19 novembre 2012

High heels and red carpets

               On Saturday, we went to the annual Fashion Salon in M'Gombani. Except that this year, we didn't just go round the stalls outside which were selling colourful African printed material and bamboo sticks: we stayed for the fashion show itself. It started off with a contest: take a typical Mahorese material called chiromani, which is used for a lot of traditional salouvas here, and turn it into something wearable. Five judges will say what they think.        ... [Lire la suite]
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12 novembre 2012

Dancing on Tanaraki

                     The friends we had over during the holidays were a girl my age and her mother, both of whom we'd met while doing a musical exchange between our Poitiers folk group and theirs, near the Puy du Fou in the Vendée region. So to keep them busy, we decided to take them dancing one morning. At 9 a.m. By 30°C, on a beach called Tanaraki. We met up with Francis and a few dancers on the beach and started playing for them. The dance leader didn't seem to take... [Lire la suite]
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29 octobre 2012

Glass-bottomed boats make the world go round

                     There are several companies which offer boat trips in and around the lagoon, generally to see whales and dolphins. We'd heard of one which had a boat with a glass bottom, so we put our names down and took our friends out in that for the day.                         We went over coral reefs, we ate local food on a beach called the Prefect's Beach, or plage du préfet, we went to see a... [Lire la suite]
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22 octobre 2012

Turtling

                         We've had friends from France over this week. This is the first time people have come into my flat to stay, but everything went well. After taking them to a beach near our flat for starters, we went to N'Gouja beach to go turtle-hunting. N'Gouja is about an hour's drive from the flat, it's the main "white beach" of Mayotte. Almost everybody is white and armed with a mask, tuba and flippers. The beach itself is well-known for its turtles,... [Lire la suite]
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15 octobre 2012

The Second Annual Folk Ball

                           We held our Second Annual Folk Ball in Mamoudzou at the end of September. Good fun, and much better organized than the first time. The first time we tried to do this, there were three different groups : Philippe and I, called "Philem", the group I showed you a while ago, called "Folkylang", and a group composed of various musicians from all areas, called "La Mangue Bleue". We played one after the other, danced quite a bit, but didn't do... [Lire la suite]
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10 septembre 2012

Sea's out.

      Last weekend, yet another beautiful day, how tiring ;). School has been back for three weeks, so like every other teacher on the island, we went to the beach. At low tide. Very low tide. So low that we could actually walk right up to the coral reef drop-off, the part where the coral suddenly falls away and you can see a lot of coral and fish. A little hard under the feet, because there were bits of coral and various assorted rocks everywhere, it was a case of finding the least pointy bits to walk on, but... [Lire la suite]
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20 août 2012

M'lima Choungui

              Last Sunday, we did a very touristy and rather stupid thing. We decided to go up the Mount Choungui, known as M'lima Choungui. We'd seen it plenty of times from a distance, we have friends who've gone up it, and it was starting to seem as though everybody had gone up except us. So we dragged a friend into the bargain - Franck, he of the sailing boat, who had taken us out in his boat the week before to try out his new sail. He brought his 15-year-old son, and we all drove down... [Lire la suite]
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02 août 2012

M'biwi Contest II : been there, done that, the t-shirt didn't fit.

               Thought you might be interested in seeing what the m'biwi contest was actually like. Quite impressive actually.             M'biwi contest
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30 juillet 2012

It's cold outside.

                          Winter has arrived, the shortest day of the year has come and gone, and it's getting cold outside. This said, being Mayotte, cold is an entirely relative notion. We're not talking sub-zero temperatures and snow. We're talking twenty-five degrees, cool winds and going to the beach in a t-shirt rather than a swimming costume.                 The days are slightly longer now, and the trees... [Lire la suite]
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12 juillet 2012

A few days later...

          The men's dance, chigoma, followed a few days later. Naturally enough, being a Mahorese event, it started an hour late, but it was interesting. To dance chigoma, you stand in single file and shuffle forward, first one foot, left, forward, then the other, right, forward, and again. You also have a scarf, which you hold in both hands just before the ends of the scarf, and you swing it from left to right in a curve which goes up at either end. Meanwhile, a singer and a few percussionists will... [Lire la suite]
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