I look out the window as we drive to our destination. All along the side of the road I see shacks filled with what some might call junk that people are trying to sell. Next we pass a water pump where children are filling up containers to take back to their houses. Last we come to a section of town where bamboo and wood take up one side of the road and tires and rims the other side. The kids and I are making a trip to our day guards house to meet his new wife. What I thought was a simple lunch is much more than that. The room is filled with women there to celebrate and honor Mirwais’ new wife. As we enter the home, we greet his aunt and mother and are taken to a seperate room to meet his wife. We talk as best we can and many more relatives come in to greet us. It is good to see a few familar faces from Mirwais’s wedding. Before I know it, the ladies in the room decide I need more makeup for this wedding party. Between the new bride and her sister in law, I am soon ready to go join the rest of the women. Even Winter was not immune to getting a little makeup on her eyes and lips. Afghan women love makeup, pretty clothes and jewelry even though on the streets they are usually in some type of black or neutral color jacket. We join the women in the other room where there is some dancing but mostly talking. After about an hour of trying to communicate with those around me and just watching the proceedings, an Aunt and a few other lady relatives begin to play some flat drums and sing. The new bride leaves the room full of ladies and joins her groom Mirwais. Hand in hand, they go through a ritual of getting their food. The kids and I join them a few minutes later back in the other room and enjoy a lunch of Qabli palau with fries, sliced veggies, and some type of meat ball. The new bride makes sure we eat more than enough. As we talk, I find out that she is one of twelve children. Her name is Mujabeen and I am guessing she is in her early twenties. We are pleased to see her and Mirwais interacting well and pray that their marriage will be a good one.
Soon our ride is there to pick us up and take us home. We leave Mirwais to enjoy the rest of the festivities which will include a shower of sorts where money and gifts are given to the couple. As we ride back home, I reflect on our time at Mirwais’ home. His family is one I would like to get to know better. I think about how I need to keep working on my langauge so maybe next time I can communicate better. I am also realizing that it is tiring having people stare at you and knowing they are talking about the “khareji” (foreigner) but having no idea what is being said about you. Lastly I wish that I had felt comfortable getting pictures since the bride looked lovely in her green wedding dress and hair done up with a tiara. Many Afghans do not like to have their picture taken especially the women. So out of respect, I decided to not even ask if I could take a picture. On a side note, In Afghanistan, green is the color of the wedding dresses even though I am told some wear white. I even saw some other women wearing green dresses that may have been their wedding dress but since it was their nicest dress they were wearing it again. We arrive home tired but glad for the chance to have some time with Mirwais and his family.