MASERU — Karabelo Mokoallo is struggling to get used to Chinese cuisine as she and 119 other beauties battle it out for the 2010 Miss World title.
The 23-year-old stunner left for the pageant in China a fortnight ago.
Miss World will be crowned in China’s southern city of Sanya on October 30.
“The food we eat here is strange,” Karabelo, brought up on the staple pap in Butha-Buthe, told the Weekender by e-mail this week.
“We eat sharks, shrimps, octopus and the other sea foods.
“It is really hard for me to adapt to the food and eating habits but I am surviving.”
The 175m beauty queen also said communication among the 120 contestants was a challenge.
“We are struggling to communicate because of the different languages we speak,” she said.
“We don’t all come from countries where English is the medium of communication so at times we are forced to use sign language when we speak.”
The food and communication issues aside, Karabelo said she was enjoying her experience in China.
“The people here in Beijing are amazing,” the former Miss Vodacom PC FM said.
“Everyone is so loving and caring.”
“I am running out of words to describe the hospitality I have received so far from the people of China and Mongolia,” she added.
Karabelo said she had found China so different from what she initially thought.
“I thought the city was stuffed, unfriendly and unattractive,” she said.
“But, in fact, Beijing is amazingly beautiful, humble and has a sophisticated look.
“It’s just completely different from what I thought.”
Since her arrival in China, Karabelo has travelled to Shanghai, Beijing and Sanya as well as Mongolia, a neighbouring country.
“Mongolia has been an exceptional experience,” she said.
“The people of Mongolia have been caring and inspiring.
“They have been guiding us as we tour their land and motivating us through the journey.”
“It’s been a wonderful place,” she added.
“We were treated to various red-carpet affairs while in Mongolia and that was thrilling.”
Karabelo said since her arrival she had bonded well with Miss Greece, Miss Guadeloupe, Miss South Africa and Miss Finland.
“All the girls here are wonderful,” she said.
“We are like one big family.
“We all come from different backgrounds and have huge cultural differences but the truth is we are all putting those differences aside and living happily together.”
Karabelo said being among beauties from around the world had boosted her confidence.
“It hasn’t only been exciting,” she said.
“I have been able to point out the weaknesses and strengths in Karabelo which I wasn’t aware of.
“Being surrounded by more than 100 people with different cultures and personalities is not easy but I have learnt to make that kind of environment fitting for me.”
As part of the events leading up to the crowning ceremony, Karabelo will take part in contests such as Beach Beauty, Miss Sport, Top Model and Miss Talent.
She told the Weekender she was confident of doing well in the events.
“So far there is really nothing scary,” Karabelo said.
“I believe I am going to perform very well because I have the support of Basotho who are praying tirelessly for me to bring home this title.
“All I can say is that the judges are going to have a tough time.”
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