Mauritius : A Slice of Heaven

A little slice of heaven has fallen from the clouds.
In the Indian Ocean, 2400 kilometers from the nearest continent, it has landed.
We call it Mauritius.

Each afternoon, a gift from the sky arrives. From violet to red, a rainbow is painted onto an azure canvas.

It is a land of volcanoes, tea plantations, crystal waters and the (now-extinct) Dodo Bird.

Here, stopping at a mountainside viewpoint for ten minutes guarantees the sighting of a friend passing by en route to home, shop, beach. Or if they’re in the mood, to nowhere.

In Earth’s Heaven, breakfast is at nine, lunch is at noon, tea at three and dinner by seven.

Here, locals own their own shops, working seven days a week with the help of family and a handful of hires to operate. Large corporations are largely unpopular as they do not feed the island’s spirit as well as a local hand can.

Schoolchildren learn four languages simultaneously and older generations have mastered the art of switching from one to another mid-sentence.

This is a land where friends offer not just to take you where you want to go, but turn a trip to the local market into a full day’s excursion. There’s no hesitation and no planning, only open roads and minds freed from time’s ties.

Click on an Image to see Mauritius Up-Close:

 

 

I arrived in Mauritius on a Sunday afternoon and was met by a smiling woman and her son. They were eager to show me their home, their heaven. But first, we must find cakes.

A two week stay with their family of five allowed me to absorb the art of kindness and the love of sincerity, as it was shared daily from golden morning to pink-hued night.

Volunteering to help with the mother’s website, I arrived in my first African home expecting a no-frills experience. I expected small homes with minimal furnishings, simple foods, and quiet days.

Instead, I was brought into a home perfectly designed to meet the family’s every need. Surrounded by the homes of jolly uncles and the well-respected grandmother, each space was well-utilized and included a rooftop garden with an overhang large enough to protect drying clothes from daily rains and a neighboring room filled with crystals, buddhas and incense used twice daily for prayers; a second level meeting room for group meditation sessions along with the families’ bedrooms; and a first level office, kitchen and elegant sitting room with a fish tank to put even the most hesitant minds into a trance.

 

 

Click on an Image to see Mauritius Up-Close:

 

In order to fulfill my volunteer duties and create the webpages, I first needed to research. Thus, a daily search for facts on meditation, reiki treatments, chakra balancing, Feng Shui and other spiritual healings began. Not only did I scour the internet for information regarding these practices, I also was able to learn first-hand from the master herself. Questions regarding various procedures were welcomed at all times, but I soon found the best way to learn was through observation. Rising well before the sun, meditation is a fully accepted and encouraged ritual, as is healthy eating. In fact, each family member has specific days of the week determined by the birthday and moon cycle during which they should eat purely vegan foods. Nevertheless, meals are an important part of the day and preparation can last anywhere from thirty minutes to several hours. Rather than be a chore, cooking is a joy and a piece of the spiritual puzzle providing satisfaction and health.
Between jaunts around town, and creating the web content, we kept busy with tours around Africa’s most densely populated and undeniably most dynamic country. A trip to the island’s Black River Gorges National Park offered picturesque views through peaks and valleys of lusciously overgrown forests. On the island’s westside, aquamarine waters of a swimmable window swept us into the sea surrounding Île aux Cerfs.

 

 

Click on an Image to see Mauritius Up-Close:

 

After a boat ride to a small waterfall and meal of freshly barbecued meats (on the second day of a three-week stint which I’d intended to eat vegan) I floated with the current, through a small passageway between two of Mauritius’s smaller islands. With the sun kissing my nose and the salty waves embracing my relaxed body, my mind was calm and heart full.

Through squinted eyes, I focused on white cotton balls levitating high above.

‘I wonder if heaven wants its paradise back?’ I thought.

Then I quickly dismissed the thought. That’d be a big request; one that I’d not be willing to negotiate.

 

Click on an Image to see Mauritius Up-Close:

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