Mauritius is under a Class III warning since 5pm yesterday. Anya & Kyan are experiencing a cyclone with full awareness for the first time. We had a powercut from 4pm to 10pm and thus had a candlelight dinner and night. This was quite new for them and I can imagine how this must have impressed their young minds (so accustomed to electricity and technology) as mine was in my own childhood.
In fact, it made me think of the old poverty days when we used to live in a fragile wooden house with iron sheets on the roof and lots of window panes in the living room (‘la varangue’). The adults would consolidate the openings with wood and we also used to crowd into one single room to spend the night. As a child, I was probably not fully aware of the danger (we had lots of trees that could damage the house if brought down by the violent gusts) but I felt somewhat exhilarated by this exceptional/abnormal ambiance.
I often dream of that wooden house with its large yard where I spent a major part of my childhood. I feel that wooden houses are alive and speak to me. I remember that I used to imagine that the walls had secret caches with long held treasures waiting to be discovered. The cave under the house also held some appeal though a bit daunting because of its obscurity.
And I had a special link with the trees, specially the mango tree which had a special curve in which I used to sit to read a book, sing a song (my favorite was ‘Lundi matin, le roi, la reine et le p’tit prince…) or even watch over the neighbour’s activities…
Avinash Meetoo says
‘Lundi matin, le roi, la reine et le p’tit prince…’
We have been together for 13 years now and I didn’t know that 🙂
My favourite one was ‘Une souris verte, qui courait dans l’herbe…’
Oh well, am getting nostalgic and off topic in here. 🙂
Alma Labuschagne says
On Saturday 17 February my only daughter got married in Johannesburg, South Africa. She and her groom are presently on honeymoon in Mauritius and I have been anxiously looking for all news on cyclone Gumede. Cyclones are not a problem in South Africa.
I enjoyed reading your blog. Admired the beautiful children too.
I have not had the priviledge to visit your beautiful island, maybe one day I will.
watch over the neighbour’s activities??? abein
Feeling nostalgic..had a great time talking about the old days with my cousin yesterday. I remember dat we used to play with the candles or torches. favourite was cyclone Hollanda where we used to stay with my grandparents…we would use the torch to make shadows on the wall n some frightening noises to scare her. 🙂 Esp. that was the was the time of the “LoupGarou” in Mauritius. Cyclones r really special moments for children…
Btw, wooden houses r great. Lov them.. My cousins happened to live in an old, wooden house sme yrs back. Often we (My sis n I) would go there n stay over with my cousins (5 girls in total). Was so fun, it was so different wiz its low-roofs, small rooms, n the ancient wooden windows…we all loved it..on se sentait vraiment “dépaysé”..
Wen we would wake up, had to open the wooden doors/windows havin that heavy metal-bar… dnt kw how we call that! n there was that big yard, the litchee tree n the ducks roaming bout. That was our best place during weekends n holidays !! But smts the noises on the iron sheets at night would scare us, n our creative minds would come up wiz so many scenarios- from mere thiefs to ghosts,vampires, etc.
Some good memories…nostalgic 🙁
Very interesting story, Christina.
It reminded me of the times back home in Europe, when the dictator was cutting the electricity and gas whenever one expected less.
So one time I was cooking a scramble egg and suddenly, no gas, no electricity. My parents brought the candles, so I had to finish cooking the eggs on the candle flames… Those were the best scrambled eggs … 😉 I will never forget it.
Avinash, what a great invention is blogging, right ??? 🙂
Luckily I now live in a flat where centrally powered generator is available. No electrical breakdown and the fone & internet lines are working fine. This is what I got from my Canadian based friend who is listening to Radio one live:Carol ek Alix ti fer nou ret lakaz 6 mwa. Ban mots ki fin rent dans nou vokabiler: Rondavel, Longtill, Longere, zot kapav razouter ………… C’etait la aussi le debut des “cités”. Gran Rivyer Sid west di lo finn mont ziska pont. Enn pake morisyen rappel ki cyclone se lepok kot zot ti fer farata lacaz sirtou si zot ti enan reso ou gaz pou fer sof tawa. Kot nou ti enan zavoka ek mang vert par kg. Enan enn fri la reunion ki appel Zevi. Eski sa mem nou fritsiter? To enan rezon Bernard, ti enan buku refleksyon apre enn siklonn.
Pourtant na pa prix post siklonn, mais si to envi asste en fritsiter so prix Toronto c’est $1.00. Carambloe $2.49 Mang mir $ 1.49 Mang vert $3.49/lb, En gros papaye $5.00
Enn Corosol $5.00, Enn friapin $5.00
La pli la pompe la riviere du ronde….
God… that cyclone was real naughty in Port-Louis and i had to live at my mum’s place the whole week-end! Worst: have to bear with my sisters!!!! Joking!
anyway, i’ve lived through Firinga, Hollanda and Dina… the 1st two were the worst that affected my grand-ma’s place…. with Firinga, Our Orange tree, 3 Guava tree, 2 Grenadine tree and 2 Henna tree, Pumpkin lalkiane, and all our Rose bushes were ‘deracines’… the kicthen, laporte l’entourage and some part of the wooden/tole roofs went off…
Well, at that time, my nani had a house of 10 rooms and 2 outdoor kicthcen… we had to practically reconstruct everything…. but in wood and tole because nani did not and still do not want to live in concrete houses..
For Hollanda, it was the catastrophe…. almost all the 10 rooms’ roofs went off and electricity went off for almost 2 weeks in P-verte… Loup-garou ti p tappe plin dans p-verte et ti bisin garde ‘rozaa’ en mem temps…. and no need to say, for Hollanda, we lost our Avocado tree, 2 guava trees, 1 Henna tree and Again some of our allee bushes…. avocado tree la ti topmbe lor 1 nous ti lacuisine en dehors nous lacaz….
for these moments, i happend to witness the roof of 1 of our dining rooms which went off to our neigbours… and i woudl stay close to my nani so that she doesnt stumble over anything… the weather was real nasty for Hollanda…
For Dina…. we had only 3 Mango trees(Adele, MAison and Lacorde)… branches fell in front of the house and we could not even open our door…
enfin, l’ambiance was almost the same for all three cyclones… we had neighbours dropping in our house at night and even trying to secure some parts…
How about BISCUIT CABINE? can you forget its taste? am sure not… specially dans letemps cyclone… ti p trempe dans dithe pou kave manze biscuit cabine….
Cot moi, 1 Lajournee ti ena dithe chaud + Biscuit pou manzer pendant GAmede…
Hi guys,for me living in melbourne for over 4 years,cyclones sounds like a distant past,but something tat i did eventually experienced wen i was seven,yep hollanda. As a kid,the whole experience of cyclone was quite thrilling and exciting.
The wind thrashing against the walls, the dimly litted rooms with golden glowing candles,the announcement of cyclone warning on radio,all being an unforgettable experience,a nostalgic feeling that has evaded time. Going down memory lane,i stil remember when i was a kid,loving to play in muddy water,especially after cyclones.