Exactly two weeks after my husband and I spoke our vows in my hometown in the U.S., we were back in South Africa doing the same.

That time, I didn’t walk down the aisle, but stepped rhythmically to the beat of vocalists harmonizing the Setswana lyrics, “Tshwang, tshwang, tshwang …,” my white dress swishing with the sway of my hips.  And the guests, they didn’t stand stoic in the wooden pews, no, the front rows charged me in jubilant enthusiasm, crowding me in with cell phones raised high to my face, snapping photos left and right, the mass of people so thick I could barely make my way to the front of the church.

The black members of the congregation ululated with hands waving in the air while the pale faces looked on with bright eyes, completely absorbed in all of the excitement.  It was exhilarating and overwhelming and entertaining all at once.

When the ceremony ended, a train of people burst into song once more and trailed in synchronized step as we made our way down the aisle and out the back of the church — two cultures melded and carried along by a united song.

This is Day 9 of 31 Days of Life in South Africa — a series where each post is written in five minutes.

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