Friday, January 18, 2008

a bride to be

I am discovering that I really like to travel. Coming to Liberia was my first trip across the Atlantic Ocean and I hope that the future is filled with such journey's. Seeing Spain and being in the Canaries is very nice, but I must say I am growing appreciative of traveling in countries completely outside of the western world. As much as I can see the differences in western countries simply by observing the people in our ship community, there is still many underlying similarities that are not as starkly contrasting to my own as say, a country like Liberia.

Maybe it's just a sick fetish with adventure. Maybe it's the sense of purpose and the potential to do good. Maybe it's the intensity that I am seemingly drawn to.

The more I learn about non- Western cultures, the more thankful I am to be a woman in a Western culture. I have so much to be grateful for; so many simple privileges that millions of women around the world will never experience.

In Morocco, the restaurants and cafes were eerily filled with only men. The women were not allowed to eat in them. It was uncomfortable to walk past the pairs of isolating eyes as the men quietly sipped their coffee and ate their meals in each other's company in the cafes. I also learned about marriage in Morocco. Our guide told us that the men have as many as four wives. The first wife is an arranged marriage. The bride and the groom don't know each other before the wedding. On the day of the wedding, the bride is placed in a cloth covered box and paraded around the city before being taken to her new husband. When she emerges from the box the groom will smile if he is pleased and embrace her or he will turn around in disgust. He then can chose his next three wives. (The group I traveled with was made of four girls and one boy, our friend Vern. We were wondering which number wife we each were....he seemed to enjoy the appearance of his own personal harem :)

At night, we were sitting in our hotel lobby and hear a loud mass of people right outside the window. We went outside and found a wedding procession. As the mass of people walked by, carrying the bride in the box, I couldn't imagine what she was feeling at that moment. I couldn't imagine being in the box.


Anonymous said...

Being put in a box would not be good for someone with clostriphobia, like me. I can't imagine some man trying to put you in a box.
Miss you,
Love you,

sojourner82 said...

the travel bug is addicting and way fun. i'm so glad (and jealous) that you are getting to see and experience new places and cultures. we americans really live in a big bubble sometimes. but as much as i want to experience other cultures, it would take an act of God to put me in one of those boxes! i would be wife #2. the one he really liked (like the good apples)