BABE, MAMA, TRAVEL

MAMAS AROUND THE WORLD: CHANTELLE FROM THE SEYCHELLES

8th October 2015
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Chantelle is mama to two year old Arthur and 2 month old Freddie. She lives in the place where we all want to holiday: on Praslin Island in the Seychelles, with her husband Mark. They’s lived there for 3 years. Chantelle is also a blogger at Seychelles Mama.

How did you ended up living in the Seychelles?

My husband is a teacher and applied for a job at the international school here, and got it. He is now deputy head of the school.

What is the best thing about living in the Seychelles?

Pretty obvious I guess, but it’s having the amazing beaches and forests on our doorstep.  Now we have kids we perhaps don’t enjoy them in the same way we did before, but we definitely have more fun now!

Describe your house?

We live in a three bedroom house.   We have a nice garden, which is all fenced in (so nice and safe for Arthur and in “blink and you’ll miss it time” Freddie will be out there with him too!!

Do you have a housekeeper/nanny/babysitter? What is the culture in your city regarding help with babies and child rearing? 

We have just hired a cleaner to come three times a week.  It is very typical for expats to have one.  We felt that despite me being at home it would be good to have the help around the house now I’ve got the two boys at home with me.

Nannies are common amongst the expat community too but that’s not for us. Maternity leave for Seychellois is very short (three months I believe) and extended families play a big part in child rearing for them.

At what age do you send your kids to school or kindergarten or play group in the Seychelles? Are they public or private? Is it difficult to get into these schools?

Arthur and Freddie, will go to the international school.  This starts at 3 although the first year is technically nursery!  It’s a private school, but there are scholarships.  There’s a good mix of Seychellois and expat kids there.

How do you get around with your little one?

We have a car although mostly during the week Mark has this for work.  We have a pushchair and a baby wrap.  With Freddie only being a few weeks old and Mark only just back into work after the summer break I’ve not yet done any trips out with just me and the boys….that will be interesting I’m sure.  Pavements here are not that great and a lot of the roads dot have pavements at all!

I’m not a fan of the buses here, they drive like lunatics and are always packed so avoid them at all costs!!

Where do you hang out with your babes for play time?

We spend lots of time playing in the garden, it’s nice that we are fenced in so it’s nice and safe!  Arthur loves to play on the beach and at the pool too!

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Do you have a favourite coffee/lunch spot to head to with your babe?

Paradise Sun Hotel is a really nice place to go, nice and relaxed and great food!   We also love to go to Constance Lemuria for lunch it’s beautiful there, Arthur loves the pool!
I wish there was a cozy little coffee shop here to head out to every now and then!
Do you have a favourite spot to head to when you need some “me” time?
Me time is pretty hard to come by for any period of time, I consider being able to get a shower by myself as me time!!  But, if I do get any time I definitely love to head to the spa.
What is your little one’s favourite food?
Arthur loves pasta, spaghettini Bolognese is his favourite dinner!  He is a Cookie Monster I’m not gonna lie, but, he equally loves cheese and apples!!
What is your favourite “Seychelles” thing to do with your babes?
Definitely to get to the beach, always!  Heading to a hotel pool is lovely too, Arthur loves to be in the water!
Another big Favorite is going to the vallee de Mai for a walk.  It’s a UNESCO world heritage site, it’s less than 5 minutes away in the car, and as residents we get in for free!!  We go at least a couple times a month!
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Describe a typical Saturday. 
A typical Saturday starts with a nice long lie in……..haha oh wait, no, no it doesn’t!  It starts the same as every other day!  Arthur gets up at 5 and then he generally goes back to bed until 6.  Then we are up and starting the day.  We then tend to do one of the things I spoke about above!!  As it’s usually hot, we tend to either go out either early in the morning or later in the afternoon!
What languages do you speak to your baby?
Ashamed to say it but Mark and I can only speak English.  I am trying to learn French but honestly, I’m not that good!
Where do you go on holiday as a family?
We have been here for three years now, two of our summer holidays have seen us spending our time on Mahe while we had Arthur and then Freddie!  The other summer holiday we have had we went back to visit our friends and family in the UK.  We spent a Christmas in Sri Lanka and we’ve also had two Christmases here.
What tip would you give a family with a babe the same age as yours if they were visiting the Seychelles?
Pushchairs are not that useful here as there’s not too many pavements.  If you do bring them be aware you can’t take them on the bus, a now infamous quote from a Seychellois bus driver “no wheelbarrows on the bus” (he didn’t know the English word for pushchair!) Here are Chantelle’s tips for taking babes or toddlers to the Seychelles.
What is the one not-to-be-missed activity to do/place to visit with a baby in the Seychelles?
Argh I’m going to have to cheat and give two here!  
  • I’d say the Vallee de Mai as its beautiful and Arthur has loved going there since he was really small in a baby carrier and now even more that he can run around and explore!!
  • My second place is Anse Lazio.  Not only is this beach in the top ten beaches in the world it is perfect place to go with the kids as there are lots of lovely shady spots.  We love to get up and go nice and early and we will often have the place to ourselves.

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