Friday, March 27, 2009

Zot Mauriciens

That's Creole for other Mauritians. The French is les autres Mauriciens. So the Creole takes the s from les and the aut from autres and spells it phonetically in English.

Anyway, here are some longtime friends of ours in Mauritius. Some haven't changed. Some have.

Sylvio Salomon

Corinne (Salomon) and Ivan Catherine

Merlin Armance, Kyle Catherine, and Joanne (Salomon) Armance

Bruno and Marie-Claire Toi

Marjorie Rima, David Roméo, et zot

Monday, March 23, 2009

Here Comes Johnny

Woo hoo!

For those who are American football newbies, the quarterback is the one throwing the ball, the center is the one hiking the ball back between his legs, the receiver is the one the quarterback is throwing the ball at, and the safety is the one trying to stop the receiver from catching the ball and trying to catch it himself. I'm the one wearing the solid navy blue shirt. With way too much blond hair.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Baby Brother

Well, yes, the baby is the biggest. And his voice is the boomingest. Denis and Hana are a dashing couple and can they ever sing. They sang at our wedding, and then were married the next year. They have no kids yet, and we figure they are the most likely candidates to visit us next.

Denis worked as a supervisor in a textile factory and was making good money as a young single man. Marie-Josée and Jean-Marc were operating the family pig breeding and farming operation. Once that became exceedingly profitable due to changes in import rules, Denis joined Jean-Marc in the family business. However, in 2007, the tides turned when African Swine Fever found its way to Mauritius, and wiped out over half of the pig population, including those of Denis, Jean-Marc, and ultimately those of Medgé and Jacques as well.

Having just built an impressive house largely himself just prior to getting married, Denis was able to secure a job as a mason. He is getting back into the family business as it is currently on the way back to where it was before the trouble.

Sweet and Sour

Favorite Things

Friday, March 6, 2009

Man of the House

Ruby and Jean-Marc Tanner

Phanuel and Lydia

Jean-Marc, Sammy Sosa look-alike, is Isabelle's older brother by five years, and he lives in the house in which he, Medgé, Isabelle and Denis grew up. Alongside the house in an apartment is Marie-Josée (when she's not with us, that is), and Denis and Hana are in a house that Denis built on top of the original house.

Jean-Marc followed his father Joseph to work in Israel back in the 1990s. It was there where Jean-Marc became a Christian. He preached to and had a hand in converting the rest of the family, but sadly, Joseph also had a hand in converting the family when he died in a motorcycle accident in 1999.

As a result, Jean-Marc, who married Ruby in 2002 (I was there), was there for us to fulfill his patriarchal role in the family and walk Isabelle down the aisle in our wedding. It was nice for us because he was able to bring his own tux. I guess it also didn't hurt my chances with the family that he was a newlywed while I was looking for approval from the family for Isabelle's and my engagement.

About one year ago during an outing to the beach, Phanuel was brought by his cousin to his father, lifeless and feared drowned. We are so thankful that nearby tourists saw what had happened and were able to revive Phanuel.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Les Vigilantes

Medgé and Jacques Lavigilante

Jonathan Leutéritz and Matthieu Lavigilante

Adeline Lavigilante and Julia

Chloe and Julie Lavigilante

Introducing...Matthieu, Adeline, and Julie Lavigilante, and re-introducing Medgé and Jacques, their parents, and my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Jacques and Medgé have been a great help to our Mauritius project, and so have their children. Adeline in particular spent many nights with Isabelle and helped take care of Julia and Chloe. Julie contributed much with her talent as a chef, and Matthieu also did his share to entertain and otherise care for our girls.

Monday, March 2, 2009

La Famille

Julia and Grand-mère

Jacques with Chloe

Medgé and Denis, wiggin' out

Ok, so we needed a way to organize and present our photos and video of our clan in Mauritius. The ones who have come to visit us here in America are Isabelle's mother, Marie-Josée, and Isabelle's sister and brother-in-law, Medgé and Jacques. No one else in her family has yet come to visit us. Isabelle has two brothers as well, and each is married. Her younger brother, Denis, is married to Hana, and they have no children. Her older brother, Jean-Marc, is married to Ruby, and they have two young children, Lydia and Phanuel. Medgé and Jacques have three teenagers, Julie, Adeline, and Matthieu.

Isabelle's mother has one sister, Maryse, and she and her husband and kids all live in Mauritius. Isabelle's father, who was killed in 1999 in a motorcycle accident, was one of five children. Two of his sisters and their families have lived in Victoria, Australia for many years. Isabelle's cousins Florine and Fabrice live there. Florine is married to Lance, and they have one daughter, Angelique. Florine's BROTHER, Fabrice, perhaps out of necessity with a name like that down under there by the outback, is an accomplished competitive bodybuilder.

One of Isabelle's dad's sisters, Monique, moved to Quebec and married a French-Canadian, Pierre Roberge, and they have four children. The youngest, the only girl, is Kalyna Roberge, a reigning silver medalist from the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, for the short track speed skating relay. She will be skating in Vancouver in the 2010 Olympics.

Isabelle's dad's remaining sibling also lived and died in Mauritius. Two of Isabelle's cousins, Clive and Clara still live next door to the family home. Their sister, Sarah Jane, lives in Dubai, UAE, and Isabelle got to visit her there in January. I'm still so jealous.

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Year's Ham

Here's another of Chloe on a test drive...