Sunday in Mauritius

Trip Start Jul 07, 2009
Trip End Aug 02, 2009

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jet lag woke me early. I read and did some editorial work on my laptop all morning. My wife sent me several e-mails last night and this morning, which were a joy to read as always. It was a beautiful day today, bright blue sky spotted with cottony, brilliant-white clouds. Around 11:00 I drove into Port Louis, the capital city of Mauritius. From the highway on the way to Port Louis, one can see the ocean on two side of the island, and the colors of the water were as brilliant as those of the sky.

Parking at the Caudan waterfront area, I walked over to where Clency and I had agreed to meet. He had confirmed last night that we could have lunch together and asked where we should meet. I suggested the old cannons by the waterfront and he agreed. As I walked that way about 11:45, Clency was already there waiting. He confided that he didn't come here very often thought he had agreed to meet by the cannons, he hadn’t known there were any here or where they were, so he came an hour early to look for them. We walked to the inexpensive little Indian restaurant where I often eat when I’m in Port Louis. It’s located right on the waterfront, has tables outside on the boardwalk, good prices and good food. We had an enjoyable lunch and caught up on all the news both of him personally and of things in Mauritius. Clency’s an automobile electrician, but with new cars being increasingly computerized, he's currently having to retool both figuratively and literally. If he doesn’t he’ll be out of a job. Up until recently he would have been retiring in 3 years but the government recently added another 5 years to everyone’s career duration, so now he has 8 more to go and so retraining is important.

He’s a very kind man, concerned for others and is always very helpful. It’s always a pleasure to talk with him.

He asked if I could explain to him how to open an e-mail account. I suggested that after lunch we walk over a few shops to a cybercafé and I show him how. We got him set up with a gmail account, a good fit for his situation. I jotted down some reminder instructions for him and told him I’d put him on our French e-mail list to receive updates and other communication, for which he was very thankful and happy.

Clency called France Chamary, our oldest Church member in Mauritius, and asked if we could stop by briefly to chat. He was happy to agree, so we walked along the water to the car and then drove a few km though very narrow city streets, to France’s house. It was Sunday and people were very relaxed, so cars, motorcycles and bicycles were stopped here and there, even in the middle of the lane as friends crossed paths and paused to talk. There was lots of weaving back and forth by drivers trying to pass. I have to be careful of that, since I driving on the wrong side of the car and street (for me at least), and my reflexes for clearance-space on the left are not too precise.

France was delighted to see us. Several of his children had come to see him, so we were introduced to each other, before we sat down for a chat with France. One son was curious to find an American, speaking French, all the way over here for a brief visit. He asked me several questions and watched closely to see if I really understood or not.

France is doing well and is looking forward eagerly to the Feast of Tabernacles. We talked about his health, about children and how nice it is when they visit, about the upcoming festival, and along the way I made sure all the church mail was reaching him in a timely manner. It was a pleasant visit, though we didn’t prolong it, since I didn’t want to take him away from his children who aren’t able to visit that often.

Clency guided me out of the maze of small streets to a major artery from which I could find my way back to Quatre Bornes, then he got out to take the bus back home which was nearby, and I headed back in my direction. I had a long walk in the afternoon, and am now feeling tired in the late afternoon, so it won’t be a late night.
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