A restful day in Mauritius
Trip Start Apr 02, 2014
33Trip End May 07, 2014
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I slept well but woke up early, and so enjoyed a restful morning. Friday, a strong wind blew all day, but this morning the air and sea were calm making for a wonderful sunrise and pleasant time to sit on the balcony and think. Small boats of fisherfolk, for which the town is known, were heading out to start their workday.
We sang hymns in English since, we haven’t yet been able to finish or distribute a French hymnal, and the members here, though they prefer French which is closer to their first language, Creole, all do well in English. Sometimes people in the West can be condescending to folks from lesser developed areas, but most Mauritians speak at least three languages as do many people in Africa, for that matter.
We interrupted out discussion for an Indian/Mauritian meal of raw vegetable salad, rice and chicken in curry. When I asked if this would be considered an Indian or a Mauritian meal, I immediately received both answers! A discussion ensued to sort out the correct answer. The conclusion was that it was an Indian curry, but much less spicy that Indians would make it, so it was a Mauritian version of an Indian meal, and thus both were correct. I joked that Mrs. Prodigue was just being kind to me and sparing me the full magnitude of Indian curry, which can have an effect similar to that of a flame thrower.
After a scoop of ice cream for dessert, we continued our conversation. We talked about the Feast of Tabernacles and how they hope other will come to celebrate this happy time with them. I told them that I shamelessly advertise for the Feast in Mauritius as I travel around. It means a great deal to them that fellow members come to celebrate this festival with them (hint, hint – there I go again…).
One lady asked to talk to me privately about some personal questions, which I was happy to do. Our few members here must often wait months to have such discussions and ask advice from a church elder, so these moments are much appreciated. After that discussion we all moved out on the terrace to continue our conversation. The simple act of being able to discuss our mutual faith with someone “new”, and encourage each other is a precious opportunity.
In mid-afternoon we enjoyed a strong coffee to perk us up – I was feeling some jet-lag by this time – and allow us to continue enjoying our time together.
We could see the ocean in the distance, a deep blue contrasting with the lush green of the sugar cane fields. The weather was perfect, a pleasant warm temperature, probably in the mid-70s F, with a slight, refreshing sea breeze. They told me that it was getting cold, since winter was beginning. I smiled and said winter in north Texas was rather different. I asked how cold it could get in Mauritius in winter, I was told that except for the extreme mountain tops and plateaus, the coldest it gets is about 15 to 18 C, which is the low to mid 60s F, not exactly a harsh winter….
At afternoon began giving way to evening, Mme Prodigue and Mme Laroche prepared to head back toward Port Louis. I said goodbye until late July, when if all goes as planned I’ll be back to visit once again – a second visit within the year will be a special treat. I stayed and talked a while longer with the other Prodigues and then asked for some directions back to Mahébourg. Jocelyn gave me directions for a shortcut through the cane fields. It wasn’t too preoccupying, even if one gets lost on an island, one’s bound to hit a coastline sooner or later to get reoriented.
I believe I will sleep well tonight.