10 juin 2013

Manta rays and Mangroves

                  Last Sunday, I went on a boat trip with the Association of Bretons of Mayotte. They're the ones I play music with, they organize an activity every month so I try to go along when I can to get out of the house and to talk with people over four feet tall who don't talk back. This month's activity was a boat trip into the lagoon, the idea being to go and watch the dolphins and to see if we could find a manta ray. The rays come into the lagoon in March and stay... [Lire la suite]
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03 juin 2013

Mahoraid

                    On Pentecost week-end, like last year, all of the sailing boats in Mayotte who wished could embark on a tour of the island. My musician friend Franck, who owns and lives on a sailing boat, wished. He took a few of his friends and me on his boat with him, and we spent three nice days trying to get enough wind into our sails to actually go forward instead of nowhere. Good fun.                       We... [Lire la suite]
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22 avril 2013

Musical Boats

                                    It's name is the M'zouazia. Its construction started in 2006, and it was put into water for the first time in November 2011. Built by a man called Nicolas Hilly and his family, the construction took place in the village of M'zouazia in the south of Mayotte. Its first immersion was such an event, after so many years of construction, that the whole village and as many other people who wished to come... [Lire la suite]
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11 mars 2013

High tide and low fish

            The other day, a friend of mine - Mireille, the one I went to the circus with - and I went to the beach. It wasn't a particularly fine day, and the tide was high, but we tried to go to the drop-off anyway and see what we could find.                           We didn't find very much, actually. There was the same quantity of coral and the same number of fish as there always is, but it appears that high tide really... [Lire la suite]
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04 mars 2013

Aria Sopra la Bergamasca

                    That was fun. I hadn't played in a "real" concert for ages. The sort of concert where you're in a church, everybody on stage is dressed in black and the atmosphere is very serious. You're not supposed to laugh, cough, say anything or even look anywhere except at your sheet music or your fellow musicians. Performers and audience all hastily clear their throats and take photos between movements or pieces. I love it. The main music-related events I've played at... [Lire la suite]
11 février 2013

Going to the Circus

       The Cirque de Paris has been in Mamoudzou for the last few weeks, and is staying until the 17th of February. The circus tent is planted in the main square of the capital city, with a large Coca-Cola tent in front and the market to the left. Behind is the Tourism Committee building, pink and lavishly decorated with various graffiti. The circus tent, performers and props arrived by container or plane. When the circus opened for its first showing, the organisers were rather disappointed. Kids... [Lire la suite]

04 février 2013

It's a hard knock life.

          Last Sunday, the music group (as always oh-so-elegantly named The Blue Mango) and I went to a barbecue on the beach, organized by the Bretons of Mayotte. An excuse to get together as much as anything, go swimming, have some fun and have something to eat.                                   And eat we did: mabawas (chicken wings - you know that one by now), chicken and beef kebabs, fried green bananas,... [Lire la suite]
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17 décembre 2012

Please do not spit in the hospital. Thank you.

               We went on a boat trip the other day with our friend Franck and a friend of his, a doctor named Brigitte. We now know that... The most wide-spread illnesses in Mayotte are high blood pressure and diabetes. However, the women may be fat, they never suffer from varicose veins. In Mayotte, the women carry anything that needs carrying (boxes, shopping baskets...) on their heads. This leads to strong straight spines and heads held high, no spine deformations originating... [Lire la suite]
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10 décembre 2012

Mont Combani

          The day P left, we had a concert planned in the evening at the Gîte du Mont Combani. We were all rather shattered, as we'd all had fairly long days, but we got together in the late afternoon and went up to the gîte together. It's quite a trek, even in the car, because the track is particularly bumpy and muddy. Francis, Laurence and I went together in his car, Franck followed on his motorbike until the chain came off in the bumps, then we made him go ahead to supervise him for a bit. We arrived... [Lire la suite]
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03 décembre 2012

Saying Goodbye to Philippe

            Before P left, we had a party with the music group and the dancers to say goodbye. Every two weeks, the main dancer holds a dance workshop at his home, where anyone who so wishes can turn up and learn a few traditional dancers. Usually, a couple of musicians from the group turn up as well - whoever's available, really, not usually P and I because it's a bit far away. This time, we rescheduled the workshop so that everybody could be there. We played the pieces we felt like playing, rather... [Lire la suite]
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