Mauritius: Day One

15th July 2015:

On that fine morning we woke up quite late unable to grasp that we were no longer in Europe but in the middle of the Indian ocean. I could not complain because we were blessed with a beautiful drizzling but temperamental rain. It was so good and it felt like the rain in one of these shampoo adverts.

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I said to my uncle that I was going to change my money because I had nothing on me. The currency in Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee. I asked my cousins if they wanted to follow me but my uncle said to them that we were all going and there was no choice in the matter.

We went to Super U which is like a Tesco (but the French equivalent) to have a quick look about what kind of the products they were selling. We then walked on the car park towards the Banks. I could spot HSBC from afar so I got excited thinking it would be easy.

We entered HSBC and attempted to get our money changed but they simply refused saying we needed to have an account opened with Mauritius HSBC and that the international (London) account was not eligible for us to change the money.

I was shocked but just left to the next bank called MCBC and to my surprise they accepted.

I was now with money but I needed a sim card so I could communicate with my family in Mauritius. I went to EMTEL to get my sim card with my uncle and cousin. They had good deals so I equipped myself with a big bundle to last me the month.

By the time we finished with our business we took the bus to Goodlands. It was my first time in a Mauritian bus in 4 years. It was funny to see that nothing had changed and that the bus drivers were still very crazy.

We arrived at Goodlands and the time for Iftar (Maghrib) was already around the corner and we could not believe it because in London there was like 5 more hours to go for Iftar. It was a blessing but I felt a little sad because my Ramadan was the most beautiful I ever had as I was able to fast for the entire month after two years of illness.

We opened our fasts with beautiful dates and food. Without having much time to even process the situation my cousin grabbed me and said that we had to go to the Masjid (mosque) quickly to pray. We all left to go and prayed. We came back to eat more food as the dates were not enough to stand for Taraweeh prayer.

My cousin left to go to his house and joined us back at the mosque.

I started to feel very tired from the flights. We ate cold food and did ablution which gave me my energy back.

We came back to the house and said our salam to the family. It was time to go to back to the campement. My cousin Djamil kindly dropped us there.

At that point we were all about to go to bed but we decided to actually sit down and have tea. Then we started speaking about life in general but the more we were conversing the more the conversation took a serious turn. My uncle then had an amazing conversation with my cousin who was opening to us which was something he never did with other people. I was starting to become emotional because they were saying the word Allah and Al hamdulilah and because of the nature of the conversation. Subhan Allah it was so beautiful.

It was a gorgeous evening full of emotions and touching words.

We went to sleep as the second day of fasting was coming.

I didn’t take many pictures today as the day was more dedicated to Ibadat (worship) as it was Ramadan.

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Author: Nadeem Karim

| London / Paris Photographer - Mu'min |

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