On October 15th we arrived in Mauritius, a small island the size of Rhode Island near Madagascar for a quick three-day visit. Mauritius was our Spring Break port. Most of our students rented villas on different areas of the island, the majority of the SAS trips were more about fun than education and our deans plan was to play 4 rounds of golf.
It was our earliest sunrise yet but I am a creature of habit so out I went. I did however go back to bed and didn’t bother watch our entry into the port. The first day a group of us went to “the best Chinese restaurant in Mauritius" I however was hungry before we got there and in a moment of weakness enjoyed McDonald’s. Okay- give me a break, we were about 50 days in and I just wanted some comfort food and a Big Mac fries and a coke filled the void. I still tried some of the food at 'First Restaurant' but was not so impressed.
My colleagues and I walked the markets of down town and through china town buying our postcards, t-shirts, magnets and wine. Side note – I got an e-mail from my mom (the cute little Irish woman) telling me not to drink too much and that my Octobeard needs some fertilizer. Don’t worry mom, I didn’t even buy any this time. In our walk about town we found a little shop that I was very excited about. We went back to the ship for dinner and I just had a relaxing and quiet night on the ship doing some journaling.
The second day I was a trip leader for a trip to the Adventure Park and Flick en Flack beach. Because of the large number of us they split us up, some going to the park first then the beach and vise versa. I had wanted to go to the park first but the bus leader had already left in the second bus to go to the park so I didn’t want to send a group of students without a staff member. While I was a bit disappointed as first it really worked out in my favor as I only had 8 students and the other staff member had over 40.
The beach was fine, nothing amazing but not a bad way to spend an hour. The Adventure Park was basically a ropes course through an angry swarm of mosquitos, luckliy the first group warned us so we swam in bug spray first. It was also a bit more intense than we had anticipated. It started with a collection of bridges that got progressively trickier – missing planks, no handrails etc. The real challenge began, rope nets, log sings, zip lines, net tunnels... There were some mild injuries and many of us were sore the days following. I don’t have any pictures of me, but once I get some from the students in my group I’ll post a few. I am sure there is at least one of me upside-down tangled up in some ropes. Awesome.
I was on duty that night and learned that when a student comes back pretty intoxicated we put them in the showers out by the pool. This student was kicked out of a bar and then fell in the street and some other SAS student who didn’t even really know her brought her back because her friends stayed in the bar! The nurse on call told us to take to her to pool deck and as the student couldn’t stand on her own, I made a quick stop in my room to put on my swim suit and proceeded to hold up this young lady in the shower. I'm pretty sure I did not read that in my job description. Over all the night was not a difficult one but I was up pretty late dealing with the student and writing the report.
I didn’t wake up the next day until noon and had to be back on the ship at 6:00 so my idea of going to the beach on the other side of the island was shot, but I was not that disappointed. I just walked around town again, had some nachos and watched people set up for the start of Diwali, The Hindu festival of lights that evening. It was then back to the ship to welcome students back for our next crossing to India. As we set sail the fireworks began and while it would have been amazing to celebrate with the people of Mauritius it was equally as cool to see the celebration as we sailed away.
India, here I come.