Sarita continued coming to church and the next thing I knew she was scheduled for baptism. I was sick the day she was baptized but she told me it was wonderful and she seemed to take on a new glow after that. Then Terah told me that Sarita had been taking a driving course and would soon be taking her driver's license exam. The changes in Sarita's life were multiplying, but that was only the beginning.
On Halloween the Bromleys came back to Al Fardan 3 for the compound festivities, even though they had moved to another compound, so we took the opportunity to catch up. Terah floored me by telling us that Sarita was engaged and would soon be leaving for Nepal to prepare for her wedding. I couldn't believe it, and as I looked at Sarita's embarrassed smile spreading over her face I knew that this outrageous news was real. I won't go into the details of Sarita's romance here, so for more background and information on Sarita just dial up Terah's blog and get the whole love story behind Tim and Sarita's wedding.
So on December 16 we flew to Nepal to be a part of Sarita's continued life transformation. Terah hand-picked our hotel so we actually had hot water and continuous electricity which are two luxuries in Kathmandu. I'm so glad we had someone looking out for us because we were in for a real adventure when we stepped out of the airplane and onto the tarmac. There was no organized line for a bus to a terminal. We just made our own way to the closest door and on to immigration. Because we were taking too long filling out the paperwork, the immigration employees hustled us through the process and accepted our half-filled out papers. I guess it was late and they wanted to go home.
We stayed at the Hotel Gangjong and enjoyed the luxurious hot running water and continuous electricity.
Brett said he watched this man first construct this ladder and proceed to paint our hotel. Who needs Home Depot?!
Yet another entertaining sign. I guess even Nepal can muster the sophistication of VERBING words.
There were people carrying all kinds of objects all over and this man had quite an interesting collection.
This is the view from our hotel window. I think this is a restaurant but we never saw anyone eat there.
This family was sitting down to an elaborate meal. Life really happens on the roofs here.
Brett bought us some yak hair blankets at this shop. They sound kind of gross but they are really soft.
Terah's mom Linda was one of the gang and probably the most energetic, easy-going grandma I've ever met. By the time the trip was over we were good friends.
Sarita's niece Nikki was very helpful with this whole process and put on my Bindi. The color red symbolizes wedlock, so that is why we are all wearing red saris and red Bindi.
Then we finally got to see the bride and she was stunning. She looked like a Nepali princess.
Heavah looked especially beautiful in her blue outfit. It matched her eyes perfectly.
Axel and Terah are way too young to be parents of the bride but that is exactly the role they played through this whole courtship. Axel is very protective and Terah is very supportive of Sarita. They were very patient through the VERY LONG day, especially with their little family running around.
After hundreds of pictures taken we all walked out on the street to get into the gigantic van. We made quite the spectacle and you can only imagine how many staring eyes we had on us. It was quite amazing for them to see these western people dressed in Nepali clothing going to a family wedding. We waited in the van for quite awhile as everyone filed out of the small alleyway and into the vehicle. The van was huge but we probably had about 20 people in it with pots and pans full of food for the gathering and even the dog Lucky jumped in at the last minute with his chain attached to his makeshift collar. Those of you who know me might think that I was freaking out at this point, but I just took things in stride surprisingly and took my cues from Terah's mom. I thought, "If she can do this, so can I!"
Here Lucky, the wedding guest dog, begs for forgiveness from his owner for all his barking. She is the sweet lady who put me into my sari.
This man is preparing for the wedding ceremony. I never did find out what his title is in the Hindu faith, but he definitely was in charge. If you are wondering why they had a Hindu wedding even though they are LDS then you need to read Terah's blog. She has explained it all very well. There were a lot of flower petals, smoke, leaves, and burning sticks involved in the preparations and the actual ceremony. It was certainly like nothing I had ever seen before. These boys were very interested in the colorful powder painting going on.
Here Sarita's mom and sister look on as the ceremony continues.
This is a terrible shot, but it shows two important things: the rustic building and Sarita's embarrassment as people brought up the western tradition of the groom kissing the bride and how that was left out of this Hindu wedding somehow. It may seem strange to many of you reading this that Tim and Sarita met on the internet and had only talked via skype prior to the wedding. I thought a lot about this too, but after being in Nepal and realizing that most marriages there are arranged and the bride and groom meet only days before the wedding, this skype arrangement didn't seem as unbelieveable.
This shot is a pretty somber one, but Tim's expression is too funny not to include. He's got some kind of Joe vs. the Volcano thing going on with his outfit, don't you think?
This is the happier version.
Because the venue was so open, many people, not associated with the bride or the groom, felt the need to be included. These are some of the poor people who were perched on the steps outside for most of the day, but they had to catch a glimpse of the action inside. There were also Japanese and German tourists who popped in for pictures with some of us. I guess it was quite an unusual event.
This is the food that was served at the first event and it was prepared (probably for days before the wedding) and served by Sarita's family.
This ceremony, not part of the wedding, was going on outside next to the Hindu temple.
There was a lot of washing of the feet and annointing of the heads. This is Sarita's mama and each family member took a turn. There were also a lot a fun traditions of stealing the groom's shoes and making him barter with the nieces to get them back. Tim also had to barter his way back into the wedding room at one point.
There was a lot of waiting around so I spent time snapping pictures. The next one of this sweet baby is probably my favorite one of the whole trip. The mama and her baby were just wandering through the building, not related to the family at all.
A portion of Sarita's family
I kept telling myself, "If Linda keeps smiling, so will I."
The LDS branch president and his wife stopped by.
Then the dancing began.
Wherever the Bromleys are there's a party!
I had to snap this shot of my favorite sari of the evening. If I had one made for myself it would look like this.
If Abbey hadn't been sick the day of the wedding, this is what she would have looked like.