Kylie was excited to help, so she left early in the afternoon to catch the bus at the school, get her shirt, and help set up before it all started.
When we arrived later, it was dusk, and the traffic was a bit crazy.
The festival took place during the last religious holiday we had here, and so everyone was out enjoying parks and the cooler evening air.
FYI, those gondola-type cars travel from one park to another park, riding over a third park, which is the one we were going to be in.
When we got there, Kylie was near the front of the serving line, smiling and ready to go.
The line was quite long.
This wasn't even the entire line (I got this picture off of facebook), but you can see Kylie's red hair on the far left.
Kylie also happened to be standing where they placed the prettiest trays of food, so cameras were focused on her area for the first part of the evening (until she switched places and started serving rice).
When the speaking part of the program was over, they told us we could get in line for food.
But there was no plan.
We got in "line," but were slowly pushed back by all the people who chose to go straight to the front.
When chaos ensued, an organizer from the food festival came over and tried to tell people to get in a single file line.
However, we did manage to separate men on the left and women and children on the right.
When I got closer to the front (after an hour), some ladies that I had been conversing with pulled me (and the four kids I was watching) to the paying area at the front. If they hadn't helped me out, I might never have gotten food. Doug was on the boys side of the line for at least another 30 minutes.
I think we both didn't want to be "pushy Americans," trying to get our way, so we just let what happened, happen.
Here's the line from my point of view.
That should not have taken an hour, right?
Kylie was still smiling when I finally made it to the front.
Combined, over 60 families and restaurants donated food to the cause. It was a great opportunity for me to try some things that I was curious about.
The line is in the background, under the red and yellow tents.
When we got our food, festival organizers came to us because they felt awful there were no seats left.
No problem, one of the ingenious ladies we came with had brought a blanket, and it was big enough for a lot of us to sit on.
And Karis and Keira enjoyed their cuisine.
The major news station for the area posted this picture on their website with the article about the festival.
And Kylie's school posted some pictures on facebook thanking the kids for their hard work.
Definitely a cultural experience and one I'm glad we were able to participate in because we found out about it through the school.
Yeah for a night in the park!