Ok so as I explained in the sneak peek, Dorette is Ester’s younger sister. She is a kindhearted, gentle, fun loving person. She’s very much free spirited, hates rules and dogma and loves life. She cares for people like no one I’ve ever seen and if the last thing she owned in the world was a pair of shoes, she would give it away in an instant to someone she decided needed it more than her. Ok actually that scenario is a bad example (I can see her friends chuckling…) because she also hates wearing shoes, but you get my point.
She definitively proclaimed that she will never get married because marriage is also one of those “dogmatic traditions” that she loves to diss. So you can Imagine the disbelief in the family when she and Guillaume announced their engagement. As Ester says: “When they first dropped the bomb that they are engaged, everyone was surprised, checked that it is not the 1st of April, and then we were overjoyed about their decision”
So who is this guy who won the heart of the nymph?
My experience of Guillaume is this: He is whacky as all hell and it is not uncommon to see him in some contorted position with the funniest facial expression as he animates some or other joke or story. He will have you in stitches in no time. He Laughs like there is no tomorrow and he loves making people laugh.
He is an adventurer, high on life, that will try everything the average reasoning human being won’t. He’s a prankster who loves to have fun. He’s lighthearted and friendly and in addition to all of these traits, he is, just like Dorette, a kind and caring human being who will do anything to help another person. He also, just like Dorette, hates wearing shoes and neither one of them are really people who lives life by boring norms or traditions.
His Nickname is “Sif” and his Facebook name is “Sif Islus” (you figure it out). He carries Dorette on his hands and it is blatantly obvious to see that he loves her unconditionally. He clearly loves his family and his friends as he always speaks very highly of them. He’s an engineer (I know… weird right?) and he drives a 125 cc bike to work and all over the show.
A match made in a pub…
So we asked Dorette how the engagement happened and her short reply was: “We were drinking…”
Later on she continued saying that they were joking about getting married that evening and the following day they just had to check with each other if they were actually serious. They discovered that they were. They simply couldn’t find a reason why not. This was not only a wedding propasal though, but also a proposal for a 1 year honeymoon traveling through Africa on… wait for it…
…a 150cc delivery bike!
No I am not kidding you!
But I will get back to that adventure in part 4 of this story…
Part 1 – Mythbusters
So Part 1 of the adventure starts where they came to visit us in Port Elizabeth last year shortly after their engagement
We simply had to do some engagement pictures for them. Being the weird and wonderful people they are though, they decided that if it is to be then they will make it their mission to bust every cliché surrounding love and relationships in these photos. So we took a six pack of beers, a six pack of Savannah’s and we headed into Central on a late Sunday afternoon…
These were the results of that shoot:
Part 2 – The Tiger Breeding Project
Ok so skipping ahead 8 months or so, the date is 20th of January 2012 and we are at the Kruger National Park for the official wedding. Why the Kruger? Well because that’s where Dorette and her siblings grew up. You can take a the girl out of the bush but you can never take the bush out of the girl. This also happens to be the very week that there were these major floods in the Kruger and people were being evacuated with helicopters. So while everyone were fleeing the floods, we were heading straight into it…
The interesting thing is that when Guillaume’s brother got married a couple of years back in Ireland, The volcano in iceland erupted, all air travel in Europe was suspended and their guests couldn’t make it to their wedding. So it seems that a natural disaster is imminent every time a De Swardt get hitched. The other interesting thing is that Heidi, his sister, is getting married today (4 March 2012) in Gauteng and I heard on the radio yesterday about some cyclone warning or something.
Anyway, getting back to the Kruger, the Malelane camp that they booked out for the wedding, happened to be one of only two camps that wasn’t closed down because of the floods and it seems that we only caught the tail end of it as the weather cleared up quite nicely after the first day.
So… to explain the Tiger Breeding Project, he have to jump back 2 months: Lientjie, Dorette’s eldest sister and her husband Andre were visiting us over new year and we started discussing the wedding when Andre came up with an idea to dress up Guillaume & Dorette like a lion and a zebra drop them off at the bridge before the Malelane Gate of the Kruger and have them do silly things while collecting donations from tourists.
So that’s exactly what we did…
We made a few boards reading different things like “Tiger breeding project” (if you cross a zebra and a lion you get a tiger), “Zebra Crossing” and “Born Free”. They then had to act out these scenes according to the board they were handed. With “Born Free” they had to put clothes on over their lion & zebra suits and remove them dramatically to the song Born Free.
Here are the results of that event:
Part 3 – “I do”
The date is the 21st of January 2012 and it is the day of the wedding. The weather has cleared up beautifully, the sun is out and the Kruger lives up to its reputation of +/- 40 deg celsius in summer. It is Dorette and Guillaume’s day and practically everyone at the camp is busy either painting decor, stitching some fabric, putting up the tent, setting tables, collecting wood, making cocktails or whatever needs to be done to prepare for the wedding. The guest list for the wedding totaled only about 25 – 30 guests consisting of just the direct family and closest friends. Below are some highlights…
Into the Wild…
For the ceremony they booked a game drive for all the guests where we would be taken to a lookout point in the Kruger. There a short and informal ceremony would be conducted against the beautiful backdrop of the sunset in the Kruger
These images are just highlights. For the family and friends, you can see all the images from the wedding by following this link.
Part 4 – “I Do” Africa
I briefly mentioned Guillaume and Dorette’s African adventure at the start of this post and I’d like to tell you just a little bit more about it.
Pretty much a couple of days after the wedding, Guillaume and Dorette left on a 150cc Big Boy bike, modified just a little bit with only what they can fit onto the bike and headed into Africa for a year.
This is an unimaginably amazing adventure! I mean can you imagine it? Into deep dark Africa on only a 150cc bike with only what they can fit onto that bike for an entire year. I am not aware of anyone who has done this from before.
In every country they buy a sim card and with the intermittent and broken internet access, they blog about their travels. Their journey also includes causes like helping with medication and food for people who need it.
You can follow where they are on their blog here: www.idoafrica.com/blog and their Facebok Page here. PLEASE LIKE THEIR PAGE, they could really use your support and if you feel generous, you can sponsor them.