Hope Notes: Margarita and Harvey


Its been two weeks since I last saw the Rockies and one week since Harvey and Margaritas wedding. Life has been very busy and at times emotionally stressful but I made up my mind that, before this week ends, I MUST blog. I have said this many times before, writing is good for me 🙂


Sometimes as you read the Psalms a word; “Selah” pops up. If you take the time to find out what it means you will discover  that its just another way of saying; “dear reader, take the time to pause and meditate over what has just been written.” I will do the same with the following words that are well known by many but not often meditated upon.

Love is patient, Love is kind
It does not envy, It does not boast
It is not rude, It is not proud
It is not easily angered, does not demand its way.
It keeps no record of being wronged
Love never gives up, it ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes and endures through every circumstance. Love never fails!


Friend, I don’t know about you but Gods standard of what love is, is pretty high and goes against what we want for ourselves. Its hard work for our hearts that tend to be very selfish a lot of the time! I chose to share their wedding pictures because for me its a sign of the hope that is quietly growing around us and must be natured tenderly. God is all about love and marriage the bible is full of examples. All the more reason for us to celebrate it and be an encouragement to those who take the step of becoming one. Not an easy lifestyle I have been told but still worth it!

Good night!

Xigiana (she.gui.anna)

Well, they have been married close to two weeks now and what a wedding it was!
Just a few shots of what happened on Friday afternoon and night but what I really want to share is what happened on Saturday when we had xigiana.

cutting the cake, me translating for Jessis' parents, dancing, the four of us, cupcakes( we made 250 of them didnt sleep that night!) and hanging out with friends.

cutting the cake; I was the designated portuguese to english translator; dancing; my siblings and I; Jessis’ neices and nephews leading the bride to the front; wedding cupcakes( we made 250 of them, didn’t sleep that night!) hanging out with friends; more dancing and me and my good friends Corrie and Nomsa working the celeb pose 😀

Xigiana is Mozambiqan custom, it is a party that is celebrated the day after the wedding. It is when the bride’s family come and formally leave the bride at the grooms parents home. literally it means they are now officially letting go being responsible over their daughter and handing her over to her new family. It’s an occasion to eat, dance, sing and yes cry. And this is how it went:

First the bride and groom arrived ( I don’t have any pictures of that as I was busy taking a video) Then Jessicas’ family arrived. They had to group together outside our gate and when they were ready started to sing as they entered our property. It is customary for the brides family to come with basic house keeping items that the bride will use in her new home.



They sing specific songs that the grooms family has to respond to and only after an exchange of money (US$3) does the family come in.


The moment the note of money (MT100/ around $US 3)was exchanged between the two families.

The mother of the groom leads the way singing and dancing as she leads the brides family into her home.

The mother of the groom leads the way singing and dancing as she leads the brides family into her home.

She is accompanied by her friends and family.

She is accompanied by her friends and family.

What better way for two families to show that they are in agreement with the union than to sit together and…


share a meal.

no caterers just about 30 of my moms friends getting together and cooking an amazing lunch! We had about 100 people at our house.

no caterers just about 30 of my moms friends getting together and cooking an amazing lunch! We had about 100 people at our house.

When everyone had their share to eat it was time to present gifts. Of course there is no way you can do that without dancing and so they danced!


My brother loved being carried about on his chair his brand new wife was a bit unsure about the whole thing.LOL!


My brother lived a couple of years with an amazing family in Capetown South Africa, it was so good for them and other friends from South Africa to come and join in the celebrations. The whole event for them was very different from anything they had ever experienced but they enjoyed it nonetheless.

They made enough desserts for 150 people to eat and Oh man were they a hit!

They made enough desserts for 150 people to eat and Oh man were they a hit!

At the end of the night Jessica’s’ family had to say goodbye, it was a tearful moment as Jessica’s’ mom hugged her daughter and left. Even though the gesture of saying goodbye is symbolic it means a lot to a mother as reality sinks in…my daughter will not be coming home any more. I Dont have any of those pictures and even if I did, I don’t think I would share the moment to the world 🙂

Don’t you think i have beautiful cousins?

My beautiful cousin Monica

My beautiful cousin Monica


Monica, Barbra and I. It is customery for all the grooms family member to wear clothes made from the same african print. This way the new family will know who is the grooms family

Monica, Barbra and I. It is customary for all the grooms family members to wear clothes made from the same african print. This way the new family will know who is the grooms family

There is much to be said about strong family and community ties. We came to Mozambique 20 years ago with just a couple of suitcases and knowing no one. My brothers wedding was a celebration of what the love of Christ can do, it can bond people in such a way that we no longer look at each other as “foreigner” but family. This day would not have been possible without the amazing support of the church members were my parents, siblings and I have served for the past 11 years. We are not fully Mozambican yet but we are getting there. Welcome to our family Jessica.

The Mulengas.

The Mulengas.

P.S Guess who caught the bouquet on Friday night?

I LOOOOOVE my bouquet!

I LOOOOOVE my bouquet!

ME!!!! If there is anything that we would all love is to be a family that looks beyond color, race and nationality. Here is to the other people who will join our family in the future, may you also bring with you amazing cultural customs that we can learn and practise!

I love to love you


In my world there is no such thing as a “small wedding!”

Cheap? yes!

Simple? yes!

extravagant? even better!

Expensive? YES PLEASE!

BUT “small wedding??” you might as well ask the moon to stop rotating around the earth! My brother (FYI I am the oldest of 4, three girls and one boy) is getting married this Friday but celebrations began last Saturday. Jessi’s father organised a goodbye party for their whole family to come and wish Jessi goodbye as she gets ready to leave her family and joins us. There were no less than 100 family members present, give or take another 30 people who were family friends. In my world, family is not just the immediate family unit its EVERYONE, uncles, aunties, first, second, third cousins, grandparents and much more. We were also invited as the family wanted to meet the family that Jessi would be joining, friend it was such a wonderful day, with loads of food ( they bought and killed a cow for the occasion) amazing live african jazz music, LOTS of dancing and laughter.

It turned out that Jessi’s grandparents were also celebrating 59 years of marriage. For me it was wonderful to see two generations, one that was just about to begin their journey and another that had been at it for decades.

Jessi's grandparents

Jessi’s grandparents

Now there are two more days of celebrations left, this Friday is the official wedding and then on Saturday we will have a welcome party at our house, it’s a Mozambican custom (Jessi is Mozambican) for the family of the groom to host a lunch for the family of the bride to come and officially leave their daughter with the grooms family. We will have around 100 people at our house, fun times! I can’t make any promises on sharing more pictures of our celebrations as my brother and Jessi are private about their lives but I am sure I can make a plan and share some pictures with you.



There are three things that amaze me – no, four that I don’t understand:

how an eagle glides through the sky,

how a snake slithers on a rock,

how a ship navigates the ocean,

how a man loves a woman. 

King Solomon.

Luis and Flo

Luis and Flo

25 couples,1 wedding,a mayor and the clown.

I attended my first Peruvian wedding last Friday. My friend Flor assured me that since it was going to be a civil wedding with no church ceremony it wouldn’t take long before we would be at the reception happily filling our stomachs with some of Peru’s best-loved dishes. I must confess friend, I was very excited about the eating part!

Well everything went completely different from all I had been told. Upon arrival at the municipality building we found that instead of couples simply walking in and getting registered, the local municipality of the small town had decided to make it a mass wedding for 30 couples( turned to 25 it seems 5 couples bailed out). What should have taken 20 mins to occur turned into 3 hours of standing and watching 25 couples being married off by the local mayor.

The whole event was complete with :

what I can only assume where 2 brides maids compliments from the mayor’s office;

a cake for all the couples to take their first wedding photo with;

Enrique Igglesias and Kenny G crooning love songs through some powerful loud speakers as the mayor married them off 5 sets at a time. Snacks for everyone and a Peruvian alcoholic drink (don’t know what it’s called) to toast the newly weds.

To complete the affair the floor was cleared for all the newly weds to have their first dance as a married couple.

The where couples of all ages, the youngest being my friends nephew, he is 17 years…

When the ceremony was done we quickly jumped into a “motor,” (the small taxis that are used around here) to go and attend the reception but before that my friend Katie and I decided to make a short detour and get a picture taken with the mayor.

I had thought we would just catch him on his way out but that was not the case, it turned out to be such a formal affair meeting him in his office. I dared not look at Katie least the laughter I was trying to hold back leapt out and completely embarrassed me! You would think by the way he talked to us that he had received the official ambassadors of Canada and Zambia. The whole scene was ridiculously funny, we even had a man introducing us as we walked into the office as if the mayor didn’t already know that we just wanted a picture with him. The man;that is the mayor, then went off on a tangent of around 5 mins talking about the importance of having us over and how in the future we must have more cultural exchanges between his country and our countries. In his own words “Mi casa e su casa!”. We ended the meeting by getting what we had originally come for, a photo with the mayor!

The reception was not what I had expected, it was very subdued  with people mostly keeping to themselves till the clown walked in.

When I first saw him, I thought he was lost looking for directions for another house party but I was assured this was where he had come to MC and entertain. I for the life of me cannot understand why anyone would want to have a clown as the MC of a wedding but apparently as Flors daughter told me, “it’s the latest 21st century wedding fad.”  To my amazement, the guests LOVED him, Katie and I just watched completely puzzled at the scene before us. I guess I am living behind the times!

As for the food, what a disappointment friend, by the time it was being served I had to rush back home, luckily Flor got the mother of the groom to pack some for me so that I could eat it at home. It tasted great BUT nothing beats eating with a group of people and having a clown entertain you!

How does the saying go again? oh yes: one mans tea is another mans poison. I thoroughly enjoyed the day but being married off by a mayor with 24 other couples and then having a clown for an MC is definitely not my style of wedding 🙂

Love Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever love

 William Shakespeare

This by far is my most favorite of all Shakespearean poems.