For readers who don’t know, Mauritius is an island in Africa about a two hour flight away from Madagascar. It takes about four or five hours to drive around the entire circumference of the island. Mauritius is very modern. Spacious and nice houses line the beaches. Mega malls are sprinkled around the island. In Cyber City there are huge glass skyscrapers. It is a very culturally diverse place. The main religion is Hindu but there are mosques in every town as well as churches and lots of other smaller worship sites of countless other religions. The three main languages spoken in Mauritius are Creole, French and English.
It was a bit of a culture shock to arrive there. Our apartment was very chic and modernly designed. Everything was black and white, sparkling clean. A shiny black table, white furniture, stainless steel fridge. A large pool and gazebo sat proudly in the courtyard visible from each and every apartment. Sugar Reef apartment complex was shockingly different than the cheap dirty motels we had been staying in while in Madagascar. We were baffled/happy to find 24 hour a day electricity. Running hot water was a welcome luxury, and the lack of mosquitos and humidity made us laugh in delight. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Madagascar. But I also loved Mauritius. They were reverses of each other. Both beautiful in opposite ways.
Our apartment was about a fifteen minute walk from the Flic en Flac public beach. At the beach were countless food vendors selling creole delicacies; picnic tables (made of cement) were spaced out beneath the large trees, which provided shade. The snorkeling was absolutely fantastic. There was almost no dead coral and their were tons of funky fish.
We took aerial dance and circus lessons for the month that we were there. Ollie learned to juggle; I learned to walk a tight wire; we both failed miserably at unicycling. The no handles, no brakes thing makes a big difference. Oh! and so does the one wheel. We learned some awesome new aerial tricks, can’t wait to show everyone in Denver! Our instructors Shaheen and Nicolas were incredible! It was so much fun learning aerial from Shaheen and watching Nicolas successfully ride the unicycle!
I was also very lucky to get to ride at a stables called Club Hippique. My instructor Aurelie was a good teacher even if she did yell so much her face turned purple. I was a bit terrified of her. She had this tendency to yell at me to “Do it AGAIN!!!!!” when I was jumping. Of course, all the other girls spoke French so she had to explain everything twice. Sometimes her translations had my mom and me cracking up in the car. For Aurelie, crop = crap, butt = ass, and legs = leeeeeeeeeegs. “Audrey! With your crap!” she would holler, “Push with your ass and leeeeeeeeeegs! I said canter!”
We also made some great friends in Mauritius who had us over for a Mauritian dinner; and whom we had over for an American dinner. Lisa, the mom, is from Atlanta and Ben, the dad, is from the UK. Kira and Nisha, their daughters, are ten and five. You can read more about all the people we met in a different blog post!
It was so nice to live in Mauritius for that time. To do normal things like go grocery shopping. Do road school in our very own living room. It was so much fun to meet people, see them in the grocery store and say hi. Taking aerial and horse lessons was just like a refreshing break. I feel so fortunate that I got to have that. Especially after being in so many places where kids would have no chance to do those things.
I just want to say Thank You Mauritius for a wonderful month!