So by now, we’re guessing you’ve watched our big announcement video and you know that we’re moving to an incredible jewel hidden in the Indian Ocean called Mauritius! We wanted to follow up that video by anticipating some questions you might have and answer them to the best of our abilities. But as always, please don’t hesitate to email us with any questions you may have that weren’t answered to your liking in this post.
1. When do you leave?
We’re looking at plane tickets in early February. Adam’s brother gets married in December, so it doesn’t make much sense to leave and come right back before then. Additionally, we will need to raise a little bit of funds in order to get out the door and Emily has been asked to fill an administrative role that is desperately needed in our organization for the next three months. It seemed wise to us to delay our departure for an additional month, since the money she earns from this work will be put towards the money we need to raise.
2. So how much money do you need to move?
Our goal is to raise $5,000. The funds we need to move fall into basically three categories: Plane tickets, Furnishing an apartment (cheaper than shipping our stuff from India), and replenishing our one-time funds. We have decided to purchase our own plane tickets and with the money made from selling our stuff in India plus some other funds that were made available to us (which we would be happy to explain further if you are interested) we should have enough to set up home. That means that the only thing we need is to replenish out emergency funds. If you’ll remember, we’re required to have the funds necessary to leave the country on short notice should we need to and those funds were used to do just that a few months ago.
3. What will your partnership with the school look like?
Adam will be spending some of his time serving the school as a reading specialist and in return we hope to learn a lot from them about their model for starting an educational institution in an international setting. We’re really excited about this opportunity because it is so rare to find people overseas who share our vision for education could be, and this school feels like they have our same hearts. In addition, we realize that we are young and in need of mentorship in this area. One day, we hope to have learned enough from them to see this process replicated in many nations!
4. Will you be learning language?
We’re going to study language part-time for the first six months and re-evaluate after that to see if further study is needed. Mauritius is highly accessible to English speakers and many like-hearted people we know have been able to do a lot of work there without needing much language. However, the heart-language of the people is a French-based Creole and is supposedly a fairly simple language to learn. We will be studying French up until the moment we leave in February (Adam took 4 semesters in college and knows a little). We hope to build a little familiarity in French that will help us pick up Creole faster.
5. So was all the time you invested learning Hindi a waste?
Mauritius is an island full of Indians who have family-ties to India, and love to watch Bollywood movies. There are plenty of Hindi speakers! 🙂
6. I thought Mauritius was just a bunch of fancy beach resorts?
It’s true that tourism is an important part of Mauritius’ economy, and there are parts of the island that are filled with great places to stay. But just like many tropical tourist destinations, beyond the small area where visitors stay is an entire country filled with simple people just trying to etch out a living. Many of them are simple villagers, either putting in long hours in the sugar cane fields, or living off of what they can catch in the ocean. We will be living and working amongst these people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come stay in our guest room and get some time on the beach if you want to!
7. How similar is Mauritius to India?
In a lot of ways, Mauritius is like a little India, in the middle of the ocean while in a lot of other ways it’s completely different. We love that Mauritius is filled with Indians, but we also love the diversity. The island was originally colonized by the French, who brought in indentured servants from India and slaves from Africa. Afterwards it was lost to the English in a war and only recently got it’s independence in the 1960s. Because of this rich history, almost 70% of Mauritians are of Indian decent, while other minority groups include African-Mauritians, Chinese-Mauritians, and a small group of Franco-Mauritians who stayed on after the French left. The official languages are English and French, while Creole is the lingua franca and languages like Hindi, Bhojpuri, Tamil, Chinese are also spoken. We love Mauritian culture. It’s a beautiful mixture of Indian and French traditions. You might walk into a traditional Indian bazaar, but notice that instead of the typical dirt road, it’s got cobblestone streets. You might greet someone with the traditional French bisous by kissing cheeks, but then take off your shoes to enter your host’s house.
8. Will I get a chance to see you before you leave?
Absolutely! Between the holidays coming up, arranging for our personal items in India to be mailed to us, trying to sell our furniture in India, and a million other things that need to be done, we know these 3 months are going to fly by. So we’re working on scheduling multiple times where we can gather together with all of you and share more of our hearts for Mauritius and enjoy your company before we leave.