When you grow up in a small Minnesota town of 2,200 people - surrounded by Catholic and Lutheran churches - diversity is a Methodist congregation. So when Avi told me we were going to attend her aunt's Hindu wedding in southern Trinidad I was more than excited.
Even though my childhood community was quite sheltered, I had the advantage of a good education and access to resources to learn about life beyond the farm fields. But nothing prepared me for the explosion of culture I would experience in Trinidad - Afro-Trinidadians, Indo-Trinidadians, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Steel Pan, Tasa Drum, Calypso, Doubles, PNM, and on and on...
As the plans were made I was adamant that I would not be available to be the designated photographer. I wanted to observe it as part of the family - soaking in the vibrant details - not buzzing around like a hired witness. So we hopped on a plane and spent the weekend with her family for the wedding - me in my kurta, and Avi in her sari.
It was a wonderful time, and as I sat there in the pink-walled Hindu temple I couldn't help but think back to the days when I thought Methodists were exotic.