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EXPATRIATES IN MAURITIUS
» 29 Mar 2012
AXEL DERRIKS

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD

I was raised in a traditional environment where family and respect for the others is the most important value. I always wanted to travel and even begged at the age of 12 to convince my parents to send me to a boarding school in Bruges on the other side of Belgium. This
may not seem very far away but distance between peoples is not about kilometers. It’s about culture and language.

WE HEARD THAT YOU ARE NOW A FATHER.

DO YOU WANT TO SHARE SOME MEMORIES?
Talking about values, family, travelling,etc… My dear wife and I met in 1997 when aged 18 and 19. Quite young indeed. But when our first discussions raised some main questions such as adoption, travelling, living abroad, and because all the charm and beauty of her own Indian
origins, we soon felt that love was in the air! In 2007, we became the happy parents of our little daughter, born in Ethiopia. After about four years of a difficult procedure, international adoption brought a third continent in our little family. Being in Mauritius now is very interesting to us, representing the three continents now gathered in Mauritius. Europe, Africa and Asia ! Some may ask whether we want to adopt an American in the future…
why not?

CAN YOU SHARE SOME IMPORTANT MILESTONES IN YOUR LIFE?

When a bad cancer stuck me at 17, I had little chance to survive. I was so very much supported by a large family and by so many friends that a wonder kept me alive. It made my life. It was such a strong period. So intense ! Every moment was like in the most cliché scenes of any movie of the kind.  This is not exactly about something that happens to you. It is something you decide to live with or without. You can take this opportunity to change every coming day in your life into another wonderful experience. Some have suffered the same situation and have decided to go on with their life as if nothing ever happened. It is a choice that I respect very much because I think it is not easy. This expe-rience has shaped a major part of my actual living. This living made it possible to me to get rid of some inner
machismo and enjoy being a father at home with a camera in his bags. This living is made of travelling, meeting people, exchanging views, sharing values, … and my camera is my way to confront the people I want to with things they cannot see on TV, things they don’t talk about
in the coffee room. I don’t know if I travel to make the pictures or if I make the pictures to travel.  
WHAT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO MAURITIUS?

My wife having an assignment for an international orga-nization in Mauritius since august 2010, we first wondered about what it would be to live on an island that clichés show like a country of large resorts, with a blue sea, and a big sun… It did not take that much time to discover the country hidden behind the beaches and it was full of surprises.

WHAT IS YOUR JOB LIKE?

My company is named Kalkidane Ltd. Kalkidane meaning “the promise” in Ethiopia, values of precision and punc-tuality being the most important to me when meeting and wanting to work with a new client.  If there is something that I do appreciate working for, that is shooting the activities and people of SME’s in Mauritius for their own communication purposes. It gives me the chance to meet new people in various activities that a tourist would never have thought about. I take the chance to thank PinkArt Ltd in Quatre Bornes for the good
work they do with my pictures !

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?

The quote of my company has alwas been “photographier,
c’est dire je t’aime”. This means that to me, making pic-tures is a way to show people that I love the world we are living in and the peoples sharing it. “Duc in altum”, used to be the quote of my boarding school. It says that we have to go deeper; to look for what is beyond, not sticking to an easy cliché.

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