So this is it…the final post and the one you have all been waiting for.
On the morning of August 31st Sam and I piled 10 of our closest friends and family into two cars and drove to Louis Trichardt. We were dressed up either for a wedding, field work or a bit of pimping, but we really didn’t know whether Home Affairs would marry us or if they would find some other non-existent problem with our paperwork. It was a nerve racking drive to Home Affairs which is ironically also part of the prison.
We had to meet with the immigration officer first. We thought he would want to look at our passports and visas closely. Instead he seemed much more interested in checking we were right for each other. He wanted to know when we met and how long we have been together so he could put it in his report.
Home Affairs in Louis Trichardt had never seen the likes of all 12 of us with flowers, dresses, and a general celebratory mood. I think this influenced their decision to marry us. In previous discussions they kept saying to us it doesn’t matter if the wedding happens on the 31st or not and I kept saying it matters to me! I think they didn’t believe us when we said we had friends and family from all over the world coming.
After a lot of waiting we went into the Marriage Officer’s office. She filled in the paperwork meticulously (although she spelt Sam’s full name wrong) and carefully trimmed and stuck our passport photos on. It was finally time for her to marry us! She yelled over the wall and the floor manager in his orange vest came in. He took off his vest and to our confusion started to marry us. He couldn’t pronounce our names or read them off the large paper so took to calling us him and her, but often got that confused. We had to hold hands while doing our vows, but we were laughing so hard at being married by someone akin to a janitor and all the funny things he kept saying, we struggled to speak. We had to have our thumbprints taken to seal the deal.
After the ceremony we went to Ocean’s Basket for lunch and then back to Lajuma for the reception.
The reception started at 4 pm at Oldrich and Judy’s. We had sundowners complete with mopane worms (Chloe ate two!), biltong and droewors. Sam made a punch which everyone loved.
When the sun set we lit metal lanterns and walked up to Wilderness Camp.
Wilderness Camp looked incredible with fairy lights, candles, and decorations everywhere. There were porcupine quills and flowers coming out of Mrs HS Balls jars and teak seeds hanging from the rafters. We had a spit roasted warthog, bobotie, gem squash, pap, pumpkin fritters, and salad.
For dessert there was a chocolate cake with African animals and Han Solo and Princess Leia on top. Sam had wildebeest pie for his dessert.
The night went on and on with a great party with lots of dancing (with people and with dogs) and lots of booze. It was a perfect day.