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EXPATRIATES IN MAURITIUS
» 01 Jul 2008
MEET LILY BENOIT

As a child, her brothers used to take her everywhere and included her in various games and sports. It is from them that she learned to engage in many sporting activities,much to her husband's delight, the exception being when she beats him at golf! Lily has many fond childhood memories and thanks to Skype, she keeps in touch with her family on almost a daily basis which helps make up for seeing them once a year for only a few weeks at a time.

Soon after graduation she started to work in the banking sector and met her husband-to-be, James whilst working in a bank in Canada. The lucky couple mark their16th wedding anniversary this year! They have one son, Dylan, who is 4 and half years old and Lily is pleased with the fact that this usually throws people off their age!
The couple has been living away from home for the past 16 years as expatriates in countries such as Hong Kong, the Middle East, Philippines, China, London and now Mauritius. Lily prefers not to use the word expatriate as she believes they have always tried to integrate the communities they lived in, as much as possible. Dylan was born in the Philippines and is understandably the greatest joy of her life. 'He has a heart of gold and I believe the Filipino culture must have rubbed off on him as he is a very sociable child' says Lily.

The different cultures they have come across and the numerous people     they have met over the years have contributed to make their lives all the more enriching.This is the second time that the couple relocates to Mauritius     and when they lived here six years ago, they thoroughly enjoyed Mauritius with its beautiful beaches and fresh air.     James was offered the remarkable opportunity to set up AfrAsia Bank over here - a prospect he simply could not refuse.

Settling back to life in Mauritius was straightforward for them since they already knew the country and still have      many friends they made whilst living here earlier.They arrived from London and Dylan attended nursery school      within two days of reaching here. Finding him a primary school was no easy task though as there are so many children looking for places and not enough schools for the English speakers. Dylan is now attending, Clavis, with a high percentage of Mauritians, a definite advantage as he learns English from his teachers and French from his peers; additionally, the school offers Chinese after school hours so he is learning three languages.

'It's great for Dylan to live in Mauritius as most of his free time is spent outdoors, he loves the sea. Dylan means 'of the sea'      in Welsh and I believe his name was chosen wisely for him given that James taught him to swim underwater since he was two years old' Lily explains proudly. Lily believes that modern women      today are no different than the women of the previous decades. 'We are still the superior and fairer sex! We can work, have careers, obtain the highest degrees and yet for many of us we still never lose that passion and ability to make sure the family needs are fulfilled and everyone is safe and happy together. I see this in the Mauritian     women too and I am always impressed by their natural charm and beauty.'     

A keen runner, Lily runs around 5 times a week in Floreal and if she is not running she gets in a few games of golf. Currently, she has been doing some research on Mauritius for some overseas clients so that can take up most of her afternoon. And once Dylan returns home from school Lily devotes as much of her time to their only child      and hopes to convey an adequate     knowledge of their respective culture to him.The couple is also fortunate to     attend a lot of events and parties.The recent one that Lily cherishes most is the AfrAsia Bank golf tournament at     Anahita (The world Class Sanctuary)! Lily considers that you can only achieve your life goals if you are determined and focused. Her recipe for a happy and successful marriage is to have great understanding and respect for each other.     

“We are still the superior and fairer sex! We can work, have careers, obtain the highest degrees and yet for many of us we still never lose that passion and ability to make sure the family needs are fulfilled and everyone is safe and happy together. I see this in the Mauritian women too and I am always impressed by their natural charm and beauty.     



    
    

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