Mauritius was a totally crazy port in good (and not so good) ways. We pulled in about 5 hours late on a beautiful, tropical afternoon. The island is the stuff dreams are made of with the lush green landscapes, the indescribably aqua-green waters and well, the people (as I had been warned) are gorgeous! (Pic=Sega dancers at Cannelles).
Another cultural experience with the crazy students (here singing 80’s tunes on the way to Cannelles). About 40 of us went out to the cultural center for a night of fruity drinks, not so fruity drinks, authentic food and dance.
Us trying to dance Sega (lots of emphasis on “trying”). The Mauritians are a proud combination of French, African, Indian and Chinese decendents. Most of them refer to themselves as “Creole”, not identifying with a particular ethnicity.
The next morning I went on a trip with two of the Environmental Science professor’s classes to a local fish hatchery lab! We learned about baby shrimp in test tubes, breeding and feeding goldfish, and how Eco-Tourism is the driver of Mauritius’ economy. Oh, I also slipped down some slippery steps in the hatchery and my arse and back hurt wicked bad the next day. (note: wicked bad=hurt like hell, please send prescription strength narcotics).
Totally nerdtastic morning. Did you know that goldfish are not a naturally occurring species? They are a hybrid of carp! Same with Koi and similar ornamental fish. We learned about various types of coral reef and specifically about the 150 miles of reef that protect Mauritius from Cyclones and Tsunamis. We also got to talk about some ways to conserve water, protect reefs around the world and help nature to heal itself. This particular scientific research facility was even more impressive because fully half the scientist are women, as is the Director. Go Girls! Don’t worry, the boys were holding their own and several scatalogical jokes were bantied about. I think the phrase I’ll never forget is “Poop Loop” which is altogether different from a Fruit Loop, despite the similarity in their names.