Making Friends:

Yenjela and Zeffrin Vincent of Milnerton, South Africa

By Keith Vincent

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    Hi from both of us here in sunny South Africa. My name is Yenjela, and I am eleven years old. My brother’s name is Zeffrin, and he is eight years old. We live on Woodbridge Island in the Milnerton suburb of Cape Town, which is right where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. There is a lighthouse right next to us, and Oumie (our grandmother) lives just two houses down from us. She always has a great stock of sweets and other nice things to eat, and we often sleep there on weekends. We put mattresses on the floor, and it’s just like we’re on a campout.

    A lagoon that leads out to the Atlantic Ocean separates us from the mainland, and we go fishing there. Our beaches have soft, white sand. We often go walking along the beach for exercise and to look for shells and things. At low tide, we dig out white mussels, which Dad spices and then fries—yum! We love to boogie board in the waves, but the water is freezing cold, and we have to use wet suits. Best of all is when Dad takes us snorkeling. We see beautiful fish, shells, seaweed, sea ferns, and many other things that Heavenly Father created.

    We attend the Cape Town Third Ward, which is about 3 kilometers (just under 2 miles) away. Some people in our ward travel up to 60 kilometers (37 miles) to church. The farthest member lives 400 kilometers (250 miles) away!

    There are only twenty children in our Primary. My brother is lucky, because Mom is his teacher. (Dad is the teacher and the secretary of the elders quorum.)

    Zeffrin and I go to Milnerton Primary School. There are only five other Latter-day Saint children there (out of five hundred). It’s hard to do the right things and set the example, but we try. We have to wear a green and gray uniform every day, and if we don’t wear any part of it, Mom has to write a letter explaining why. School has afternoon activities like chess, computers, karate, hockey, rugby, soccer, piano, and singing. Zeffrin plays chess and does karate; I play the piano and sing. We both look forward to baseball in the summertime.

    My greatest love is horses. I attend a riding school where sometimes we go on rides through the forest, and that is fantastic! It’s a great feeling to sit on top of such a magnificent animal! I have a collection of all shapes and sizes and colors of horses—not real ones, of course, though I would love to have real ones! I even have horse ornaments in glass and metal. And I have a tiny pair of gold earrings in the shape of a horse’s head. Last summer I went to pony camp, where I spent four days riding, grooming, and feeding the horses. Recently my brother started riding, and soon we’ll be able to go riding together. We sure look forward to that.

    Zeffrin loves robots and building plastic models. He and Dad spend hours together building them. One Christmas he got a radio-controlled truck, and he loves to play with it.

    We love our pets: three little dogs—Bambi, Loopy, and Silky—and a cat named Snippy. And we both love wild animals. There are fantastic game preserves and parks here in South Africa, where you can get really close to animals like lions, elephants, giraffes, baboons, deer, and springboks (a type of gazelle). Our favorite place to camp is in a nature-reserve forest that has plenty of squirrels, monkeys, bushbuck (a kind of antelope), and birds.

    Another interesting thing to see is Table Mountain. It’s flat on top, and when clouds form on it, they look just like a gigantic tablecloth. The mountain was named by Cape Town’s founder, Jan Van Riebeeck, way back in 1652.

    The Lord has really blessed us in our land. One day you might have the opportunity to visit us and see it for yourself. Maybe you won’t want to go back home!

    Photos by Myrna Vincent

    1. Yenjela and Zeffrin Vincent

    2. Aerial view of Cape Town with Woodbridge Island and the lagoon at the center and right, and Table Mountain in the background

    3. With a baby monkey that was quite tame and running around the reception office at a safari park

    4. With Oumie’s four kittens, born while she was 1500 kilometers (930 miles) away at the Johannesburg Temple

    5. Yenjela with her most-loved animal, a horse!

    6. Two friends, Alex and Alan, playing tug-of-war with Zeffrin and Yenjela

    7. Snorkeling in their wet suits

    8. Playing Tarzan and Jane while hiking through a forest

    9. Zeffrin enjoying a rickshaw ride

    10. Dressed and ready for the ward barn dance