“Mauritius was made first, and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius” - Mark Twain
I immediately understood how Twain was right when I was climbing the cultural heritage site of Mountain Le Morne Brabant. When I saw the harmony of blue and green, the sea and the nature, I just felt that I was in the middle of heaven on Earth. However, Mauritius is not only an island with an spectacular nature, but it is an island where you can find a great human diversity. Africans, Hindus, South Asians, Far East Asians, Christians, Muslims, atheists, Whites, Blacks. The peaceful way of living makes Mauritius a real paradise. I remember a quote on the wall of a Chinese restaurant in the island I saw.
"We came here with different boats, but now we all live in the same boat." It was not just a quote on the wall, it was indeed a reflection of Mauritians' the way of living. They were all same now, sharing an impressive small island in Indian Ocean. They were Mauritians, nothing else matters for them as one of Christian Africans and an atheist African told us while we were invited to eat sharks with them.
Speaking of their invitation, Mauritian people are one of the most hospitable, friendly, modest people I have ever seen. In Mahébourg, we were just passing by the sea with our bikes when we saw a group of fishermen who had just caught a shark. As we were naturally observing them carefully, they just told us to meet them at 3pm for a shark lunch. The lunch and then dinner, whole night with a group of Mauritian people (very diverse) was one of the best moments that we had in the island. Tasting the shark, hanging out with locals, seeing how happy they are with what they have, and love to share with others were the real things that made us think Mauritius a heaven on earth. They embraced us as they have been embracing 'others'.
PS: A conversation between me and Pierre - the guy with red T-shirt.
Ani: Have you ever gone out of the island?
Pierre: No. We did not have money. Now, some of our children go to France mostly or Europe.
Ani: (speaking on my mind) Good that you could not. Or else, I am afraid that 'outside' would disrupt amazing Mauritius people.
Salut à ces gens étonnants. Nous ne vous oublierons pas!
Here is a lively Mauritian song for you to listen and get some idea of people and the island ;) (It was playing in the bus. Mauritians know how to bear long bus journeys!)
For more pics --> anicalis instagram account!