South Pacific Trip - Part 4: Solomon Island Wedding
The next couple of days were busy ones, as we were all involved in preparing for the wedding. The villagers were sleeping maybe three hours per night. Pigs and sweet potatoes were among the bounty being brought in festive processions from surrounding villages. The night before the wedding, the Aunties cooked all night long.
It was my job to make the bride’s bouquet out of flowers gathered from a villager’s garden. I had never made a bouquet before, and certainly not a fancy bride bouquet, but I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.
The morning of the wedding was filled with heavy tropical rain. We waited for it to lift before the church bell was rung throughout the village, a signal for all that the wedding would commence in an hour.
The bride and us girls got ready in the old primary school, located at the base of the steps that lead up to the small yellow church poised on the hill. At the request of the bride and groom, it was an abbreviated, yet lovely ceremony.
Hundreds attended the feast afterwards. The groom translated the speeches back and forth from Babatana to English and from English to Babatana. With Canadian culture in mind, we were given plates and forks to eat with, yet we wished that we had eaten like the villagers - food eaten with hands off of banana leaves.
After the feast, the wonderful bamboo band, that we had been welcomed with when we arrived, started up. The women sang along and we danced and danced.
The next day was met with a goodbye song from the village, a meaningful speech from the island minister, shaking of many hands, hugs and tears. Such a beautiful place will never be forgotten.
Our group then traveled back on boat and tiny plane to yet another island (There are 900+ in the Solomon Islands) for a western-style wedding reception. We spent our last week in Gizo, a town well-known to divers, swimming, snorkelling, and appreciating electricity and cold drinks.
All too soon, it was over and we were flying home over Solomon Islands’ stunning coral reefs.
Part 1 Fiji
Part 2 Solomon Islands: Welcome to Boe Village
Part 3 Getting to know Boe Village