Having fun with nature

One of the great thing about living in Mauritius is that we can be close to nature.




Even though I grew up in the, somewhat rainy, town of Curepipe, our little garden was always full of interesting things to investigate. That’s where I tasted my very first little green chili straight from the bush and rushed to the tap afterwards to gulp in the water. We would pick raspberries in season. When the soapy clothes washing water was thrown on the lawn, it would make the worms come out and we loved to watch them wiggle around. That sounds kind of gruesome now, but at the time it was great fun!

When going out for picnics, my mum would show us how to make a chair out of wild grass stems, and we would always pick the ‘vieille fille’ on the way if we met some to thread them up!

At my grand-father’s, we would also hide to make ‘chutneys’ on his ‘roche à carry’, crushing all the various leaves we could find around. He was not too happy about that one!

I do keep a lot of wonderful memories from those times. Here are 3 more things that we used to do using leaves and seeds:


Bamboo loops necklace

Bamboo grows everywhere in Curepipe. Whenever we went for a walk, we would pick the bamboo hearts out and turn it into a loop. We would then turn the loops into one another and make a very long, but rather flimsy, necklace.


Bamboo loops


Leaf wind vane

I’m not sure what they are called but this roundish leaves can be found growing in the grass in most areas of the island.


Round leaves


They have a very long stem made of many little fiber like system inside.


Long stem


Using this leaf, we would make our own wind vane by pulling out one of the little threads contained in the stem. We would then hold it to the wind to see where it would be blowing.


Wind vane leaf


Collier ‘Sipail’

These were less easily found, but mum would often collect these little seeds whenever she saw their bush-like branches and bring them back home.


Collier sipail


Once the middle part is removed, these seeds are just like perfect little beads with a hole in the middle, and we would then thread them with a needle to make necklaces and bracelets.


Collier Sipail




What about you? Do you remember fun things you did as a child using leaves, branches or seeds. Did you have access to a garden growing up? What was it like for you? Share with us in the comments below.


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