09 juillet 2012

M'biwi Contest

                   On a Sunday at the end of last month, there was the 2nd M'biwi Contest. M'biwi is a ceremony which is generally practised during weddings or other big occasions. It's a women's ceremony. They sit on the floor and bang two pieces of bamboo together to emit a clacking sound, and by hitting the sticks twice or three times each, they create various rythms, ta-TAC-ta-ta-TAC or TAC-a-tac-a-tac. They often sit in a ring, and two women at a time get up and dance facing... [Lire la suite]
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02 juillet 2012

Tyred flat out.

                  On Saturday, there was the Grand Tyre Race in Mamoudzou. Hundreds of people had come to race and to watch, as this is THE big event of the year in Mayotte. The idea is to race for 2.2km through the capital city, driving a used tyre in front of oneself by means of two sticks. In order to propel the tyre forward, the ends of the sticks are fitted inside the tyre - sometimes just lodged between the walls of the tyre, sometimes stuck in a yoghurt pot to keep them together -... [Lire la suite]
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18 juin 2012

Black and White

           Last Friday, we went to a painting exhibition by two artists, one we'd heard of, one we hadn't. Exhibitions are extremely rare in Mayotte, as are any forms of what is pompously described as "culture". No theatre or drama representations, no cinema, very little art of any sort. I didn't go to that many exhibitions in France as it was, but here, there are so few that it's worth getting out of the house to see what's going on.        ... [Lire la suite]
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04 juin 2012

Radio Tour de l'Île ! Infos, quizz, musique, fun !

       Over the Pentecost week-end, a friend of ours was participating in the Tour de l'Île, a sailing boat tour of the larger of Mayotte's two islands. He told us that he does this every year, and that he usually ends up being the only one playing music on the beach, so would we like to come and accompany him with another two instruments? Yes please.              Our skipper was our musician friend Franck, who plays the accordion in our... [Lire la suite]
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14 mai 2012

Voulé on Sohoa Beach

            We went to a barbecue on the beach the other day. These are extremely common here, there are always groups of people cooking things on any beach you go to. Traditional barbecue food here is chicken wings and green bananas, which are either cooked in the fire or fried, and eaten as a vegetable. They don't taste of much, they're a bit like boiled potatoes.                   There... [Lire la suite]
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07 mai 2012

Music in Mayotte

            We've been to a few concerts recently, to find out what the local music is like. First of all came Rossy, whose poster attracted P because of the accordion. Arrived at the concert a quarter of an hour before it was supposed to start, which seemed reasonable at the time. When we got there, the group was just finishing balancing the different instruments. As the concert was held in a café, a lady suddenly jumped up and started going round everybody who was there,... [Lire la suite]
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26 mars 2012

Dziani Dzaha

           One really nice thing about Mayotte is that the distances are short, so you don't need to travel for a long time to go anywhere. The beaches are very close to the towns. Our nearest beach can be reached on foot. It's not a terribly nice one, so we usually go to one called Sakouli, on the other side of Mamoudzou. Total distance: about 10km. Total time spent travelling: about half an hour depending on traffic.        ... [Lire la suite]
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22 mars 2012

My Granddaughter Went To Market And She Bought...

               We went to the market the other day. The big, covered market in the Place de la République in Mamoudzou. We'd never gone inside before, never really gathered that there was actually something in there, just seen the big pink building from the outside. It's joined to the tourist office, which is also pink. The covered market opened in 2009 and was welcomed as a godsend by the street sellers, supreme recognition of their jobs. The building stretches... [Lire la suite]
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15 mars 2012

Stuck in the Mud

            There has been so much rain lately that it has severely damaged the road leading down from our flat. Great holes, some up to 50cm in depth, have appeared in the road... which has already blocked more than one car from going up. We had a collection day with the neighbours last week, where we all went a bit further up the road to a stony field, brought some large stones and pieces of roof-tile down and filled up the worst of the holes. The following photos show... [Lire la suite]
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19 février 2012

Mahabou and M'Gombani

          This Sunday afternoon was lovely and fine, so we set off to walk up and around the Pointe Mahabou, a cliff on the other side of Mamoudzou where the very first sultan of Mayotte, Adriansouli, was buried. Other cars were driving up, so I started driving up too, then got shouted at because P wanted to walk up and didn’t see any point in giving the car a workout. Drove back down again, parked at the bottom, got out of the car and P started shrieking. One of the back tyres was half flat.... [Lire la suite]
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