05 janvier 2015


                  Another fairly recent series of photos by a local magazine called 101 District. Mayotte is France's 101st department, so that number comes around quite a bit. Above are the boys' lodgings. At age 17 or so, the Mahorese tradition wants boys to build a cabin out of wattle and daub, or, more recently, out of corrugated iron. They carefully and brightly decorate these cabins, which then act as a home to the boy and his friends. He will bring girls back to this cabin... [Lire la suite]
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15 avril 2013

Who let the kids out?

          Last Thursday, I was called in to replace a sick colleague on a school trip. The idea was to take a class of 14-year-olds to visit the remains of a sugar-cane factory, a copra dryer and a museum about ylang-ylang flowers and vanilla. Two teachers, twenty-nine students, one bus. Should be interesting. The class was - and still is, for that matter - my worst class, which didn't help. They were the other teacher's worst class too. Bright kids, but just so noisy... the sort of class where you can... [Lire la suite]
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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25 juin 2012

Drama Queens

           The end of the school year was on Friday, June 22nd, at twelve o'clock. For a while, a French teacher called Salima and I had been preparing a short drama show with the same class, each of us blithely unknowing of what the other was doing. It was one of the kids who told each one of us what they were doing with the other, so we got together and worked out - albeit at the last minute - a three-quarters-of-an-hour-long show for the class, which would be repeated four times on the... [Lire la suite]
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19 décembre 2011

She'll be coming round the mountain...

                            I went round the Mont Choungui last week-end with a walking group. It's near the bottom of the island, and is the most famous mountain in Mayotte, if not the highest (That's Mont Bénara, 664m). From its top, you're supposed to be able to see all the southern half of the island. It's actually a volcano rather than a mountain, but it has been inactive for ages. ... [Lire la suite]
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29 septembre 2011

He runs... he strikes !

               It was the school cross-country race today. All teachers and staff had to be present, even those on their day off, which happened to be my case. We were sent into the undergrowth to cheer the students on and to give out water and sugar where necessary. However, there was a strike the day before and today – they plan to go on for three months if they need to – the water bottle delivery hadn’t arrived, so there was no water to give out. The sports... [Lire la suite]
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