The big day. There were so many of us in the ceremony, and they had made outfits for all of us. The dresses were quite spectacular. Apparently, they had looked in a book about historical wedding dress for this region, and had picked the outfits from this. They had vetoed the ones that showed belly or were "too revealing", but still the ones they chose were strapless. Must say, they fit the Africans better than us white folk. After we put on our dresses at the hotel, we went to the house where they had been keeping Dorothy in semi-isolation for the past two days. Apparently it is customary to keep the bride-to-be in isolation for a week or two, but they let Dorothy get away with just a couple of days. We had the finishing touches done to our hair and any last-minute wardrobe adjustments done at the house. After that we headed to Calvin's village, which is about a half hour outside of Soroti. So, of course, the wedding started late. The ceremony was pretty interesting. Lots of speeches, of course. They had compressed a series of ceremonies that would usually take place over several months into one, so that they showed the families getting to know each other, the betrothed showing how they are interested in marrying each other (the man leaves something for the woman, and she accepts it as a symbol of accepting the engagement), and the negotiations for the bride price. The performance of the bride price negotiation was quite entertaining. Our group drove a hard bargain, and the headline in the local newspaper the next day was, "Americans demand 1000 cows" with a picture of David, who was a member of the negotiation team. After the negotiations, a member of the bride's family threw a spear into the field of cows to determine how many cows the family would get (the negotiations were to determine how many cows would be brought out and for any additional animals-I think the bride's family also got some goats). As Joe threw the spear, the family herded the cows further away, so that by the time the spear landed and they marked the spot, they had lost a couple of cows. After this there were several more speeches. Throughout the ceremony, many people made several speeches, mostly about the University that Pilgrim wants to build. Apparently it is not unusual for politicians to make speeches at weddings in Uganda. Finally, they cut the cake, and we distributed some of the cake to the guests. The cakes were great, shaped like Ugandan huts, so that it looked like a little village. They would put many broken up pieces of cake on a plate, and all of the bridesmaids would distribute them around. There were at least a couple of thousand people at the wedding, so we could not give everyone cake, but we gave quite a bit out. The remaining cakes were apparently given to friends of the family. The cake was very good, and had I realized we wouldn't have another opportunity to have some, I would have taken a few more bites... After cake we had dinner, which went on for quite some time. They said that they did not run out of food, but I'm not sure some people didn't give up and go home early. The ceremony was definitely the longest wedding I have ever seen. I think it must have lasted 5 or 6 hours. By the time it was time for dancing (beyond people performing; there were several dance performances by various groups), it was dark, and beginning to rain. We loaded back up into the vans and returned to the hotel. The wedding was very interesting and enjoyable, but I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't more opportunity for dancing and mingling.

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