Ruth, mum of three, wife and full-time teacher from South Africa enjoying the island life

Expat interviews
Published on 2021-09-15 at 13:56 by Nicola Richards
Ruth found her village down here in Mauritius. It helps when this mum of three, wife and full-time teacher tries to juggle motherhood, her job and enjoying this island in the sun.

Tell us about you, Ruth.

I’m a mum of three beautiful boys – an 11 year old and 6 year old twins,  and wife to one very awesome Zimbabwean hubby. I was born in South Africa but have lived in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Edinburgh too. Now residing in Mauritius. 

What are you doing currently?

I am currently teaching Grade 5’s at Lighthouse Primary School and being ‘mommy’ to my boys and trying to improve my tennis game. My husband has a lot of patience!

What brought you to Mauritius?

My husband’s work with the African Leadership University brought us to Mauritius. We were living happily in Johannesburg when they offered him a job here in Mauritius and we thought it would be a fun adventure!

How has the sanitary crisis affected your professional activity?

To be honest it has been so, so hard to teach remotely. I’ve been trying to teach my whole class online while simultaneously teaching my own children plus cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping etc. I have found it highly stressful and anxiety inducing. The children in my class (and my own children) have definitely also suffered negative effects of lockdown and remote teaching. On a positive note, I have immensely enjoyed the extra time with my family – it has been so special. 

How do you juggle motherhood and a professional and social life on the island?

With lots of planning - it is busy for sure! I usually always feel like I’m failing at something and being pulled in all directions. Then when I add my children’s social lives to the mix it gets crazy! Thankfully my hubby is very ‘hands on’ and supportive and we have become part of an amazing community. We all help out with each other’s kids at different times, and this really helps. The social life on the island can get pretty hectic so one has to learn to pick and choose a bit and say ‘no’! There are so many fun things to do here.

What’s your favourite part of Mauritius and why? 

Oh…how do I choose? The beaches are beautiful, but I think my favourite places are the mountains and hiking, especially around Chamarel. Climbing Le Morne and Le Pouce were definitely a highlight for me! (My other favourite part is my little balcony overlooking the sea…especially at sunrise!) 

What are the main challenges you have faced as an expatriate in Mauritius? 

Coming from South Africa I did not think that Mauritius would feel so ‘foreign’… I expected it to feel more ‘like home’ and it was definitely weird when it did not. I think the hardest thing though is both my husband and I working full time jobs and having no family (or close friends initially) to help out with our children. The language barrier is also hard at times and it would really help if my French or Creole was better! 

What are your plans for the future? 

We’ve been offered a wonderful opportunity in Zimbabwe so will be moving back there at the end of this year. Other plans for the future include spending lots of time with family and friends with a glass of good red wine. 

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