One of the young women in the branch, Ishelka, was in a beauty pageant so I went to support her. Here I am with Nabila (YW 2nd counselor), Sis. Case (senior missionary), and Ernistine (Ishelka's mother.)
The entire night epitomized the Caribbean culture. It was supposed to start at 8:00 p.m., but didn't begin until 9:15 (which meant it lasted until 1:45 a.m.) The crowd was excited and loud and danced and cheered from beginning to end. There was food aplenty, from popcorn and drinks and chips, to fish and ribs and chicken/rice as you would expect here. There was alcohol of course, and many people milling around who had had too much of it. There were a few fights and some heated debates all around us, and as you know most Caribbean people do not have an "indoor voice." It was outside so as you would expect, there were dogs milling around, waiting for a morsel of food scraps. The bands that took up most of the time in between the pageantry events were loud (you should know what I mean when I say "loud," in that your chest pounds with each beat.)
One thing that is sad to me, but is common at events like this here, (Adrian has also witnessed it at all 3 of the Ms. Marriott pageants here that he has attended) is that when a contestant trips or forgets their words, the crowd laughs loudly and makes a huge scene out of it.
These drummers were a welcome change in volume and played while the girls paraded around.
This is Ishelka wearing her school uniform for her opening speech.
The women scream and jump around and cheer non-stop.
Here is the dog that shared the night with our little group.
One of the categories was to display a unique, hand-crafted outfit. They included many different elements, such as outfits being made completely from paper towels, fruits and vegetables, leaves from various trees, money, and fabrics from traditional carnival clothing.
This is Ishelka during the talent portion.
These are some of the evening gowns. Everything is colorful and quite different.
So proud of Ishelka. She received 2nd runner up and got the highest scores for her interview. Incidentally, throughout the pageant her motto was "Be strong and of a good courage; for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest" from Joshua, which was the youth mutual theme for 2010.