Anyway, over the course of five or six hours, we got a glimpse of what a wedding reception in Botswana is like--the bride and groom sit at a head table, with ceremonial bowls of various dried foods.
(Please note the baby in the bottom right-hand corner. There were some seriously cute babies at this party.)
The reception was in a big (hot) tent. A and I inquired and it would actually be less expensive to get them to do the tent for our wedding than the tent company in Philly.
Everyone related to the happy couple is introduced by the emcee--even us! We tried to smile and look nonthreatening. When we were introduced to them, our Setswana teacher told us to say "Re itumetse," which means "We are happy/Congratulations." I got nervous and accidentally said "Ke itumetse," which means "Thank you!"
Someone gives a sermon--apparently about how you shouldn't beat your wife because a wife is a good thing to have--and reads from the bible. Various women perform religious songs. The groomsmen and bridesmaids do some impressive choreographed dances in the heat.
(They did the same dance over and over. It was like 100 degrees with no shade. The groomsmen were too cool for school with sunglasses, etc.)
There are many chickens nearby.
(I took a lot more pictures of chickens than people. There are fewer concerns of making a cultural faux pas.)
The food was quite good. One thing that's convenient for us pseudo-vegetarians is that none of the non-meat items are cooked with meat fat or flavoring. In fact, they're not flavored at all. Batswana seem to really enjoy bland food, except for the popularity of Nando's and Indian food. Most people also had huuuuge piles of shredded goat meat on their plates, but I know how to say "Ga ke je nama."
(From top, clockwise: rice, chakalaka (curried veg), samp (corn), potato salad (?!), mashed sweet potatoes, grated beets.)Unfortunately, the bride didn't look very...happy. I don't know if that's a cultural thing, or if she just wasn't that excited. She was also at least in her late 30s. It's very common here for people to have children together before they get married, and also to have children with multiple people.
It's also possible she wasn't happy because she had to change outfits like three times and it was really hot outside.
On the way home, we stopped in Kanye to get a drink. Turned out a drink meant a beer--for our driver. We didn't realize that till we were almost home, though. I guess I wouldn't sniff at someone drinking one beer and then driving, but drinking one beer while driving seems like a bad joke.