This is part of my year in review. Writing one post will make it too long, so I’m breaking each month into a separate post. This is the latest instalment.
I returned to Mauritius for one week this month; the last week of the engagement for me before handing over to the next coach; this being such a big engagement that we shared the load among the team. If it was located in South Africa we wouldn’t have done it. But with the travel and time away from home we decided it was best if we all carried it lest one person become overburdened, burn out or have problems with their home life. As it turned out, it was to be the last month that any of us travelled anywhere because on the 26th South Africa closed its international borders. Lockdown was upon us.
On returning from Mauritius I decided to quarantine for two weeks before venturing out for last minute lockdown level 5 shopping. At the time I passed through the airport no cases had been reported in neither Mauritius nor South Africa but I wasn’t taking any chances. During these two weeks I saw supplies of toilet paper, surgical masks and hand sanitiser sell out. Luckily I had some – due to all my travels I had a stash of masks and sanitiser. Not the toilet paper (no stash there) but I had enough from my February shopping trip. I read about people fighting over toilet paper and images of apocalyptic pandemic aftermath came to mind Twelve Monkeys style. I began thinking about planting a vegetable garden and buying a chest freezer. I didn’t do those things until a few months later. Where people were stockpiling toilet paper I confess to stockpiling coffee and cheese. I knew that with coffee and cheese Chè and I could survive anything.
On the work front things changed quite dramatically. With lockdowns happening all over the world and work from home orders in effect, our clients were running around in chaos, putting things in place to still function. We cancelled our in-person training classes globally and were suddenly faced with needing to pivot our business model. We spent the rest of March doing just that. From in-person classes we collaborated to prepare and present virtual classes. It was a trial by fire and in the first few months after the WHO declared COVID a pandemic our business globally took a huge knock. Employees in most countries had to take a salary cut, including us here in South Africa. We’re still on a reduced salary today but rather that than no job at all. I haven’t worked any less this year – in fact, more, for less money. But I love my job and the company I work for so it was also in my interests to make this work.
Enough of diverging and back to Mauritius. While there I rented a friend’s apartment at Flic en Flac. If I was going to be in Mauritius for any length of time then it may as well be on the beach. It was a pity that I was only there for a week. At the end of the week I spent Saturday on the beach and flew back to home on Sunday. And one more thing about Mauritius during this time – there was so much rain! My word, it rained so much. Even on the Saturday on the beach I needed to escape to the car when the rains came. It is just as well that I went to the beach nice and early so that I still had time to enjoy it. Because it pretty much rained for the rest of the day. And all the way to the airport the next morning. There was so much water that I thought I was just going to float back home.
During this month was also when we began Zoom get-togethers with our family. After my niece and nephew’s birthday in February, it was many months before we were together in-person again. Our family is loud and noisy and our get-togethers delightfully chaotic. Imagine then what out first couple of Zoom calls were like with everyone trying to talk at the same time. It’s easy to control Zoom communication in a class full of training participants but it is not so easy when it’s your family.
If you’ve made it thus far, thank you. I know this is rather a long post. Now, for the photos of Mauritius. Click on the image to enlarge it.
How beautiful is the sunset at Flic en Flac? Nature’s palette leaving us all staring in open-mouthed wonder.
Staring in wide eyed in wonder at the sunset. The majesty of a Flic en Flac sunset – the colours rich and vivid: reds, oranges, yellows, violets, with people black silhouettes in the distance. It looks like a painting.
Late afternoon at Albion beach.
No trip to the beach is complete without buying an ice cream cone full of chocolate and sprinkles from one of the roaming vendors.
Rain, rain and more rain. An afternoon of rain. I escaped into a restaurant for lunch – good timing actually.
Catching a last glimpse of the beaches from a wonderful vantage point.
And that’s a wrap for March.