I Now Sentence You . . .
With those words, Associate Justice of the Yap State Court, Cyprian
Mugunbey pronounced our very good friends from Brazil – José Truda Palazzo and Nalu Machado husband and wife. Obviously a bit of a joke but it fit right in with the entire day. This wedding took place at our house and my wife Patricia, daughter Numie and several of the staff of the Manta Ray Bay Resort went out of their way to make this the best party ever. It was a true celebration of a new beginning for our friends and a chance for us to share our hospitality with them. The wedding took place on May 31st but as usual, I am running late in getting this post up. I have a bit of an excuse this time since Patricia and I left the night of June 1st for a 2 week trip to the States to visit my family in Texas, exhibit at the Long Beach SCUBA Show and spend a week with our oldest son, Nathan, a U.S. Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton.
Back to the business at hand, a celebration at our house. As I mentioned above, several of the staff worked for weeks getting the yard ready, setting-up for the wedding and then joining us for a paaaaaarrrrrrttttttyyyyyyy!
Our outdoor kitchen, better known as The DIRT was the setting for the food and beer. The menu was too vast to list here but included rotisserie chicken, barbecued ribs, baked ham, local crabs, several fish dishes and lots of local food. The staff also set-up our Stone Money Brewing
Company tent just in the event of rain. As you will see from the pictures, we had a wonderfully beautiful tropical day. God was smiling on us.
While the guys were barbecuing and finishing last minute decorations, Nalu was tasked with teaching the girls how to make Caipirinhas, the national cocktail of Brazil. Below left, Nalu is working with Stella Laamar and the magic ingredients. Center, it didn’t take long for the crowd to grow. Below right, Nalu didn’t seem to mind, after all, in an hour or so, she would become Mrs. Palazzo.
While the Caipirinha workshop continued, others were working on the details for the ceremony. Below left shows Helen Limed, Numie Acker and Michael Ranganbay work on the wedding arch. Center, Carmen Dugwen getting our flower girl ready while in the picture on the right, we have from left to right Theo Gumang, Numie Acker, Jessie Boston, Thomas Moon, Selma Single and Enny Firharaen working on the guest seating.
Finally, the time seemed right to stop what we were doing and turn all of our attention to the friends who traveled so far to be with us and share this magical moment of their lives with us. Judge Mugunbey performed the ceremony while family and friends took chairs to witness.
On the left, we have the long march, accompanied by Flower Girl Piyon Ranganbay, daughter of Carmen Dugwen (our Controller) and Mike Ranganbay (one of our lead dive masters) and Ring Boy Jeremy Gootmag (nephew of Numie Acker) kicked things off. Center, the ceremony took place under an arch decorated with fresh tropical flowers from our yard and with the Pacific Ocean as a back drop and ending with the traditional kiss, below right.
I am not sure who was happier, the newlyweds, or us. As you can see from the images below from left to right, I was dressed to the nines (at least the nines as defined in Yap) while Numie, her husband Ruwie and daughter Bubu tested the arch and Patricia swapping greetings with Nalu on the right.
With this all out of the way, it was time to get down with the sounds of Tim and Tim whose band is named Blue Nation. One of the guys is closely related while the other is a good friend and together, they form the house band for the Manta Ray Bay and they are, in my opinion, the island’s best. From 3 PM until late at night, they provided non-stop dancing music. Here are a few shots of them. Below left, getting ready. The center picture is of them setting up with the help of Jude Pedrosa, our IT man – a guy I simply call “MacGyver” as he can fix/build/repair/make anything. Below right, shows the two of them about to step up to their instruments to get the party rolling.
The dance floor was opened, naturally, by the newlyweds. Nalu says that José dances like a frog, always hopping around (I would hate to hear what she says about my dancing). If they missed a dance during the day/night, I don’t remember it. Those wonderful white clothes had to be hung outside to dry before packing.
Below left, we never were sure exactly who Jan Sledsens, our Dive Operations Manager was dancing with. In the middle picture, Patricia is in the midst of this group – lucky for me I am out of the picture. Nalu seems to have lost José temporarily while the sweat on Mike’s shirt is proof that he too didn’t miss many dances. Here he is dancing with our niece April Laabrug. Below right finds Ruth trying to explain dancing to her husband Detlef Trux, our Food & Beverage Manager and Jan dancing with at least 3 ladies including my wife Patricia, niece April and Stella Laamar while by far, the best dancers of the night were the two little kids on the far left of the picture (Jeremy and Dina). I was very jealous of their moves.
As a wrap-up, I offer a few parting shots. Needless to say, everyone left happy and full. Below left, Ruth is trying to explain Caipirinhas’s to Detlef while Jan and Leslie, “MacGyver’s” wife and our gift shop manager, listen in. Below right, it’s advised to be aware; the drinking of too many Cairpehinias can do this to you.