We made it!! I'll give you a brief run down of our time in Tangshan for the wedding. I wish there was a stronger word for exhausted because i would use it here. It was great, but wow, we're tired.
We got the blessing of having most of our section of the train to ourselves. This was a much needed reprieve from the chaos of traveling. This was Charis' first train ride post-womb.
It took us about 3 hours on the train. We met up with our friends at 7 pm. And for those of you with small kids know that everything after 7 is bad news. It's about an hour and a half to her small town. But we had yet to eat dinner and knew that there would be family obligations with our friends. So off to a "famous" restaraunt where we met up with both her and her fiance's families/ Of course no English. By the time we ate, it was about 8:30. We finish up dinner with no huge cultural mishaps and head to her house. It's now about 9:30 and the kids are starting to melt. They have held together nicely so far, but we know we're pushing our luck. After all the introductions and niceties, we head to the room where we sleep. It's about 10:30 now and we're wiped. We all pee in a plastic bowl placed in our room so that we don't have to use the outhouse. And then we hope onto a platform that we'll call bed for the night.
Here's our bed:
I"ll try and keep the rest short. We wake up early and eat bean curd soup and fried dough. And then we wait for everything to begin. We are well taken care of by the family and the town got a kick out of our clan. We felt very honored because we got to sit with the family during part of the traditional parts of the wedding. The fiance has to give the dowry to the brother and he continues to ask for more money. They then look for her shoes hidden around the room. After that, we are introduced and eat a snack with the families. We felt very honored.
We loaded in the car and headed to the restaraunt for the "Western" part of the wedding. They set off tons of fireworks and spray them with silly string.
Now Malachi and Selah act as ring bearer and flower girl. But nobody has any idea what that means, so I, Carrie, am at the back trying to herd cats. Nobody knows who is going where and this is all happenng amongst a crowded restaraunt. But we made it. Brad delivered his message among much noise. And then we ate. And man did we eat.
It was a beautiful wedding. The bride changed three time into beautiful gowns. And then they both toasted every table there. By the end things got funny as we watched the drunkenness level rise. We are hoping for some seeds to have been sown as we spent time with our friends and with their families. It was a blessing to get an inside look at their lives and their families.