Posts tagged ‘milestones’

November 19, 2018

Wedding Day! – Reception

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We arrived at Bwerenga Estate close to 5pm. Vikkie quickly adjusted my hair in the house and then we went out for photos. It was an interesting sequence of getting some personal photos as well as photos with all of the guests which is a Congolese tradition. Somehow it worked out and we had a good mix of both. When they weren’t in photos our guests were socializing and enjoying some snacks and the beautiful lake view. At dusk everyone was directed to their seats while Othy and I took a few last photos together. We walked up to the reception area and the MC announced our arrival and everyone stood and clapped as we walked to find our seats. The MC introduced the different groups of people who had come and invited them to stand one at a time. Then Othy and I stood together as people came and presented gifts to us. In Congo it is tradition for people to come up with their gifts and at the same time wave and greet the couple. Following the gifts Othy and I led the procession to get food. There were a variety of dishes and the food was delicious. Just when we had started getting food, swarms of small moths showed up. They were attracted to the lights and falling all over the place. They got in the food, down my dress, and I even accidentally sat on some getting bug guts on the back of my dress (after which a few people came to me discretely and informed me about). Fortunately the moths were short lived and started thinning out as the evening progressed. I was thankful that they were harmless however annoying. While people were eating Othy and I went table to table to visit and personally greet our guests. For dessert there was a beautiful table of fruit that was cut and presented in a creative way and even included our names! The time also arrived for Othy and I to cut the cake. The evening’s program ended with speeches by our parents. There was a beautiful bon fire near the reception area and my family set up a station for people to roast marshmallows and make smores. While some people headed out, others danced and socialized a little bit. The evenings festivities ended just after 9 because many people had taken a bus to get there and had to take it back to town. It was probably for the better because I was running purely on adrenaline by that point! Othy and I said farewell to people as they left, and finally we were just a few. Lauren and Ben stayed and prayed with us over the gifts that we had received, and finally we were alone! What an wonderful and full day this had been! Below is the speech that my parents gave. I am so thankful that they and my sisters and friends could be there to celebrate the start of this next season of life.


 

“On May 19, 1988 two of our beautiful daughters were born. The words that were on my heart the first time I held them were “O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the works your hands have made.” Those words bring to mind the Psalm of David that speaks about how we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made.” And so Elisabeth came into our family.

One anecdote we’d like to share about her is that she took her time learning to walk. She was very content to stay put wherever we set her down. When we would check on her she would be sitting in the same place surrounded by her toys and look up at us with a big smile.

As many of you know, staying in one place is not what she has done – Elisabeth became somewhat of a world traveler – France, Alberta & Quebec in Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Uganda and the DRC here in Africa.

And so here we are. We have witnessed today the joining of two hearts and lives. We are glad to be with all of you in celebration of Othy and Elisabeth’s wedding. We have met some wonderful welcoming people and thank them for their hospitality during our time here. To all of you gathered here. Thank you for celebrating with us.

Othy, we welcome you into our family and pray that the love you have for our daughter will grow deep and that together you will experience much joy and laughter, serve one another, respect one another, and keep communicating well with each other.

When we were married just over 35 years ago my grandparents were unable to attend our wedding. They did however send a letter that ended with a blessing that we would like to say over you. Othy and Elisabeth The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace, Amen.”

November 17, 2018

Wedding Day! – Religious Ceremony

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The veil is on!

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When our car arrived at the church, the place was already fairly full of people and the choir was singing. Vikkie helped me to put the veil on, and then we got out to arrange ourselves for the procession. We went down the aisle Congolese-style with Othy and his parents coming down the left aisle followed by Ben, and me and my parents coming down the right aisle followed by Lauren and my bridesmaids. Othy and I took a seat in chairs in the centre that faced the pastor. The Like Christ Kampala choir came up and sang Great Is Thy Faithfulness and The Joy of the Lord, then Light Choir performed, and then we heard a message by one of the pastors of BCCA. At this point I still had the veil on and was overheating! Rev. Dr. David Kasali was then called up to begin the marriage ceremony. He invited up both sets of parents and asked them for their blessing and support of our marriage along with the congregation, then gave Othy permission to remove my veil, and then had my parents take my hand, put it into his, and then together place it into Othy’s hands. He gave Othy and I an opportunity to say our own vows to each other, and then we exchanged rings. We signed the church’s wedding document along with our mentors (perrain), Lauren and Ben, our parents, and Rev. Kasali. The pastors and our immediate family and close friends came up and congratulated us. After that some music started an a group of women from the church came dancing down the aisle carrying blue fabric. They presented Othy and I with gifts of the fabric, a large wooden spoon, salt, matches, and an egg. The wooden spoon represented hospitality since it is used in Congolese cuisine to make fufu, the salt and matches represented flavour and light in our home, and the egg represented the gentle care that Othy should have for me his wife. The fabric was a good fit for us because it had an image of the world with several bible verses. Rev. Kasali also presented us with a bible and with money taken by the church in the collection. Light Choir came back up and started singing and dancing, and Othy and I stood up and joined in! It was a lot of fun and my parents and others joined in too! That marked the end of the ceremony and Othy and I led the procession out of the church. From there we went straight to Bwerenga Estate for the reception.

November 17, 2018

Wedding Day! – Civil Ceremony

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Let’s do this thing!

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It was an early start to the day because we had to leave by 8:30am to head to the Congolese embassy. Vikkie did my hair for me and I did my own makeup. The dress I was wearing for the civil ceremony is one that my Mom found in Canada and now it will have special meaning when I wear it again. I also wore earrings from my Grandma who passed away three years ago. Othy and his parents arrived at our Airbnb, chauffeured by friends, and after some quick photos I headed out with him while the others waited a bit longer before departing. It took a little over an hour to get to the embassy and when we arrived there were already a few people there waiting and socializing outside. It was the start to a beautiful sunny day and I enjoyed being outside and welcoming family and friends as they arrived and taking some photos together. Close to 11am we were shown to the reception area where everyone was already seated and a space was waiting for us. Although it wasn’t planned we had the perfect number of people attend this part of the day as the setting was intimate. The ceremony was led by a civil representative who brought us through the parts of the Congolese family act. Then he called us up to say our vows and exchange rings. For the rings he had us hold each others wrist in an interesting way! We went on to sign the documents along with our two sets of witnesses. Othy and I then stood in front of the representative as he gave us some wise council and presented us with our certificates. We started and ended the ceremony by standing and singing the Congolese national anthem. We took a few photos in the doorway of the reception with family and friends, but kept it short since it was already 1pm and so everything would be pushed an hour later. My mom, the bridesmaids and I were provided a room where we could quickly change into our outfits for the religious ceremony, and then we left for the church!

November 19, 2017

ExACs

On November 6th-7th I completed the Examination for Architects in Canada (ExACs). This is the culmination of a ten year journey! I felt fortunate because Vikkie, my friend from the beginning of undergrad, was at the same point as me and we were able to go through the experience together. Since Vikkie lives north of Toronto, she came and stayed at my place for the two nights before the exams. The exams were at the Exhibition Place and so it was only a short drive from my place. I was thankful to have a ride with Vikkie instead of biking or transiting there!

The exam was made up of four sections that were each three hours long. The first section included questions on programming, site and environmental analysis, cost management, coordinating engineering systems, schematic design, and design development; the second section was code research; the third section was final project (anything related to building materials, systems, and details); and the fourth section was bidding and contract negotiation, construction phase – office, construction phase – site, and project management). My brain was pretty overloaded approaching the exams and six hours was a lot of time to try to stay focused in one day. At the beginning of each exam I would always have this dreaded feeling of “what if my brain just shuts off and won’t let me finish this?”, but then I always made it through! The first exam felt the worst, perhaps because the content is so diverse or perhaps because I got more used to the experience with each sequential exam. I surprised myself when I left the last exam thirty minutes early!

Vikkie and I were completely exhausted afterwards, but we still decided to join Susan for dinner and drinks at Indie Ale House to celebrate! What a hard push this was! I am thankful to God for bringing me to this point. Now I’m going to forget this exam ever happened until I receive the notice in February of whether I passed or failed! I am hoping I will not have to go through this whole experience again!

June 30, 2015

Thesis Defence!

Ready to begin The day finally arrived for me to defend my thesis! I defended on Wednesday June 3rd at 10am. My parents, some good friends from Maranatha, and a few friends from school came and watched. In the gallery I set up a mini exhibition of four posters with a table of coffee and snacks from Monigram. I presented for half an hour and then sat down and answered questions posed to me by a panel of critics that included my supervisor, two committee members, and external reader. I was very nervous for the presentation and it threw me off that I couldn’t see the audience. I finally felt like myself again when I sat down for questions. I feel like the presentation could have been better, but this was a learning experience and I’m sure I will improve with practice! Afterwards the panel left to deliberate and came back to announce that my thesis was accepted with only a few small revisions. My thesis document is now available for download from UWSpace. I will also have a link to a video of my presentation up shortly! Presenting The panel

November 2, 2012

Graduation

On October 20th I finally graduated with my Bachelor of Architectural Studies!  In the afternoon we had the official Convocation at Waterloo with the rest of the faculty of engineering, and then later that evening we had a nice reception at the architecture school in Cambridge.  Here are some candid photos from the evening:

Waiting in line

Photo by Terri Boake

Robes, certificates, and flowers!

Photo by Terri Boake