Looking back at my experiences during the early years of motherhood in Mauritus, I found myself absorbed within fascinating family culture. Half the year living between the capital cities of Port Louis and London. Mothering across an international junction, experiencing new family, culture and a feast for my senses. There was so much to take in and document, even on a domestic level as compared to the familiar in the uk, during the British winter.
Behind a red curtain sailing in the wind, I caught site of an attractive dining area alongside the river. Hoping it might be a little restaurant, I wandered in. Quickly observing the loving interior details, cleanliness and no sign of any food or menu, I realised I had wandered inside somebody’s home. I was captivated by the Chinese lanterns, the flower arrangements and intense shades of vibrant red. I stepped back outside, to wait for someone to appear. It felt a blissful, family space, sitting right alongside the river. A colourful wooden boat was just visible, moored on the other side.
I spotted someone in the alley behind me and was introduced to the head of the home, the grandmother – Maria, her daughter and grandson. She was so helpful and happy for me to explore her home, together with me and my camera.
Maria, January 2017
I was also introduced to the neighbours family in the adjoining building, who had a waterside kitchen – (river water meeting the tiled edge of kitchen floor) with the ceiling adored with local birds (stuffed) ,fishing nets and colourful floats. I could sense the strong f the connection between the family’s and the river, which is also an important part of their livelihood
In the large 4 level house there were both Hindu and christian shrines, on separate levels. There were many decorations to take in, keepsakes or souvenirs. Often a home of this size can be home to a large family group, usually closely related.
Many features, particularly decorated with colourful fabric and plastic flowers. The kitchen and centre of the house was so thoughtfully cared for and practically decorated, holding a strong energy for me – like the belly or nerve centre of the house. After enjoying a cold drink, I was given a delicious sweet snack to take away. I highly value the welcome and openness I had experienced.