06 avril 2015

Stop Hitting the Teachers.

                 Recently, things have been heating up at school. We've always had stories of kids threatening teachers: a common threat here is something along the lines of "I'll kill you and your family", and that happens pretty often, especially when a kid has received an exceptionally bad mark or has perceived something as extremely unfair. Various teachers have been called names, or had their car tyres deflated, or a car window broken. A month or two ago, a sports teacher was... [Lire la suite]

29 septembre 2014

Urahafu Na Unono

                         On Friday, following various complaints from teachers regarding the dirtiness of the school as a whole and the rooms in particular, one of my colleagues launched "Operation Urahafu Na Unono", or "Operation Cleanliness" in the school. This operation had already been decided upon by the town hall in Mamoudzou as a day when volunteers and schoolchildren would help clean the town, and she wanted our school to participate in its own way. ... [Lire la suite]
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22 septembre 2014

Here we go again...

                      This time, it all started with a football match. Majicavo and Kawéni, two neighbouring villages, were playing against each other. Majicavo was winning 3 - 0 when the referee gave a player a yellow card instead of the red card he should have given him. The supporters exploded and everyone went wild. The colour of the card was just a pretext: the two rival villages have hated each other for years, so the two gangs were overjoyed to have a reason to... [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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02 juin 2014


           I'm currently writing a lesson plan on graffiti and street art, the idea being to teach the kids what the point of each is and how to tell the difference. As there are a lot of tags here, I wanted to start off with pictures of graffiti around their home village in the hopes that they would recognize some of it and be able to find the rest pretty easily. What started off as a short trip down the main road turned into a two-hour photo safari throughout the village, with cries of "Miss... [Lire la suite]
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23 décembre 2013

Going Swimming At School

         The rainy season in in full flow now. This is a short video taken by one of my colleagues at school, a day when 9.2mm of rain fell in two hours accompanied by a pounding thunderstorm that made the headmistress decide to cut off the school's electricity because it was getting too dangerous. There are a lot of electric sockets very close to the ground, and most of our electrical wiring isn't protected by anything. As soon as it started raining, the kids ran screaming and shouting into the nearest... [Lire la suite]
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02 septembre 2013

Here we go again.

            School's back. Again. The yearly rush of pupils who have been hanging around the school doors for a good week now, staying outside all day and convincing their parents that classes had already started up, thereby getting out of working in the fields and cooking lunch. Kids who've moved on to the next school up shouting hellos in the street or popping up in the supermarket. The blank looks when the teachers ask the students to take a pen and paper, somehow imagining that said students might... [Lire la suite]
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20 mai 2013


               My school and most of my pupils belong to the village of Kawéni, between Mamoudzou and Majicavo-Lamir. Both village and school have quite a reputation. The village is known for being the starting point of most of the complaints, robberies, strikes and riots in Mayotte, as it's a poor suburb of the capital city. The school is famous for its disruptive pupils who come from extremely poor families. Currently, there are 1500 pupils, and we're expecting another 300 for next... [Lire la suite]
24 août 2011

School has started.

         School started today, with the teachers getting together and meeting the heads. Quite an exotic-looking school, with coconut trees and banana trees growing in the playgrounds. The rooms themselves are pretty run-down, with flaking paint, windows that either don’t open or don’t have any glass in them, fans on the ceiling which don’t work because the fuses have blown and there aren’t any spare, no curtains on the windows because the school doesn’t have enough money... There are two TVs... [Lire la suite]
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