27 avril 2015

Voulé à Musicale Plage

                   I was invited to a company voulé the other day, a barbecue on the beach with the company I work with giving English lessons to adults. The rainy season is reaching its end now, but there are still some strong bursts of rain occasionally, and I was caught in one of these on the way to the barbecue. Not too promising, but it brightened up as I got closer to the beach in the south of the island. It was a chance to talk to some of the guys in the training company... [Lire la suite]
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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 septembre 2014

Cats and Miss.

             School's been back for three weeks now. I've met all my classes, and there's everything from sweetness and light to ear-splitting caterwauling in there. These are some photos of my school. Right at the top is the tropical almond (Terminalia Catappa, if you're interested) tree. Everything happens under that tree. That's where the kids line up to be taken to their next lesson, that's where they go when the fire alarm rings, and that's where the parent-teacher meetings begin... [Lire la suite]
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01 septembre 2014

Alefa Madagascar! Part 2 of 2.

          The starting point of anything Malagasy is Antananarivo, the capital city, generally shortened to Tana. It's bang in the centre of Madagascar, and it's where all the planes go to and come from. So, logically, this was the starting point of my adventure. It's also the only place in Madagascar where you can rent a motorbike (or any other vehicle, for that matter). I started off down the RN7, which is the best-known and best-maintained road in Madagascar. It's tarred pretty much all the way down,... [Lire la suite]
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21 juillet 2014

The Blue Mango Strikes Again

                 Last week, we had a going-away party for two members of the Blue Mango... party during which we learned that a third member was also leaving next month, so we had another going-away party on Friday, where we actually convinced the restaurant owner to close his restaurant to all other people. As it's Ramadan period at the moment, he doesn't serve very many people per night, just fifteen or so. I'd told him that I could bring fifteen people, and could we play music and... [Lire la suite]
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14 juillet 2014

Hiking around Saziley

          Sunday was a rather hectic day. First, it was the day two of the musicians from the Blue Mango were leaving Mayotte, one forever, the other for a holiday. The one who was leaving forever hadn't been able to come to our last going-away party and I had a present for her, so that needed delivering. The one who was going back to France on holiday knew I was going to Madagascar again in August and wanted me to deliver a package to his wife's nephew in Antsirabe, south of Antananarivo. The... [Lire la suite]
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16 juin 2014


            I've been playing quite a bit of music recently.                  On May 31st, I was roped in to play "film music", which was a new one for me. Mostly cartoon themes such as Some Day My Prince Will Come, Popeye or The Bare Necessities, but the odd tune from films such as The Sting or Black Cat White Cat. The idea was to videoproject extracts from films and cartoons, and play the theme tunes live at the same time. This required quite a... [Lire la suite]
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21 avril 2014

Strange food they have here.

         These are banana flowers. They grow on the ends of big banana bunches like below. You have a hundred or so bananas spiralling downwards, and a big purple flower on the end. Lots of people eat yellow bananas. Here, green bananas are a vegetable like any other, and a cheap one at that, as most people have a banana plant somewhere nearby. Green bananas are eaten fried, they're very filling but don't taste of much. A pain to peel, too. I learnt the other day that you could eat the flowers. There's a... [Lire la suite]
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02 décembre 2013

On the Art of Little Pots

                         In Mayotte, one of the most useful things you can buy in the local supermarket is a Tupperware (or similar) container. Here, the brand is Eda, so they're Eda containers. They come in all shapes and sizes and are absolutely wonderful. The reason for this is that anything that is sold in paper or cardboard packaging needs to be removed from its packaging upon arrival at home and instantly transferred into a container. And, in turn, the reason... [Lire la suite]
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