09 décembre 2013

Notre Dame de Fatima

                   The last big classical concert we had in Mayotte was with the Nomad Baroque group who had come for a few days to play. They had invited the music school classical orchestra as well as several other musicians to play with them, including me. This time, it was OUR concert. I remember playing in churches before as a music school pupil, along with all the other music school pupils, but this was the first time I took part in a concert as a professional musician. ... [Lire la suite]
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28 octobre 2013

Dipé Chaoula

            A restaurant menu in Mamoudzou's main shopping street.   Kebab Today's Special Panini Sandwich Salad Hamberger (complete with spelling mistake) Round Thing   Find the odd one out. (And no, the restaurant was closed, so we didn't get to taste it).            
28 octobre 2013

Wedding Dances

         Last Saturday, something rather exceptional happened. The Blue Mango, my music group, is followed around by the Dancing Lizards, who are a group of folk dancers who come to all our concerts to dance. One of these dancers is a Comorian lad called Halidi, nicknamed Tony to make him sound Western. And on last Saturday, he invited us all to his cousin's wedding. Weddings in Mayotte aren't as exclusive as weddings in Europe. Generally, the whole village is invited, and each guest is free to invite... [Lire la suite]
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21 octobre 2013

Milatsika

             P arrived last week, which is the main reason why there was no blog post last Monday. I got the Blue Mango to wake up early and three of us came to fetch him at the airport, flower necklace in hand and instruments out. We certainly amused the people who were waiting for the passengers to come out. I think we were quite the attraction, as Dzaoudzi airport is a pretty boring place. Anyway, last Friday, we went to see a music festival on the other side of the island. Its name was... [Lire la suite]
23 septembre 2013

National Horse Day.

              Yesterday was National Horse Day. No, I hadn't heard of it before either. The one and only horse-riding club in Mayotte had put balloons up everywhere and was having a field day, showing off its good pupils and taking kids for rides on small ponies. It's quite a big place, actually, with a big paddock and apparently ten horses, of which we saw four. All the kids who were going anywhere near a horse had helmets, jodhpurs, boots and whips, which surprised me for Mayotte. Then again,... [Lire la suite]
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29 juillet 2013

Cascade

              The Soulou Waterfall, on the west coast of Mayotte, is a place which is renowned for its thefts, break-ins and various attacks of all kinds. Unfortunately, it's also recognized as one of the most beautiful sites on the island. That's why, when a friend wanted to go, she decided to open the outing to three or four of us, saying that it would be even better if we could recruit a few friends each to take along. Which is how the outing started at 3 people and finished at 30, a good... [Lire la suite]
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22 juillet 2013

The Blue Mango Strikes Again

           On Friday, the musicians had a party at one musician's house including all musicians and dancers. I think everyone had a good time, there was certainly a lot of dancing going on. On Saturday, we planted ourselves in the middle of the monthly farmer's market to play together. The reason for these photos and festivities involving the Blue Mango was the departure of Laurence, our violinist, who has finished her 4-year contract and who is now on her way to Angoulême, where she will be a... [Lire la suite]
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08 juillet 2013

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

                                Rules for the Tyre Race. Wear the official Tyre Race t-shirt while racing. Collect one number sign per team the week before the race. This number sign will be necessary to collect the remaining number signs for each team. Without the first number sign, the team will not be able to race. Pin your number sign on the front of said Tyre Race t-shirt at chest height. The soap used to grease the tyre must be that given... [Lire la suite]
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01 juillet 2013

Practising for the Grand Tyre Race

         About two weeks ago, the lady in charge of the Bretons of Mayotte Association sent a collective e-mail out, asking for people to become "ambassadors" for the tyre race which was to take place on the 29th of June. I responded, asking what would be involved, and she obviously transferred my e-mail on to the guy in charge of the Breton tyre-racing team because the next thing I knew, I was told that the only difficult thing about the race would be running with your arms together to hold the tyre... [Lire la suite]
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17 juin 2013

Starry Skies

        On the 1st of June, the Mayotte Astronomy club organised its annual Sun and Star Party. They invited the local schools to make and show models and exhibitions about space, they hung up big colourful balls, they had posters up about light pollution or asteroids and they showed photos taken from the ISS. It rather reminded me of making woolen pom-poms with Nanny to represent the sun and the planets when I was in middle school in England. As the violinist in my music group belonged to the club, she invited... [Lire la suite]