said...

Oh,your blog is very nice .I really like it ^^!

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Happy and Happy every single day like a Christmas!
http://www.ABGindia.blogspot.com
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Emma W. said...

The name of the song from "Prince of Egypt" is called "When You Believe."

Kathy Day said...

oh brooke, I am still laughing as I write this comment. I really hope you have a Disney themed wedding as well. And I am going to wear a white dress and veil.

RSA Now said...

Oh gosh I would not be able to keep my composure at a Disney wedding! It looks great though :) (both brides)

Gemeaux Rising said...

<3<3<3!!!!

readalouddad.com said...

Lovely!

Read Aloud Dad

C. Alvarez said...

That sounds like absolute fun! And now you have a plan for your THE KISS! Congratulations on Blog of Note, and I hope you don't mind but I plan to follow and see more photos

dys·func·tion said...

Congratulations on the Blog of Note! You are a very well spoken writer, and it is nice to see such empathy and intelligence all rolled into one.
I look forward to more in the future!

Brooke said...

Wow! Thank you everyone for your encouragement! I had no idea about the Blogs of Note until now. I love it that everyone thought this wedding had hilarious moments just as I did. Thank you so much for reading. I am thrilled that more people are reading about this country and its beautiful people!

my life in hell said...

I've read some of your blog and while it's all well and good to blog about what's going on in your own life or that of someone in a different part of the world,I wonderwhy you don't take an interest with what's going on with someone else and when warranted show some concern?

kaiti n' haiti said...

Brooke! This blog is awesome. I have been a long time follower. You are such and inspiration to all. And congrats on being a blog of note- it sure is noteworthy.
Brooke, you DO take interest in others! "My life in Hell" you should read the rest of her blog because Brooke DOES care about others and is very concerned about others. Otherwise she wouldn't have given up a high paying job to care for poor children in tent cities. That takes interest AND concern. Or are you referring to something to specific?
Keep up the great work Brooke! More people should follow your example- then their life wouldn't be in hell anymore! haha

*~Christine~* said...

BROOKE,
Thanks to you being a Blog of Note (congrats!) I came across your blog. And I am SO glad I did! This blog is so great! I actually for about 3 years now have been sponsoring a little girl in Haiti through Compassion International, but have never had the chance to go there. I cannot wait to keep reading of your adventures and experiences there. Now following!!

http://thesilverlining122.blogspot.com/

commoncents said...

YOU BLOG ROCKS!!!

Steve
Common Cents
http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

Lowender said...

Seems like a very worthwhile and fun adventure. I look forward to reading more!

ewiemeyer said...

This trip has probably been, and will continue to be fulfilling. Giving to these people, what you're giving them is priceless. That's hope. God bless you and your team.

E

http://ewcooks.blogspot.com

Nice Vintage France said...

Seems like a very worthwhile and fun adventure. I look forward to reading more!
please if you have ONE minute come on my French vintage school

http://brookejames.blogspot.com/

reanaclaire said...

hi.. i stumbled upon your blog in the google problem page.. my blog is missing now.. did u retrieve back your blog in a short time? mine has just gone missing a moment ago.. so desperate now! sigh...

www.reanaclaire.com
reanact(at)gmail(dot)com

PatrickNormandin said...

Must have been an amazing trip :) Your blog is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Dayum!

Ask Monkey Alan

Jonas said...

I really liked reading your blog! It's written from an interesting point of view, what makes it remarkable. Keep up the good work!

http://yourtube.blogspot.com

alexis. said...

I just came across this from blogs of note real random today, and this is SO FUNNY!!!! OH - mygoodness!!! Glad there's still some fun to be had in Haiti. Keep babbling along. I'll keep Haiti in prayer... :)

Leslie said...

B!! Don't worry, I won't wear white at your wedding...I'll be wearing what you tell me to. ;) Too funny though! Thanks for sharing all the good, the bad, the funny and the sad parts of your life in Haiti! Love you!

Greg Smith said...

beautiful pictures... thanks for sharing!

Duncan D. Horne said...

Thanks for your effort with the pictures anyway, it's a fascinating read!

Check out my adventures in Malaysia at:

http://www.duncaninkuantan.blogspot.com

Escorts said...

Dayum!

Stephanie said...

Hi. I'm new to all of this blogging. I just started mine and wanted to check out others. I was really into yours. It's amazing to see how other cultures do things and celebrate. By the way, the pictures were beautiful.

Paulina said...

http://paulina-polina.blogspot.com/

karen gerstenberger said...

What a wonderful posting - thank you for taking us along with you to the wedding. Such joy, and what a gift that you were invited to share in it. I'm so grateful that you are blogging!

a muslim girl said...

i have read ur blog for the first time.. and i am a fan already.. u r doing a beautiful job at a beautiful place.. keep it up..
jz this one post made me wish to visit hiati..
wishes
abeera