The majority of Thursday afternoon was spent deciding what to wear to the festival and what to take along. The hotel had arranged a lift for them, and after dinner they called Cedric to check if their parents had arrived in Antananarivo. They caught the adults on their way to their hotel. Cedric confirmed that his Interpol contacts had come through, and the policeman they’d met would put them in touch with the right people in Nosy Be. This was excellent news, as it meant they would be able to apprehend Edward if they could find him. As for the government officials, they were going to try and get into the office of the president to plead Jez’s case, so she could gain citizenship and possibly land. Cedric was also going to try and contact the French businessman to discuss his land sale, by pretending to be interested in buying the land himself. It seemed to be going well in the capital and Karabo felt relieved. Once they all said their goodbyes, they waited for their taxi and made their way to the festival.
The base of the music reverberated through the rusty bottom of the taxi. When they jumped out of the stuffy car, the air was filled with the smell of food, beer and woodchips. The pounding feet of festival goers sent the smell of hot wood into the air, and the late sunset left pink and orange streaks across the sky. Isla could feel the excitement bubbling up from her toes, as Mzi repeatedly kept saying ‘awesome’ to no one in particular. William had a naughty grin plastered on his face, and his big green eyes seemed to widen as they made their way around the festival. This was definitely not his first multi-day festival.
Once they had bought some drinks, they made their way to the stage. An international DJ (that William had recommended) was throwing records in the air before putting them onto the deck, waving his arms above his head as the crowd screamed and whistled to the beat. Karabo could feel her eyes widen in her own eye sockets. She had never seen so many people dancing, screaming, jumping and just having a fantastic time before. Without thinking about it she found herself drawn into the music, and was dancing before they’d even found an Mzi-approved spot. Karabo moved her body in time with the hundreds of people all around her. Sometimes she bumped into other people; other times they stood on her toes, but she didn’t mind. It was fun. Isla would grab her hands and they would dance together, smiling at each other and laughing. Even Mzi seemed to finally relax and took to jumping and fist pumping the air. Karabo and Isla were impressed and slightly embarrassed, but they gave him the thumbs up. He made an enthusiastic dance partner. William, on the other hand, moved conservatively and kept to himself, occasionally smiling at them from underneath his fringe.
When their drinks were finished, William went off to get more. Only once the DJ changed over, did they realise he hadn’t come back in ages. Mzi told them to stay put, in case William did come back. While he went to look for him Isla wasn’t perturbed, and
she bumped Karabo with her bum to get her dancing again. Karabo loved how different people would join in dancing with them, and then float away across the dance floor. She couldn’t tell how long it was before Mzi and William returned; all she knew was that she was parched. Luckily Mzi had a few bottles of water, and she almost finished an entire bottle on her own. Mzi leaned over and showed her his watch: two in the morning! Karabo couldn’t believe it. She had been dancing for almost four hours. Mzi mouthed a ‘let’s go.’
Karabo nodded and shouted into Isla’s ear: ‘Let’s go, got another two nights and days to go.’ Isla pulled a sad face but followed Karabo, with William lagging behind them.
The next day, Karabo and Isla only surfaced from their room at midday and joined the boys for lunch.
‘Good afternoon ladies,’ said Mzi, a naughty smile on his face.
‘Please don’t tell me you were up for a surf lesson or something ridiculous?’ Karabo asked.
‘Actually, I was. Did my first scuba lesson this morning in the pool. Nine am. Was epic,’ said Mzi, and he meant it.
‘Seriously, don’t you get tired,’ said Isla yawning.
‘Not really,’ said Mzi, buttering his bread roll and pouting his lips. Isla raised her eyebrows and shook her head in annoyance.
‘So where were you half the night Will?’ asked Karabo, remembering how he hadn’t been with them for a large part of the previous evening.
William flicked his hair back. ‘Oh you know, just checking things out. I get bored dancing the whole time. So… you know, I like to mission around. Speak to peeps. That kind of thing,’ explained William. Karabo watched him closely. She could tell he was
being honest, but there was something about the way his voice had risen ever so slightly that hinted at a half truth.
‘Cool,’ she said to him, not wanting to upset the mood. ‘So, guys, are we hitting the beach and then heading over to the festival for some day and night music?’ asked Karabo.
‘Yes, let’s do that. I want to check out the market. There was a food stall selling crazy hot mango atchar that I have to try,’ said Mzi.
Isla laughed at him. ‘Mango atchar? Who knew Mzi?’ teased Isla. ‘What? It’s good stuff,’ said Mzi, defending his food preferences.
Question: Who do you think is enjoying themselves the most at the concert? Why?