Last day in Mauritius
Trip Start Apr 02, 2014
33Trip End May 07, 2014
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Where I stayed
What I did
Souillac, Grand Bassin
I worked in my room until 9:30 when I took the car and drove back around the airport toward the Prodigues' home. As I pulled from the driveway, I caught myself turning into the right side of the road rather than the left, the unthinking habit of many years of driving. Happily there was very little traffic and I had time to adjust.
Once again as I saw Saturday there were quite a few people waiting by the fence along the runway of the airport. They were just waiting to watch a big plane take off or land. We’re more used to seeing planes, so westerners don’t usually make a trip just to see such an event, but it’s a rarer thing here and still exciting. Emirates Airways has the new Airbus A380, the double decker airliner, flying to Mauritius, and it’s impressive. I saw one coming in yesterday. They’re so big that, on approach, it hardly seems like they’re moving, that they’re moving too slowly to stay in the air.
Again I drove through the lush green cane fields dotted with villages, weaving in and out between slower cars, buses stopping for passengers, dogs (of which there are many wandering around Mauritius), motorbikes of various descriptions, and pedestrians. As I passed through the villages I could see brightly colored Hindu temples – the dominant color seems to be red, even more brightly colored Tamil temples (favorite color: yellow) decked with many statues of strange-looking gods. I passed a mosque, typically painted in green and white.
Since there is a "spirit in man" in human beings, and spirit is eternal, could that mean that we had some sort of existence before being born? I responded that this was more or less the reasoning that Socrates and Plato followed in the Phaedo, and it led to the belief in the immortality of the soul, which wasn’t biblical. We went through some of the passages that show that “soul” basically means “living being”, and that “souls” can die. There was a time when we didn’t exist, there was only the potential for us to exist, and at death we cease to exist, but God is able to bring us back into existence. We can bump into some metaphysical limitations in such discussions, but I think there was more clarity afterwards.
There was a question about the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 and the connection to being profitable or unprofitable servants which I had mentioned in my Bible Study the previous day.
Another question concerned where Jesus was born. The French word crèche has come to mean, in common understanding, the stable where Jesus was supposedly born. When people hear crèche they think of stable, but crèche actually means manger, which is the trough in which food for sheep or cattle could be poured, which when properly cleaned and covered in cloth would make a natural crib. Matthew 2:11 says the wise men found Jesus in “the house,” so the traditional idea of being born in a snow covered stable really doesn’t hold up. We discussed that as some length.
Jocelyn asked for some guidelines on preparing sermonettes which he gives at FOT time and from time to time as needed through the year. That was a profitable discussion as well.
We also talked of many other things, for example their jobs at a clothing company making high-end business suits. Saloni works in the accounting department and Jocelyn in safety and security. Part of his job, he said is to see that things are arranged so that no employees are tempted to steal from the company. There is a riming French proverb that says it’s better to prevent rather than to heal, which is what he tries to do.
On the way back to their house we stopped at a bridge over the Rivère des Anguilles (Eel River – it sounds nicer in French…) gorge. The river tumbles through lush forest on its way to the ocean. I thought it would make a wonderful picnic site, but Jocelyn responded that Mauritians rarely picnic anywhere but on the beach by the ocean.
Back at their home we wrapped up our talk over a cup of coffee and I took my leave. If all goes as planned I should be back to visit them in late July, hopefully with my wife this time.
A few years ago a 100-foot high statue of the Hindu god Shiva was constructed, and I could see that another monumental statue is now under construction.
After a brief visit to shoot some photos and video, I drove back to Mahébourg where I’ll spend my last night in Mauritius on this trip. Tomorrow, I will be traveling on to Reunion Island 140 miles to the south-west.