So this morning, I woke up to discover that we had no Internet service! NYET BUENO. ;-) (and yes, I try to speak Spanish to all of these people, too!) So after a couple of hours, Chris was finally able to bring it up. I'm sorry, but if we don't have Internet, I will go mad here. Without Internet, I can't speak to or see my girls and I won't be able to get encouragement from all of you! I hope this won't become a problem.
It's a sprinkly day here but we got to go outside for most of the morning. Little dude was very happy today. Chris was concerned that he was running a fever because he felt sweaty and clammy but I believe they had just washed his face off. He felt much better to us pretty quickly. Got to love figuring out a new baby! :-)
We can tell when he gets tired of the swing now. Usually after about 20 mins or so, he starts turning his body sideways so we take that as our cue to take him out. We walked around the orphanage a few times until we started feeling a few drops of rain. We decided to take him inside to the play rug upstairs by his old groupa. We would normally avoid this but we have noticed that he does not like to take independent steps outside so maybe at least 10 mins of carpet time a day needs to happen.
Well, no evening visit for us today. :-( Our driver could not find another driver for us this evening but he insisted that he would be just a a little late in picking us up, though! On his wedding day? No thanks! We will see our little dude tomorrow!
Tonight, maybe we will just watch a movie or something. We are going to bread and fry some chicken strips and make homemade mac and cheese for dinner. I haven't fried chicken in ages!! Sounds good, though, so I hope it works out!
I'm trying to hide away the pain of missing my girls. It's getting pretty hard. I really hope to have court this week so that I can gather them up! Thank you so much to those of you who are taking such good care of them! I know they are happy and healthy! I see the smiles on their faces and that makes me happy. :-)
No pictures of my own today, just some that are borrowed.
Today is a special day. Our driver is getting married! That got us thinking, not only do we have to tell Griffin about his current culture, but also about the cultural things in his future. Like marriage for instance.
Here, a wedding is a big affair. Like any wedding, there is some courtship that leads up to the ceremony. During what is called Ivan Kupala Day, single people search the forests for a magical flower that is supposed to bring wealth beyond their wildest dreams. Women go in wearing a ceremonial wreath first, followed shortly thereafter by the men. If a couple comes out with the man wearing a woman's wreath, then they are betrothed. I'm not sure this would go over too well in the US. Actually, if Griffin goes running in to the woods on Ivan Kupala Day, and comes out wearing a wreath, I would think he had stumbled onto a hippy convention! Interesting tradition to say the least!
Following this, the groom must go to the woman's house and pay a ransom. After the ransom is paid, the family bringing out another family member in a veil as to fool the groom. Once the groom realizes he is being duped, he asks for his real bride and the family ups the ransom as the real bride is worth so much more than the groom could ever afford to pay. It is also the custom that if a man comes calling for a woman's hand and she, or the family, refuses him, they must give him a pumpkin so he does not leave their house empty handed... how generous! A pumpkin for a rejection! I wonder how many of those have been used to vandalize the woman's home after that embarrassment!
Anyway, the day of the ceremony comes. The same rushnyk is stood on while they say their vows, and tradition says that whoever steps on it first will have the final say in the family. Okay Griffin... I refuse to raise a doormat... got me buddy! :) The woman's wreath is removed and she is adorned with a scarf type head wrap called an ochipok, while the man is given a crown, which is symbolic of him becoming a man. Hmmm... talk about ruling your household! LOL! Maria, you're taking notes, right? I expect my crown presented to me when I get in from work each day too! LOL! (Yeah y'all... I'm gonna get it for this one!) Actually, they both get crowned... don't get too mad at me babe!
The wedding celebration can last days and sometimes weeks, with dancing, singing, long toasts, and a feast that includes the entire community. Talk about your headache when it comes to catering! The age old question of chicken or fish takes on a whole new meaning in this type of environment. We also found out that the major wedding day is usually Friday's and they launch fireworks. We found this out the hard way actually. The bombings in the town we are in took place on a Friday morning. That evening, as we laid down for bed, they began firing off fireworks on the other side of the apartment building. We could hear the pops, but couldn't see anything. Unfortunately, the concussion of the fireworks exploding in rapid succession (I guess they were like the blocks of Black Cat Firecrackers or something) sounded like an AK-47 as the sound bounced off the apartment walls in the courtyard. I thought someone was getting shot until the sky launch fireworks started. Whew! Relieved!
On a final note, women who go their whole lives without being married here are buried in wedding gowns. That's pretty cool that they do that for them.
See y'all tomorrow... if Maria doesn't kill me for the crown remarks! :)