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EXPATRIATES IN MAURITIUS
» 01 Jun 2010
PATRICK COCHRAN

Born in Zimbabwe in 1965, Patrick Cochran has lived in Mauritius since 2007. He and two partners run Forex Direct Ltd., and have done so since 2008. Patrick lives here with his wife Carrie (born in England) and their three children: Thomas, Phoebe, and Natasha.

Make a Plan!

Patrick firmly believes in the philosophy of "Make a plan" which comes from an old Zimbabwean saying. When things go awry, and they have at times, that's exactly what he does. Growing up on a safe Rhodesian tobacco farm while civil war raged around him, Patrick spent a lot of his time adventuring and hunting with his .22. More than once, when game was scarce, he'd find himself practising on the family's livestock. It never went to waste, though, as he'd later find bullets from that .22 on his dinner plate. He didn't realise, until much later when he had his own family farm, just how lucky he'd been to live so carefree and sheltered from the war  on that tobacco farm.

After graduating from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science, he ventured off to work in the UK where he later met his English Rose…Carrie. After getting married, they decided to start their new life straight away in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Business boomed in his local Bureau de Change but they soon decided

to ditch the Malaria and moved to a chicken farm outside of Harare, where they built their own thatched roofed home, made a life and started a family. Life was good amid 20,000 new baby chicks every six weeks. And soon after starting life on that farm, Patrick and Carrie started having chicks of their own. Life was good until Y2K, when Mugbe's militia began targeting farms owned by white families.

By 2007, inflation had reached hepatillion percentages (translating to (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 %).

Savings rapidly evaporated, halving every thirty minutes while cost of living prices doubled each half an hour. Bartering became the only viable currency. Staples including petrol became difficult to get. At one point, Patrick had struggle to find and then to swap a sheep for 60 litres of petrol. This period was one filled with some hard life lessons. Patrick and his family quickly learned that nothing in life was certain and this cemented his feelings in that family and valuing each day was the most vital ingredient in a happy life. As Patrick often says, "I didn't sign up for this!" so he did what he knew to be the best option when you need to protect and provide for your family. He and Carrie made a plan. A two-week trip to scout the island of Mauritius led Patrick and his family here. They sold as much as they could in Zimbabwe, got on the plane with very few belongings, and never looked back. They nearly decided to go to Australia but we're glad to have them with us instead!Today, they are still in love with life on the island.

Life in Mauritius

Life in Mauritius for Patrick is filled with family, work, fishing, music, math, and golf. He and his band play music from the 70's, 80's, 90's, and even some of today's music as well. Some call him a wannabe rock star but he fancies himself a real rock star; living for life, laughter, music, and fun. He loves that his life never has a dull moment here. Between the scenery, the kindness of the people, and the nature of the democracy of the island, the Cochrans love their home here.

Patrick adores the lush Mauritian golf courses and the game of golf (but isn't sure if the feeling is reciprocal or not) and loves to fly fish as well. He still likes to visit his favourite fly fishing spot in Inyanga, in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe because, "There is nothing more satisfying than catching a trout with a fly you have made yourself."

A typical day in his life starts with cappuccino and rate preparation to help clients maximise their investment with foreign exchange deals. By the time the kids are home from school, he's ready to shift his gears to help with homework. While math isn't his favourite subject, it connects his work and home life…going from exchange rates to math figures. He loves that he can participate in the daily routines of the kids and watch them grow up in a safe country with great prospects.It's definitely worth the enduring the ath mind jolts!

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