2 Surprise African Reception

Apparently Justin and I are not the only ones who can organize surprise weddings. On Saturday Mami Edith organized a surprise reception for Justin and me. She told us that her friend Ruth was taking us out to dinner and that I would be wearing the traditional Rwandan dress she had made for me last week. She also had me surprise Justin with a kanzu (traditional formal wear for Bugandan men). But instead of heading out to dinner like we thought, Ruth brought us back to our home where a small bridal party led us through our front gate. We were welcomed to the party by songs and dances from around Uganda with my younger Ugandan sisters, Viola and Ruth, scattering flowers before us as we walked.

Entering our surprise party with our traditional dress.
We were honestly shocked.  
Mami Edith really knows how to throw a party and our reception was no exception. We ate great food (boiled plantains, rice, meat, chapatti, soup, and veggies galore), mingled with invited guests and danced the night away. She even had a cake with a beautiful message: Welcome Home Dorie and Justin!

There's never a lack of food at Mami Edith's house.
Linah, one of the girls from our bridal party, had a huge crush on Justin. Who wouldn't?
In Uganda, the bride and groom don't just feed each other, they also serve each guest a piece of cake.
My favorite part of the night was when Edith presented Justin with some gifts to officially welcome him to the family. She first gave him a leather hat to protect his head from the elements as he works to provide for his family. Then she presented him with a walking stick that he should use as a weapon to protect his wife and future children. The walking stick is a symbol of responsibility, which he now has more of since he’s a married man.

Edith presenting Justin with his gifts.

Our "first dance". Thanks to Edith's careful and thoughtful planning, we danced to Bob Dylan (Justin's favorite).
Dancing the night away, Ugandan style.
Now that we are in our last week here in Uganda, we’ve started our honeymoon week. Yesterday we took a road trip back to Jinja to visit the source of the Nile River and to check out Sezibwa Falls.
Sezibwa Falls

Justin after hiking to the top of the falls.

The source of the Nile.

The boat we took to the spring where the Nile begins.

The bubbling water in the front is the spring that feeds the Nile. 

Tomorrow we are heading out to western Uganda so Justin can meet Edith’s extended family and so we can spend a few days relaxing in a resort that overlooks Queen Elizabeth National Park. We’ll be sure to let you know how our trip went when we return to Kampala!

Sunset over the Nile.


  1. You both are beautiful and the pictures are amazing! I pray you have a great time! And may God greatly bless you during these days of rest for your generosity and sacrifice of service on His behalf. We love and pray for you and are thankful for the example you are for others.


  2. Thank you so much, Mel! We are certainly enjoying our time here and God has blessed us beyond what we can imagine. We will have lots of stories to tell when we get back about the great work God is doing here in Uganda!