Tuesday 18 June 2013

Sugar, Sucre, its everywhere!

One of my usual tricks is to find out as much as I can about a place I visit, either before I go or whilst I am there, Mauritius being no exception.
So I had already done a lot of homework about the culture, the people, the place etc but whilst visiting the Bagatelle Mall of Mauritius in the first few days I came across two books, "A new comprehensive history of Mauritius, from the beginning to this day" in two volumes, the first from Ancient times to the birth of Parliament and the second "From British Mauritius to the 21st Century" inside a treasure trove of information, especially the earlier book, from the Dutch settlers in the 16th Century (not very successful it must be said) to the French and finally the British.
Which brings me on to Sugar or Sucre if you're French, the island is riddled with sugar cane, from top to bottom, its everywhere, in the valleys, on the hills, even in back gardens.
They even have a Museum of Sugar Website which by the way is a very interesting day out, I went on a Sunday, very early I was the the first there and had the place to myself.
It is located in an old sugar factory and I was very interested in the methodology of extracting the sugar and the by product Bagasse, which is still used today to provide power to the island (in the harvest season it must be said) which is a carbon neutral fuel source, its a shame they cant use Bagasse permanently to deal with their energy problem , anyway I digress.
So, sugar is everywhere, it has even shaped the architecture of both the plantations, every processing factory has a huge chimney, where the workers lived their lives in the shadow of the stack, and the harbour of Port Louis where huge sugar silos dominate the basin.
It is clear that any visitor to Mauritius can not notice the sugar, but take some time to visit the museum and learn about how it has shaped the island, and the people.

Friday 14 June 2013


The purpose of my visit was to provide some capacity training in Green IT and Energy Efficient Data Centres, utilizing the syllabuses from the British Computer Society and the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres (Energy Efficiency).
For the Green IT course I had 40 delegates split into two groups of 20, they were all a fantastic bunch to teach, not many questions but still we've already had some success with some passes of the exaM
The other courses were also very well attended, some 60 delegates for both the Intermediate Certificates in EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres and Energy & Cost Management in Data Centres.
Overall, the standard of the students was very high and it was a pleasure to teach them.
We'll be running another batch of training courses in Mauritius in November to coincide with INFOTECH 2013 which is an island wide ICT exhibition.
Watch this space for more information and pricing as we getting the nearer the dates.

The Mauritian EUCOC workshop was...

held on the 9th May at the Domaine Les Paillies, Mauritius, some photos of the event can be found on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Carbon3IT?ref=hl to an invited selection of Government of Mauritius employees in Ministries and para-statal bodies.
Firstly I explained the background to the code using climate change and energy issues and then what the code was, who it was for etc.
Later I covered the actual best practices in detail and how organisations could become endorsers and participants to the code.
I was even interviewed on Mauritius TV, and spoke to two journalists about the EUCOC and how data centres can address the problem of climate change, by enablement of systems to monitor and mitigate, and through the use of energy efficient data centres.
Over 100 delegates heard me speak and many of them were attendees on the courses run later in the trip.

Wednesday 12 June 2013


I promised a short blog about buses and here it is.
The buses on Mauritius are interesting to say the least, it is a totally free market, there are many companies operating depending on their specific area but they all have services into Port Louis, there are however some aspects that create total and utter chaos, firstly, none of the bus-stops have route designators, thus a newbie could wait at a bus stop and have no clue as to where the services go to or at what time. There are no timetables, none whatsoever, in fact you could find that a service may run one night and not the next but you'd never know.
The buses themselves have a route destination so you'd have to take pot luck.
All the buses are fairly old, and very dirty and noisy and fares seem to depend on how much the driver thinks he can scam you for (I'm sure that this is due to the fact that a) I can't speak french and b) I'm obviously a tourist and c) clearly minted.
So, if you're even in Mauritius, you must get a bus, you'll see the real Mauritius not the tourist brochure, but make sure you know where you are going, have a working knowledge of french, and don't pay too much, standard fares about no more than R100, Oh, and always get a ticket!

Saturday 1 June 2013

The mauritian roads are.....

well maintained and the driving standards are high........NOT!
The trip from the airport to my accommodation started well enough, wide dual carriageway type roads and roundabouts and with very little traffic, then as we entered the more populous highlands, potholes, obstructions and other drivers all combined to make the journey a little more torturous, but it was nothing compared to what was about to hit us as we entered Port Louis, the capital.
As we descended form the highlands down into Port Louis, the traffic became heavier and it seemed that road etiquette consisted of finding a route around (either side) or through (via a bib, honk, or hand gesture) our car by cars traveling faster or motorbikes weaving along the road with no real concept of safe driving.
Worse was to come!
After the motorway had given way to an A road, it split into two main roads at the Place de Armes, one toward the city centre and one to the North, we choose the city centre.
In the capital traffic mingles with people, trikes, bikes, mopeds, carts, lorries, street stalls, parked vehicles all honking to get their route through the melee sorted out, shouts, hand gestures indicators or no indicators they all seem to get through somehow, more luck than judgement in some cases.
The pollution is bad, really bad, the engines don't seem to have any emission tests and the exhaust ranges from dirty white smoke to black clouds of noxious fumes (most it must be said from the multitude of buses, I'll speak about the buses in a future blog post)
Eventually we crawled through the city centre and out into the suburbs. We turned off the main road into the Vallee De Prets and through the mainly Indian area, up into the hills.
Here, dogs with a disregard for the own lives lay in the middle of the road only moving after being alerted to the sound of a moving car or via a discrete honk.
We arrived at our destination and met with a rum punch, a welcome relief from the roads and the heat I spent a delightful afternoon with my host for the mission Joan.