Marriage, at last!

September 9th marked the final ceremony of Ariane and Ben’s wedding.  No other part of the marriage process began on time so we figured we could be a few minutes late to the religious ceremony.  Alas, the church service began right on time and we rolled into the Catholic church 15 minutes late (thankfully with a lot of other late folks so it didn’t look as bad).  Ariane and Ben were seated at the front of the church with two other couples and each couples’ maid of honor and best man.  The attire this time was the big white wedding dress (and I mean, BIG—Ariane’s dress weighed 5kg apparently!) and full suits.

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Housing, Getting Around, + Loving Humans.

We’ve been settling into our apartment and trying to figure out how housing and utilities work here.  Because I used to work in refugee resettlement, I can’t help but compare our experiences in navigating new systems and can empathize with some of my clients’ woes!  Of course, Colin and I aren’t refugees—we’re not fleeing for our lives, we had the choice to move here and can always move back, we have amazing support systems both in the US and here—but we’re experiencing some of the same struggles of trying to grasp how rent, electricity, water, etc. work here. 

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A Very Civil Wedding.

On Thursday, I attended Ariane’s civil wedding, part 4 of the wedding events.  It was held at a civil service government building in a large room with rows of benches and a front stage.  Ariane and Ben were one couple of about 7 or 8 other couples getting legally married that day and they all sat in the front row facing the stage.  Everyone was dressed to the nines, the men in suits and the women wearing either floor length white dresses or fancy knee-length dresses.  The benches behind the couples were filled with family members and close friends of the couples.

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First Week + Traditional Wedding

I can’t believe it’s been a whole week already! It’s been a dusty, uphill journey (pretty much all roads around here are), but we made some big moves and are excited to move into our very own apartment later this week. Living with Leslie’s host family has been an amazing privilege and we are so thankful for all of the help and support they’ve provided, but with our own place I’ll be able to take my first step toward actually being able to call Rwanda, “home”. The apartment is located in a new building in the Kicukiru neighborhood (fairly close to where we are both working) and is fully furnished! And, most importantly, it has 2 bedrooms so we have plenty of space for you all to visit. 🙂

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Arrival + Wedding Prep.

We’ve arrived!  We’ve reunited with my host family, dragged our piles of luggage home from the airport (all of which arrived, to our surprise, with no issues whatsoever), and already taught my Rwandan niece, Gianna Anaella, how to catch a frisbee.  Maman Jimmy, my wonderful host mom, has prepared a lovely room for us in their family home, newly painted a welcoming pink color (chosen of course by Anaella).  They bought a big, fluffy, blue comforter for the bed, with matching fluffy pillows, which we’re now calling our “Baloo Bed” (like the bear from the Jungle Book!).

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