Ok, so there was only one wedding. But there was an engagement party, which is sort of like the foreshadowing of a wedding. Besides, using “An engagement party, a wedding and a graduation” for a title just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
All these events (and others besides) account for the long silence in my posts. For the most part I’ve been extremely busy getting the semester rapped up at our English Center. It was a shorter semester than normal but because of that, it was much more intensive. I think everything went well though. The students all seemed to have a good time and the teachers really seemed to connect with them. The students and the teachers went out almost every night after class to do something. Maybe to get something to eat. Maybe to a coffee shop. Maybe just to walk the streets of Amman. It was a great time of fellowship and sharing.
And then, as we rapped things up, we had our graduation ceremony. It was great fun. Our teachers and students all dressed up. We watched a video full of memories of things that had happened this semester. We handed out the certificates of competition for each course and congratulated the students on their hard work. Finally, we had kanafi, which is a delicious sticky and sweet desert that is famous here in Amman.
The engagement party was for a couple from the local church that I attend here. The place where they held the event was far north of Amman, out into the countryside and in a grape vineyard. It was a beautiful location. All the guests gathered earlier in the evening and waited for the newly engaged couple to make their appearance. It was well after dark before they arrived but when they did they were greeted with applause and singing and fireworks. After the initial greetings, things calmed down somewhat and everyone took a seat. Then, one at a time, guest after guest stood to offer words of encouragement and blessings for the couple we where here to celebrate. After this, we were served a delicious dinner of chicken and rice. Finally, after everyone was finished eating, they cranked up the music and began to dance. The tradition here is to lift the bride-and-groom-to-be on chairs in the middle of the crowd (kind of like crowd surfing) and then many of the men start a circle dance around the outside of the crowd. All and all it was a lot of fun and I had a blast.
Also this week there was the wedding I mentioned earlier. Aside from it being in Arabic, it really wasn’t any different from most weddings that I have been to in the States. I’m friends with the bride and her side of the family and am very happy for her and her new husband. They are a wonderful couple. I pray the Lord richly blesses their marriage.
So, yeah, between these big events and a hundred other smaller ones, it’s been a busy week and it will only slow down a little before I am head back to the States in just a few days. I can’t wait to see everyone.