Larry’s report from Uganda
n August 16 saint benedict’s table member Lola Eidse married Rogers Mugabi in Uganda. Larry Campbell was there. Here are some of his memories of the day.
There were about 75 to 100 invited but the church is in a poor area of town (actually, almost all the areas of town are poor except the business section), therefore almost everyone from the small area and certainly all the children, seemed to be there. The church had no windows so people were looking in through the windows, doors and many came in and sat at the back. It was hot and dusty and we never noticed.
Lola’s leg (which she injured before leaving Winnipeg) was painful at times and she probably should have stayed off it more than she did, but she walked slowly, which looked quite stately and statuesque.
Lola was very joyful and quite in control; I could see that she was enjoying every moment of the experience around the ceremony.
I was supposed to play At Last as Lola walked up the aisle. It is one of her favourite songs and one that she always imagined would be played at her wedding. But as soon as the procession started they pumped in the canned music that was, frankly, quite horrible. So when they were signing the register I sang At Last instead of the song I was supposed to do at that time. The young boy holding my music (see photo below) is Moses, who is one of the lads supported by home/omuka.
This was the first wedding I have attended where a cow was given as a wedding gift. In this case they received seven, which actually makes them quite wealthy in Ugandan terms.
Lola said little but there were many speeches that spoke highly of both Lola and Rogers. We heard some of the story of his younger life after his parents died and these men from the village (whom he calls uncle but they’re not) talked about how they took in the young family. It was quite moving.
The reception was on the grounds of a hotel… beautiful surroundings, three tents of honour – one for the bridal party, one for the extended family and one for the mzunglu (white people). My friend and I tried to both go sit with others we had met and invited others to sit with us – not acceptable and we were told as much. As the evening went on, however, we were free to roam and invite whomever we wanted to sit with us. It was an honour for us but we felt weird.
At the wedding meal we had chicken, goat and beef (which they call meat), steamed bananas, avocados, lots of vegetables and lots of pop! My friend said this was the most fun he can remember having at a dry wedding. I agree.
Photos courtesy of Brad Martin of Newcastle, UK.