Last night Jake and I attended the wedding of a Colombian-American woman we met six years ago during our master’s program in NYC. We celebrated her marriage to a Nigerian man she met in Houston, Texas. We saw friends who had traveled from Canada, Ecuador, other parts of Colombia, France, Spain, Lebanon, Kenya, and the United States. The internationally star-crossed bride and groom and the diverse group of attendees was pretty representative of our constantly traveling colleagues from the international affairs program.
At the wedding, most of the men wore “Guayaberas” – white linen shirts with decorative stitching – and linen pants, which is traditional in the warm and humid climate of Medellin and in other tropical areas of Colombia. Jake borrowed the guayabera from a friend here in Medellin and I rented a dress for the night. The only requirement was that my dress couldn’t be a dark color like navy or black. I paired this dress (which had some grey and black in it) with colorful nail polish, earrings, and a bright clutch. The groom’s family wore colorful and traditional outfits from Nigeria. All in all, the night was a beautiful mix of patterns, textures and lights. We saw a bunch of old friends, sampled exotic fruits from the beautiful centerpieces, and danced until 3:00am.
Additionally, the night of the wedding was planned for November 30th, which added extra magic. At midnight on the last day of November in Medellin, the entire city erupts into noise and fireworks to welcome the month of December. This event is called “La Alborada” and basically means that the “paisas” kick off their Christmas festivities a month in advance. Fireworks large and small were exploding as we drifted off to sleep at nearly 4:00am.
Now we are still in our pajamas, Jake is streaming the Bears game, and we are organizing for the next two weeks of field work in the countryside. It is also pouring rain outside, but it feels nice and gives us an excuse to be cozy homebodies today.