09 mars 2015

The Nutrition Transition

            A rather interesting article turned up in the newspaper this week. Mayotte has been in the middle of a nutritional transition (poetically put) for quite a few years now. From not having enough to eat and suffering from various lacks and deficiencies, the Mahorese people now tend towards something called metabolic pathologies, said the article. In Mayotte, food is generally associated with conviviality and hospitality. There's none of the eat-on-the-go style of doing things: a Mahorese... [Lire la suite]

02 mars 2015

Grating coconut

                     In Mayotte, coconut and coconut milk are frequently used in cooking. Mataba, one of the most common dishes here, is made by mashing cassava leaves and mixing them with coconut milk, sometimes adding meat or fish later on. Fish and chicken are regularly cooked with coconut and coconut milk to make poisson coco or poulet coco. Kakamoku is soup made of fish heads cooked in coconut milk. You can eat that in most local restaurants, and you might... [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]
27 août 2012

Charming flora and fauna

        A brief review of some of the various animals and plants we've seen during my first year in Mayotte. These photos do not come close to showing what it's really like, and I haven't taken photos of everything. Please bear in mind that all these animals are relatively big. Water buffalos are the size of decent horses, lemurs (maki) are larger than cats with long tails, the black and white birds (pie-corbeau) have a wingspan of roughly 1.2m, same for the bats. The birds with the yellow feet (mainate... [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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