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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12 janvier 2015

Je suis Charlie

                                       Yesterday, Mayotte had its second gathering in homage to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack. The first one took place just after the attack. This one was called a "white march". My plane arrived at 7.30, I got my luggage very quickly and took the taxi then the ferry to the large island. Collected my car, sitting in a huge puddle of mud and water,... [Lire la suite]
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05 janvier 2015

Bangas

                  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 décembre 2014

The teacher is in the hammock.

             A colleague used to draw these cartoons about Mahorese women, known as bouénis. This is one he drew for me, turning the bouénis into English teachers... hard at work!         
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06 octobre 2014

Salon du Tourisme

                              A few photos from the Salon du Tourisme which took place this weekend. Mayotte is involoved in several programs such as the Vanilla Islands Program, there's one about the Indian Ocean as well... the general idea is to try and convince tourists that Mayotte is a nice place to spend a holiday. Unfortunately, this point of view is not shared by most of the population. Most white expats would like to turn Mayotte... [Lire la suite]
28 avril 2014

Carnival Week-End I : A Motivated Zebu

              Sunday 27th April is Slavery Abolition Day in Mayotte. This is usually commemorated by a carnival, comprising various dances, an exhibition of some sort at the Tourist Office and possibly another event. On Saturday, something was planned to start at half past three. Nothing was said about what was to happen, just that there would be something in the Republic Square of Mamoudzou. I invited a friend along and showed up in time to see a wonderful Mahorese corrida. In a Spanish... [Lire la suite]
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11 février 2013

Going to the Circus

       The Cirque de Paris has been in Mamoudzou for the last few weeks, and is staying until the 17th of February. The circus tent is planted in the main square of the capital city, with a large Coca-Cola tent in front and the market to the left. Behind is the Tourism Committee building, pink and lavishly decorated with various graffiti. The circus tent, performers and props arrived by container or plane. When the circus opened for its first showing, the organisers were rather disappointed. Kids... [Lire la suite]
04 février 2013

It's a hard knock life.

          Last Sunday, the music group (as always oh-so-elegantly named The Blue Mango) and I went to a barbecue on the beach, organized by the Bretons of Mayotte. An excuse to get together as much as anything, go swimming, have some fun and have something to eat.                                   And eat we did: mabawas (chicken wings - you know that one by now), chicken and beef kebabs, fried green bananas,... [Lire la suite]
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03 décembre 2012

Saying Goodbye to Philippe

            Before P left, we had a party with the music group and the dancers to say goodbye. Every two weeks, the main dancer holds a dance workshop at his home, where anyone who so wishes can turn up and learn a few traditional dancers. Usually, a couple of musicians from the group turn up as well - whoever's available, really, not usually P and I because it's a bit far away. This time, we rescheduled the workshop so that everybody could be there. We played the pieces we felt like playing, rather... [Lire la suite]
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