Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mauritius, Not Madagascar

As I am writing this I am sitting in bed in my hotel room watching the television show, The Good Wife, which is dubbed over in French.  For the past year I have been travelling around Africa and each time I’ve checked into a hotel I have hoped for two things: 1. air conditioning and 2. television.  This is the first time I’ve had both and naturally, now that my prayers have been answered I am no longer interested.  I’m at a beautiful beach resort in Mauritius for a conference and it just seems wrong to be using the air con or watching tv.  In order to help you understand why air con and television is criminal here (and to make you a teeny bit jealous) here is my hotel room:
And this is the view from my balcony:
I arrived in Mauritius yesterday and my conference started late this afternoon.  If you haven’t heard of Mauritius before, that’s ok, very few people have.  But, given the fame of the Disney film, Madagascar, I’m sure you have heard of Madagascar.  Well, Madagascar is not Mauritius.  But they are neighbors.  Madagascar is a very large island located off the south-eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean.  Mauritius, Reunion Island and Rodrigues are three very small islands east of Madagascar.  That brings us to the end of today’s Geography lesson. Any questions?
Mauritius was invaded/ruled/colonized by all the major players in Africa: first the Arabs in the 10th century, then the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French and finally the British.  Due to its location in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius was a major stopover point between Europe and the East, causing a significant influx of immigrants.  Today 70% of the island’s 1.2 million people are Indian with Chinese, Africans, and Europeans making up the remaining 30%.  So far I have only seen Indians here.

I’m looking forward to my conference as there are a lot of researchers and presenters here from across Africa.  Plus it’s nice to have a good excuse to visit Mauritius as it is a very popular, high end tourism destination here in Africa.  Weddings and honeymooners are the primary tourism target market here.  And I can see why.  Here is the view from my breakfast table:
And the view from my seat on the beach this morning:
And the lobby of the hotel:
It’s kind of a waste to come here alone.  It reminds me of Hawaii, though not as humid.  In a way it is almost a terrible place to come for a conference because once you see the views all you want to do is sit on the beach.  But then again, I would have never come here if it weren’t for my conference.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed my beach time today and am looking forward to starting work tomorrow.


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  2. Can we say Jaded?!?! I understand why you think it's a waste to be there alone, but still... comparing something to Hawaii sounds pretty fun!

    P.S. Leaving Friday for Kauai.


  3. Haha. No, not jaded at all Bryce, this place is awesome. Have fun in HI!