Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ma Vie Mauricienne

C on "our" beach
Three full weeks have passed since we touched down on Mauritian soil.  It's hard to believe that we are approaching a full month of life here, yet here we are.  It seems the last three weeks were a bit of a whirlwind, we hit the ground running, you might say.

My first glimpse of our new home, flying in over the North of the Island.
We arrived one Wednesday noon-time after what seemed like an endless journey.  True, we only traveled from Ireland (I write that as if it's no distance, which it is, actually, but at least we had the six hour distance from the States behind us already), but it was a long time of being in planes and airport layovers: an hour and a half to Paris, almost 6 hour layover in Paris, followed by an 11 hour flight to Mauritius, 8 hours of which C slept, mercifully.

C had a particularly difficult departure from Dublin - lots of tears and crying, which translated to lots of frustration and stressing on the part of her parents (and lots of bewildered and annoyed looks from fellow travellers, which only infuriated me more).  She clearly knew we were leaving her grandparents, aunts and uncles for a while and I think all the change over the last couple of months has been very difficult for her to process.  Our almost month-long visit in Ireland was wonderful, but also very difficult in that C didn't settle into any semblance of her routine the entire time we were there.  We began to worry that it was a change in her routine that would stick, but since we've been here, in our own new house, and she has her own room with her familiar bedding and toys, thankfully things have been much better.

P began his new job at the embassy the day after we arrived, while C and I explored "our" beach and enjoyed a nap to try to catch up on the month of terrible sleep we both had prior to our arrival.  We got together with some of the other newly arrived families from the embassy on Friday evening at a local restaurant whose dining room is open to the beach.  We watched the sun set, ate fresh, local food and enjoyed getting to know the families who I hope will become our friends during this tour.  It seems like we have a really great group of people here!

The next week brought more changes - C started preschool.  French preschool, no less.  They take their preschool seriously here.  The little ones go every day - 3 full days and 2 half days.  It's a lot, and there are no naps.  A HUGE adjustment for our girl, given that I've been lucky enough to have her home with me her entire 3.5 years until now.  She wears a little uniform and looks awfully adorable, if I do say so myself....
C in her other uniform option.  But she's a skirt girl, all the way.
The first week was rough. I  mean really, really rough.  She has always expressed a desire to go to school, but I'm not sure whether it was just too many changes at once or the language barrier (though thankfully she has another little American friend in her class and her teachers speak English and do 2 days a week with some lessons in English), but she panicked, big time.  All those stories you hear about kids screaming, crying, clinging to their parents - that was my child.  I was so surprised because she always been fiercely independent and not shown too much worry about me leaving to go anywhere in the past.  So naturally, as I'm drowning in pregnancy hormones as it is, I became a big crying mess, too (albeit after I'd prised myself away so as not to upset her more).

Thankfully, after the first week things have improved - some days she is so excited after her "such fun day at school, Mama", other days she says "but I don't like my school".  This morning, she looked at me very seriously and said "I'm not going to say 'I don't like my school'.  I'm not going to say that, Mummy".  I was very proud of my big girl!  I know I'm not the only mother out there who has had their heart broken when their child is distraught about going to school, but nothing quite prepares you for it when it actually happens.

Emotional milestones aside, it really does feel like paradise here.  We are so lucky and blessed.  We love it here so far.  Especially C:

There's so much more to tell but I'll save that for another post, or two.  For now, I'll leave you with some photos of "our" beach, as we've come to call it.  We are lucky enough to live across a dirt street from the beach you'll see in all the photos below - it's a small beach - mostly private and rental homes and a small hotel on the opposite end.   Here's a glimpse of why we love it oh so much.

Ok, who's coming to visit?!


  1. me! that beach looks amazing...
    ps - yikes on those bites!

  2. I'm so happy you're keeping up with your blog, Grace! I love reading about your great adventure and seeing all these gorgeous photos. Good luck to you and the kiddo with school, and watch out for those bugs! :)


  3. Ok two things: 1. I cannot help but finding the irony in you, pale-skinned Gracie, living on a beach. It floors me. and 2. It's only fair that God made such horrible, nasty critters to live there. Otherwise it would just be cruel to the rest of us. But seriously, those bites are awful. Looks like your future holds a lot of sunscreen and bug spray.
    And 3. [did I say three things or two?} your mini-me is absolutely adorable. I know she will adjust quickly and will enjoy everything before too long.
    Love to you all!