Mauritius

So let me start with explaining why I am go grateful I got to go to Mauritius even though it was on the SAS itinerary. So while we were at sea a few days before we were supposed to get off the ship, the assistant dean came on the loud speaker and said that due to weather and the lack of speed we were going at we did not have time to stop in Mauritius. When all of the students heard this everyone was devastated. We all thought it was a joke, until everyone received emails from ISE in Virginia confirming that we would only stop in Mauritius to refuel but we would NOT be allowed off of the ship. So the night before Mauritius we were given a dance party. It was so much fun! Everyone was dressed up on the 7th deck and they played music from our middle school days. Everyone knew all of the words and some of the dances like the cha cha slide. After sweating and dancing for about an hour and a half it starts pouring. Everyone runs out in the rain and continues to dance. It was unreal, one of the most fun nights of the voyage. Even though we didn’t think we were going to Mauritius, everyone accepted it at this point. When the crew shut off the music and the party was over, students weren’t ready to leave. We stayed on the 7th deck for another hour or so and were chanting “We’re not going to Mauritius” and signing songs like Baby Got Back and Fresh Prince of Bellaire.

The next morning we al slept in because they offered a brunch. After brunch we all went to the 7th deck to layout and it was a perfect day. Everyone was outside hanging out with speakers and endless decks of cards. A few hours after settling into the day we see an island. It was Reunion – the island that Jurassic Park was filmed on. It got everyone excited. As we were passing the island, the assistant dean got back on the loud speaker and started talking. Nobody wanted to listen because we were sure it was going to be bad news or something having to do with classes. It wasn’t what we expected – he REINTSTATED going to Mauritius! He explained that we would be able to get off the ship but only for four hours and that we had logistical pre port later that night. I can’t even explain how excited everyone was. The dean walked outside and got a standing ovation. That night everyone slept on the deck and watched us pull into Port Louis and get ready for the next day!

So we have to go through face-to-face immigration starting at 6a.m. and everyone was up and ready to have fun for the morning in Mauritius. We ended up getting off of the ship at 7:30a.m. Our first stop was to a nice beach pretty close to the ship. After the first stop we head more into town and head out to another beach, which was breathtaking. It was near the 5 star resorts that Mauritius is known for. There we run into other SAS kids and we just hangout and have a few drinks in this pristine paradise. After we have a dip in the Indian Ocean, we head to the markets where I bought so much stuff. Most of the things being sold in the markets had Dodo birds on them, the extinct bird that was specific to Mauritius. After that we ride back with our cab driver and talk to him about the lifestyle there. He loved it – he has traveled a lot and said that if he never left the island again he would be happy. We got back to the ship around 11:30am. After getting back on the ship, my work-study boss told me that people in Mauritius and Dominica speak the exact same Creole. So it is easier for Mauritians to speak to Dominicans that it is for them to speak to someone from Reunion (the island about 50 miles away). It was very interesting.

I definitely plan to go back to Mauritius. 4 hours was not enough time in the paradise but everyone was so thankful that we were able to go. The next ports are all going to be harsh, so having some time on the beach was perfect.

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