After the India tour I spend few weeks in commerce to buy the ticket to go to Mauritius. Then when the time came (14th Feb) to check in the flight (from Delhi) was delayed... indefinitely. Actually indefinitely is often better than few hours delay as the airline has to provide accommodation:-) They said there was a tornado and it was unlikely that the flight would go . So a bus was provided to bring us to a 5 star Hotel and they were so kind to give me a single room as I was a monk. I enjoyed the clean shower, towels, aircon and did long meditation. After the meal (fortunately plenty things I could eat) I thought to catch up with some work and have a good night rest...
However... suddenly people opened my room (using their key card, not even knocking!) and came rushing in to tell the bus was waiting to bring us back to the airport... I was the only one missing! They had tried to call me many times but the line had been busy... I had been on-line. I packed quickly and rushed down... to find that it was an other event of hurry up and wait... most people were still outside the bus! Anyhow after half hour the bus left. After that things went smooth ... till arrival in Mauritius.
|School in La Flora||Rainjan & our half finished medical centre|
The flight had been calm and landing perfectly, the wind had quietened but not immigration... they were most active... I only had a phone number and no address : " Sorry you can't enter! " Finally after few other officers came , looked at my passport and discussed the matter they took my passport and gave me a note so I could go outside , call and come back . Is was 3am and I was really tired so it took a while before I could reach Rainjan and get the address ( get coins, find phone, find pen and paper, run out of coins, get new coins... ) He also would be on his way to fetch me. After that I had to go all the way back to immigration and found that my address was suspect... One Dada told that Ananda Marga had trouble so I started to get a bit worried... finally one older officer came and said, 'yes that is the Ananda Marga school ' , and than he said " it's ok "! Later Rainjan came and dropped me at the school around 4.30am .
That weekend we had a seminar, and my supervisor (Krpamaynanda) took the classes. He could stop over on his way to Nairobi and had arrived a week earlier. It was a good opportunity to meet many of the margiis. He continued his journey just after the program.
|Front side||View to the back|
Later we visited our health centre under construction. The centre is about half hour drive from the school and has a big piece of land and beautiful views. We'll need to put quite a bit of effort to complete it, but the structure is done.; Only the finishing is left. Rainjan (who has a family construction business) will see that the work will start again and... hopefully finishes. While there we took the measurements of all the doors and windows and we made a phase wise plan as our funds are low. Our target is to finish phase 1 by the end of the year. (one room, one bathroom and the kitchen finished so someone can start to live there )
|Outing to the seaside|
Next day: getting to know a bit more of Mauritius. That's always a good program:-)
Mauritius is lush and green, lots of sugar cane fields, beautiful beaches, places to swim and back drops of wide ocean views and old volcanoes. The majority of the population came originally from India. Several I ndian languages are spoken but the official language is English . However the language at home and in the street is neither. People speak Creole . (close to French) The feeling in the towns is just like the south of France only the people look Indian and not European. At the same time the Indian culture is also strong especially in relation to religion.
|volcanic rocks everywhere|
|meal time visitor|
My second week I stayed at Rainjans place enjoying my first break in a long time. At he was at work during the day I had finally time to catch up with e-mail, website and the newsletters. The last one I did was in November so there was a bit of catching up to do! This one brings me finally up to date... were it not that again an other month has passed. Time keeps speeding ahead!!
Several days we went for a swim after he cam back from work. Though it's an Island it's big enough to make the sea half hour drive. His father and brother also came along. It's really nice to swim in the warm water while seeing the sun set.
Oh, this little orange fellow above came every time we took our food in the kitchen. I thought it would learn that you can't fly through a window but it kept trying. I am not sure if he was after his own reflection or that he likes my orange dress...
|I was caught to give lecture on Shiva at the Shiva temple where Rainjan does Yoga class|
Those who know me well can imagine how I felt when after giving a small, more or less informal, talk at Rainjans a Yoga class I got invited to give a talk for the occasion of the main Shiva festival in a Shiva temple... The topic, yes, Shiva! What c ould I say to those people that they d idn 't already know since childhood ? I am sure they hear Shiva stories from before they can walk... I just hoped that my angle would be different enough to be interesting. I took one of the books with discourses our Guru had given on the subject and studied it nicely. In the end my talk took twice as long as I intended and only covered half the things I planned to say... The actual talk was again twice as long (two hours or so) as Rainjan did a very nice job translating my English in Creole . It seemed all enjoyed the talk and actually learned many new things ! Our Guru's talks are very clear and simple about who Shiva was and what he contributed to Humanity. In general the topic is all mixed up with few facts and lots of myth. He has become a figure of mythology and his human, but not less shining, personality has become hard to see
The next day before catching the flight back to India that evening I could still catch up with Dada Rasatmakananda who just arrived. He was the previous RS (Regional Secretary) and is handing over the things to me.
Back in India I went to Ananda Nagar to see and prepare the site for the dome building... but more about that next time.
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