Sunday, February 19, 2012

Africa in Auckland

Last weekend I and the Significant Other visited some friends of hers and I was asked to attend an engagement party for a sister who wasn't present I was caught only a bit out by the manner of the invitation as it was more of an instruction than an invitation to my ear, I think it was assumed that as I was the boyfriend of Significant Other the question was answered and it was being made clear that I was very welcome.

One point of huge amusement happened on the day before when a text went out to the invitees that the engagement party was running on Kiwi time not African time ie don't be late. I pointed out the fallacy of this assumption and managed not to laugh as I delayed our transportation to the party for the third and final time to 5.30 we arrived at 6.00pm and as far as I could tell the last arrivals got in at about 10.45pm.

 Still fairly quite when we arrived, our hosts had put on a magnificent African banquet, I have to say I am developing a real taste for African cuisine.   

The woman of the night  me and Significant Other or as I am sure someone will point out the thorn prick between two roses.  Note the beautiful dress that Significant Other is wearing, the reason for our failure to arrive on time.
The 4 seated girls and I had been having a post dinner chat or rather they had been speaking the Congolese dialect of French with the non speaking participant providing me with salient points in English and to my surprise I actually sometimes had a vague understanding of the conversation something I only found out after Significant Other brought me up to date at the conclusion of what ever was being discussed. From my point of view the funniest thing about this photo is the unannounced but not unexpected arrival of R. R and Significant other escaped the Congo together and are virtually in reality sisters. R was later in the evening to appoint me guardian of her drink a commission I performed with notable success given her ability to put it down and go for a dance without any consideration of the foot traffic around us.
The dancing was amazing here the kids are really getting into it, what impressed me was troughout the evening adults yielded the dance floor to the kids.
 This guy was amazing, he could really dance and he put a huge effort in getting the kids dancing teaching them a move and then showing them time and time again how to do it.
The engaged couple, I actually met her for the fist time earlier in the week when she called around to Significant Others place for a dress that Significant Other had made for her. They were by far the most glamorous couple at the party as they should have been.
 R, I was actually trying to get a candid shot of her I would guess she had a slit second to compose herself for this shot but she did it. My camera gives you a small gap to check the shot you have taken is the shot you want before it takes the shot and she exploited it brilliantly.
This cutie was having a real go at dancing I can't remember if it was R or Significant Other who told me to take the photo probably R looking at the dress on the right of the photo.
Significant Other and my new desk top background. Another really lucky shot she spotted that I was about to take a photo and her hands flew up to cover her face by the time the delay feature on the camera allowed the photo to be taken this is what I got, probably the best photo I have ever taken, certainly my favorite photo.

I had no real idea what to expect, I knew R reasonably well and had met and knew by name four others including the lady of the night and her two sisters as well as R's kids. I didn't speak their language and thought only a few of them would be confident enough in their command of English to enter into a conversation with me. That actually turned out to be the case but everyone was prepared to engage with me. At one point I had got up to do something and a young boy had sat down in my seat his brother in the seat beside me and mum was sitting in the next seat down. On the other side was Significant Other who knew that as soon as I returned the child would be told to get out of my seat but there were no other seats, as he started to move away I picked him up and put him on my knee. I have know idea if it was the African thing to do but to me it seemed like the right thing to do. When the child left I have no idea if mum had told him to say goodbye to me or he did it spontaneously but he came and said goodbye, I suspect the former.
I could blog much more about last night but it wasn't my night it was theirs. Thanks for including me on your special day.

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