I have learned that a Zamani Daycare event requires the dedication of an entire day. On Saturday we went to Zamani, a daycare in impoverished Duncan Village where BYU students often volunteer, to watch their Mr. and Miss Zamani competition, one of their yearly fundraisers. It was incredibly cute – they had swimsuit, casual, and eveningwear segments filled with bewildered one- to five-year-olds, interspersed with dancing by older children. I was really impressed with the dancing – even the little kids can move in ways I could never manage. I sat in the audience next to a seven year old girl who quickly multiplied into ten, all fixing my hair, fighting over my camera, asking me questions, and singing along to Chris Brown, Rihanna and Usher (they knew all the words, which was impressive considering their limited English vocabularies). Partway through they pulled me outside and tried to teach me how to dance, which I can’t say was a success. They were a lot of fun, but bossy and “grown-up” in that 7 to 10-year-old way which is very exhausting and which I’m very familiar with, since my youngest sister is nine. The competition finally ended an incredible five hours after it began, at which point we were served KFC and Coke (I had some fries). That’s one thing about Zamani – the two times we’ve been there they’ve served us chicken, so as a vegetarian I’m left with mainly just Coke, which I don’t even like, but feel obligated to drink since I’m not eating the food. Other than this though I’ve been very happy with the vegetarian options in South Africa, which is something I was somewhat worried about coming here, as with any unfamiliar place. Vegetarian dishes have been clearly marked at the restaurants I’ve eaten at, no one seems particularly put off by my aversion to meat, and my host mother barely eats meat either, so when we eat together I can always share her vegetable curry. Even the fast food places have veggie patties on the menu, though I haven’t actually tried any of those. It’s definitely easier eating vegetarian here than in Utah. Anyway, after our meal, we sat and chatted with Mama Yoyo about nothing for a while, then finally got a ride home. I definitely still need to get used to the no-hurry attitude of South Africans, because I spend half my time lately feeling like I need to get a move on, but being trapped by endless going-nowhere chats, not to mention five-hour child pageants. Despite this it was a fun afternoon; I always enjoy spending time with kids.
P.S., I have a video of the dancing I'm trying to upload, which isn't working... but I'll try to add it in the future.