Even with all the "opportunities" afforded me by virtue of my name, I've never had the "privilege" of taking part in an American ritual traditionally only experienced by the female gender - the BABY SHOWER!
Our church and friends planned one for us. I even helped register for gifts at Wal Mart and Target. I thought that was the extent of my involvement. I admit, it was on my calendar, but only for the purpose of reminding myself "Rhonda won't be home that night".
Somehow today I agreed to pop my head into the room and say hi for a few minutes and leave (I think I was tricked). Then just a few minutes before the shower began I received a call stating I should be there because (of all things) several men actually showed up! These were even manly men!
So I did. And I experienced a degree of culture shock that I wasn't expecting for at least another week. I never knew what happened at a shower. For you men who want to know, it goes like this: (1) Eat food (2)Play a game (3)Watch the parents open a pile of gifts. It's kind of like a birthday party for older women I guess. Who knew?
I didn't. I've been on 15+ mission trips and one thing we're always taught is cultural sensitivity --study the culture before you engage it. Well, I didn't have a chance to study beforehand so I had to wing it. I think I did OK.
One of our good friends made this really cool cake with Neti and Meke's edible picture on the top of it. At the end of the night there were two pieces left - one with each of the girl's heads on it. I don't know if people were being nice by letting us take those pieces home or if they found it weird to eat them.
If you look closely enough you might find a few men in this picture. I'm in the upper left holding a gift up on display.
Once I found out I could open gifts I began relaxing a bit. However, I was told I opened them way too fast. I didn't realize that every shower has a secretary who writes down everything that happens with a pen and notebook. When we were done she commented that ours was the fastest shower she's ever been a part of.
The people of ONC are very generous. Each of our girls gets two identical bikes...one play bike, and one for dress up.
Seriously, though, thanks to all the great people of ONC who continue to demonstrate they are some of the most giving people in the world. We appreciate your generousity and love!